Greek Walnut Cake (Karidopita)

Karidopita is a moist Greek cake spiced with cinnamon and made with walnuts, rusk crumbs and a sweet Grand Marnier syrup.
Greek Walnut Cake (Karidopita)

Greek Walnut Cake (Karidopita)

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

My recipe of the day is for a Greek Walnut Cake (also called Karidopita)  which I am   posting along with  other blogging friends for #LetsGoNuts in which  we are sharing a few of  our favorite recipes utilizing nuts of all kinds for National Nut Day.

I’d first had a slice of karidopita a few years ago down at the Findlay market in Cincinnati. We’d  been shopping for produce as we usually do and stopped to grab a gyro at the greek stand there. She also has a case with a few typical desserts such as baklava, galataboureko, etc. And on that day she had walnut cake,  so I snagged a slice.

It was wonderful! It has a slightly different texture from  other cakes, not being made with flour per se. And the taste with the  syrup is sort of  similar to baklava, minus the phyllo. Definitely a legendary kind of cake.

In  fact, this reminds me of the kind of thing I try to find inspiration  for each  holiday season.  You know. Something different but over-the-top  good, to  spruce up the dessert table next to the pumpkin  pie.

This is loaded with booze- but it doesn’t really taste boozy,  if you know what I mean. I just want to point that out because some people on certain medications or those with small children might not want to serve this. But for others,  it’s great. And perfectly spectacular for holiday  fare.

Greek Walnut Cake (Karidopita)

Let’s Go Nuts!

Blogging Friends are sharing favorite recipes they are simply nuts about!

For National Nut Day

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Greek Walnut Cake (Karidopita)

Greek Walnut Cake (Karidopita)

This  cake  is made with rusks and also walnuts, which I  pulse in the food processor into  fine meal (neither coarse nor flour-like) to replace the usual flour  you use in a cake. This gives it  a great texture that  reminds of the nuts in baklava (and of course some  of that IS the nuts!)

Rusks are sweet  biscuits similar to a  sweet  melba  toast or plain vanilla biscotti that are often used  internationally. You can generally find these in Middle Eastern  or Indian grocery  stores near the packaged cookies. Rusks can also be found online. And are significantly cheaper if you can source them  locally.  You will  find them called both tea rusks and cake  rusks, depending on the brand and country I think.

It is possible to use graham crumbs as they say online,  but I don’t know about that as it  is going to change the flavor. “They”  also say French bread crumbs–but you know the rusks are sweet. And French bread is not. They are in  flavor most like vanilla biscotti but I wouldn’t recommend that outright either because I am not sure how the crumb will stand up to the syrup. So if you can,  stick to the rusks, and if you can’t, don’t blame me if it doesn’t work. Just being honest here. Buy them from Amazon or look up the market nearby.

There “are” other recipes out there  in internet world that I have seen that use flour, but you  can’t really expect that to be the same cake. It might be “A” cake, just not this one.

Greek Walnut Cake (Karidopita)

Sue Lau
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Greek
Servings 16


Cake Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 7 large eggs separated
  • 1/3 cup Grand Marnier liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces tea rusks
  • 16 ounces toasted walnuts divided (13 oz for cake, 3 oz for topping)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Orange Syrup ingredients:

  • 2-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soft butter
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Grand Marnier liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with parchment paper and grease with butter.
  • Cream butter and sugar in a mixer using a paddle attachment.
  • Separate eggs and add yolks to the mixer bowl one at a time letting each incorporate before adding another.
  • Set egg whites aside.
  • Add Grand Marnier and vanilla to the mixer bowl and blend.
  • Pulse rusks in a food processor into fine crumbs.
  • Pulse walnuts in a food processor into walnut meal.
  • Stir 13 ounces of the walnuts (set the other 3 ounces aside) and rusk crumbs together with the baking powder and spices, and add to the mixer bowl.
  • In a separate clean and dry mixer bowl, use the whip attachment to beat the egg whites into soft peaks.
  • Gently fold the egg whites into the mixture, but do not whisk or overmix. Gently.
  • Spread batter into the parchment lined baking pan.
  • Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
  • While cake bakes, heat the sugar, butter, orange juice and water for the syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and Grand Marnier.
  • While cake is warm, dock all over the top with a toothpick.
  • Ladle some of the syrup over the top then top with the remaining three ounces of walnuts.
  • Finish ladling the remaining syrup over the top, allowing it to seep in before adding too much.
  • Let cake cool completely before slicing and serving.


From the kitchen of
Keyword Karidopita, Walnuts
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Greek Walnut Cake (Karidopita)

Greek Walnut Cake (Karidopita)

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4 responses

  1. This cake sounds delicious. I love trying new, unusual recipes. I wonder if other types of nuts would work. I love walnuts but I have lots of pecans still LOL

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