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Traditional Greek Orange Cake with Syrup (Portokalopita)

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  • Author: Eli K. Giannopoulos
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 50 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 10 pieces 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Greek


Looking for a traditional Greek Orange cake recipe? Discover the secrets behind making this extra syrupy Portokalopita infused with the aromas of oranges and cinnamon.



For the Portokalopita

  • 200g yogurt (2% fat) (7 ounces)
  • 300 ml vegetable oil (1 and 1/4 of a cup)
  • 300 ml sugar (1 and 1/4 of a cup)
  • 300ml orange juice ( 1 and 1/4 of a cup)
  • 20g baking powder (4 tsps)
  • zest of 1 1/2 orange
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 440450g phyllo dough (15 ounces)
  • 4 medium sized eggs

For the syrup

  • 400ml water (1 and 2/3 of a cup)
  • 400ml sugar (1 and 2/3 of a cup)
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)


  1. Unwrap the phyllo dough from the plastic sleeve; place the sheets on a large surface and leave at room temperature for 20 minutes, in order to dry well. Alternatively, spread a few on a large baking tray and bake at 100C/200F, until dry; repeat with the rest.
  2. To prepare this Greek orange cake, start first by preparing the syrup. Pour into a pot the water, the sugar, the orange zest and a cinammon stick and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup has thickened. Set aside to cool.
  3. In the meantime prepare the mixture for the orange cake. Pour the vegetable oil into a large bowl, add the sugar and the eggs and whisk. Add the yogurt, the orange juice, the orange zest and the vanilla extract and whisk well, until the ingredients combine and the mixture is smooth. Add the baking powder, and whisk lightly.
  4. Crumble the phyllo into small pieces using your hands. Add them gradually into the mixture while whisking so they don’t stick to each other.
  5. Using a cooking brush, oil the bottom and the sides of a baking tray (approx.20x30cm / 8×12 inch) and pour in the mixture. Bake in preheated oven at 180C/350F for 40-50 minutes until, nicely coloured and cooked through. Check if it is ready, by poking a hole with a knife. If the knife comes out clean, then the cake is ready.
  6. To finish the orange cake, ladle slowly the cold syrup over the hot cake. Allow each ladle of syrup to be absorbed, before ladling again.
  7. Allow time for the syrup to be absorbed and put in the refrigerator. Greek orange cake is ideally served cold, not hot, so that it does not crumble. Enjoy with a big spoonful of ice cream!


  • Serving Size: 1 piece
  • Calories: 644kcal
  • Sugar: 62.5g
  • Sodium: 215.5mg
  • Fat: 32g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.2g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 25.3g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 86.7g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 5.1g
  • Cholesterol: 2.6mg

Keywords: Portokalopita, Greek orange cake recipe, Orange cake with filo, Portokalopita with syrup