Delicious Desserts Featuring Greek Flavors

Classic Greek desserts often feature some combination of honey, nuts, and cinnamon, but many of those desserts have a great many steps to get through before you can enjoy the results. Try the following recipes for some relatively easy-to-make sweet treats with a Greek twist.

Orange Walnut Cake

3 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Greek sea salt
1 1/3 cups orange juice
1/2 cup citrus liqueur such as KumQuat from Kerkyra or Kitron from Naxos
3/4 cup Greek extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts for topping (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the orange juice, liqueur, and oil, and add to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Fold in the chopped walnuts. Transfer the batter to a lightly oiled 13 by 9-inch baking pan or a Bundt cake pan and sprinkle with additional finely chopped walnuts, if using. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour or until a cake tester or skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack before removing the cake from the Bundt pan. Cool completely before serving.

Greek Nutty Sticky Cinnamon Rolls

Greek Nutty Sticky Cinnamon Rolls. Photo: Stacy, via Wikimedia Commons

1/2 cup Greek honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon water
1/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Greek sea salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a small saucepan, combine the honey, brown sugar, the 2 tablespoons butter, and the water. Cook and stir over low heat until the butter melts, do not boil. Spread onto the bottom of a nine by nine by two-inch baking pan. Sprinkle nuts over the syrup mixture.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the 1/3 cup butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and add the milk all at once. Stir until the dough just clings together.
On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough gently for 15-20 strokes. Roll dough into a 12 by 10-inch rectangle. Combine the 1/4 cup sugar with the cinnamon, sprinkle over the dough. Roll up from one of the long sides. Slice into 1-inch pieces and place cut side down on top of the nuts in the baking pan.
Bake in a 425-degree F oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the rolls and invert onto a serving plate. Spoon any of the topping left in the pan over the rolls. Serve warm. Makes 12.


LESVOS – The 2nd International ELIA Lesvos Confest (an olive conference and festival) took place at the Vrana Olive Press Museum on the island of Lesvos in Greece May 23-26.

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