Sweet Treats with a Greek Twist for Mother’s Day

May 3, 2020
By Eleni Sakellis

With Mother’s Day on May 10 this year, celebrate mom by making some delicious desserts at home. Classic Greek desserts often feature some combination of honey, nuts, and cinnamon. Try the following recipes for some 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

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 syrup or 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. Put 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 together 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 the any of the topping left in the pan over the rolls. Serve warm. Makes 12.


As the holiday season kicks into high gear, try the following appetizers for your next festive get-together.

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