If you are looking for a sweet treat, then this Greek Honey Cake (Melopita Sifnos) is a simple and delicious cake to make that will satisfy your craving. The sweetness of the honey pairs perfectly with the creaminess of the ricotta and the cake is really really easy to create with only 15′ prep time! So, let’s see how to make it!
What is Greek Honey Cake (Melopita)
Greek Honey Cake is also known as Melopita and is a traditional honey cake made on the Greek island of Sifnos, in the Cyclades. It is a little like a cheesecake because it uses ricotta cheese and is very simple to make.
- Classic honey cake: the traditional recipe only uses six main ingredients.
- Delicious for any occasion: the cake works well at any time of the year.
What you’ll need to make Greek Honey Cake the traditional way
While ricotta isn’t a Greek cheese and instead comes from Italy, it is a big part of making this cake the traditional way. The traditional recipe uses anthotyro, but it’s really hard to find outside Greece.
Tip: Aim for the best ricotta you can afford, otherwise the end result may contain too much water, and will be prone to splitting. If you can only get watery ricotta, strain it for a couple of hours before using to remove as much liquid as you can.
Greek Honey Cake Key Ingredients
For the mixture of melopita: You’ll need ricotta cheese and runny honey along with eggs, cornflour and vanilla extract or bean paste for the cake. Olive oil and lemon zest are the final ingredients.
For the topping: More runny honey and some ground cinnamon will be used to top the cake once it is cooled.
Key Preparation Tips
There are just two main steps to making this recipe:
- Prepare the melopita cake
- Finish and decorate the cake
Prepare the melopita cake
Start by preheating the oven to 160C or 320F. Grease a spring form tin with a little olive oil, I usually use an 18cm or 7 inch one. Add some baking parchment to the bottom and the sides.
In a large bowl, beat the ricotta with a wooden spoon or whisk until it is smooth then beat in the honey. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly then add the cornflour, vanilla and lemon zest.
Using a scraper to get the mixture into the baking tin and smooth it with the back of a spoon to get a level finish.
Tip: If you want to change a little of the flavor, you can substitute the lemon zest for orange zest.
Finish and decorate the cake
Bake the melopita in the oven until it is set, usually around 30 minutes. It will have some color around the sides.
Leave the cake to cool then transfer it to a plate from the tin. Add enough honey to cover the top and sprinkle generously with ground cinnamon.
My melopita isn’t rising did I do something wrong?
It is worth remembering that this is a flat and dense cake mixture so don’t panic if it doesn’t rise while in the oven.
The Greek name melopita features ‘pita’ which means flat so the cake is more like a cheesecake than a sponge cake. But it does tend to stick like a baked cheesecake, so don’t forget to line the sides of the pan.
Variations of Greek Honey cake
The traditional Melopita from the island of Sifnos is this simple and beloved version with no other additions. But one can also find some variations using phyllo dough as a base.
Also it is very common to use a base made from crushed biscuits, melted butter and a pinch of cinnamon, like this no bake cheesecake. So feel free to experiment!
Making ahead of time and storing
You can make this Greek honey cake cake ahead of time by carrying out the first steps and then stopping before cooking. Then simply cook when you are ready to serve and add the topping.
Keep any unused portions in the fridge due to the ricotta cheese and use them within 2-3 days.
The cake can be served on its own or you can top it with some vanilla ice cream. Whipped cream would also work if you want to offset the sweetness of the honey a little. And of course, some crushed walnuts on top will give that extra crunchiness you may look for!
More recipes to try
If you love Greek honey, the below recipes are made for you! Enjoy!
- Baklava Cheesecake
- Greek Yogurt with Honey and Walnuts
- Traditional Baklava with honey and walnuts
- Loukoumades (Greek Honey puffs)
- Greek Christmas Pastry with honey (diples)
- Tiganites (Greek Style pancakes with Honey and walnuts)
- Melomakarona (Greek Christmas Honey cookies)
Greek Honey cake (Melopita Sifnou)
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 60 min
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield: 8-10 pieces 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Greek
If you are looking for a sweet treat with only 15′ prep time, then this Greek Honey Cake (Melopita Sifnos) is a simple and delicious cake to make that will satisfy your craving!
- olive oil
- 660g ricotta (1 lb, 7 1/4 oz), at room temperature
- 100ml runny honey (5 1/2 tbsp), plus extra for drizzling
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- zest 1/2 lemon
- ground cinnamon
- Pre-heat the oven to 160C (320F). Grease a round loose bottomed 18cm (7 inch) cake tin with a little olive oil before lining both the bottom and the sides with baking parchment.
- In a large bowl, use a wooden spoon or a whisk to beat the ricotta until smooth. Beat in the honey, followed by the eggs, one by one, the cornflour, the vanilla, and the lemon zest.
- Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin, smoothing the top with the back of your spoon.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the middle is set not jiggly, and it has started to colour around the sides.
- Leave to cool in the tin before transferring to a plate and drizzling with just enough honey to cover the top, and sprinkling with a generous amount of cinnamon. Enjoy!