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Portokalopita recipe (Greek orange phyllo cake)

If you’re looking for a delicious, super easy and extremely aromatic Greek dessert, look no further than portokalopita, also known as Greek orange phyllo cake. This portokalopita recipe is bonkers good!

There is a thing about Greek summer that one cannot easily describe, especially if they haven’t experienced it themselves. It’s much more than a stop from the daily routine, while it certainly entails so much more than laying on some Greek island sandy beach from dusk till dawn. A great deal is about food (you knew I was going to say that, right?!)

I guess I let myself get too excited with homespun cooking, delicious Greek mama food, feasts with family, fishing with friends and eating all these glorious meals; as a result, this blog post probably lost its way. Nevertheless, now that summer vacation is over, I had this idea of sharing one of my absolutely favorite Greek desserts. Portokalopita!

Portokalopita is a Greek orange phyllo cake and mega hit during the summer when you serve it with a scoop of ice cream. It’s crispy, syrupy, orange-y, and finger-licking good. Consequently, this portokalopita recipe has density you can’t beat. Deep-golden crust on top, custardy, with a thick texture this sweet citrusy concoction is bonkers good. Seriously, guys, you need to try this asap. I’ve also made a video about my portokalopita recipe. It’s currently in Greek but I’m working on subtitles right now. Check it out below!

Last but not least, let me thank the lovely folks at Pappas Post for sharing this recipe the previous days. Greg, you are the best!

Print recipe

Greek Portokalopita (Syrupy Orange Cake)

Portokalopita, also known as Greek orange phyllo cake, is a delicious, super easy and extremely aromatic Greek dessert.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Greek
Keyword Portokalopita
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 280kcal
Author wwwmygreeksalad

Ingredients

  • 500 g. 16 oz phyllo sheets
  • 4 big eggs preferably organic
  • 200 g./ 1 cup sugar
  • 2 oranges zest
  • 300 g. / 1 ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 200 ml / 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. sunflower oil

For the syrup:

  • 200 g. 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cup lukewarm water
  • 2 oranges juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180oC / gas 4 / 350oF.
  • Remove the phyllo sheets from package and shred into ½ inch pieces, using a knife or your hands.
  • Grease a round baking dish or cake tin with sunflower oil.
  • Combine the eggs with the sugar in a large bowl. Beat with a hand mixer until pale and frothy. Add the orange zest, Greek yogurt, vanilla extract and baking powder. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Slowly add the sunflower oil and beat again. Stir in the phyllo sheets gradually whisking each time with a spatula, until fully incorporated.
  • Pour mixture into prepared dish and bake for 1 hour.
  • In a saucepan, bring sugar, water, orange juice and cinnamon stick to a boil over medium heat, for 2 minutes; remove from heat. Pour the hot syrup over the cold portokalopita or vice versa. Set aside for 1 hour until the syrup has soaked in. Slice and serve.

What do you think about my portokalopita recipe? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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    1. wwwmygreeksalad says:

      Hello Maria! I used a 10 x 2.5 inch (25 x 6 cm) baking dish. You could use a round or rectangular one. Happy baking!

    1. wwwmygreeksalad says:

      Hi Valentina, it’s approximately 354 ml water. For this recipe, I would go with a 32 cm / 13 in round pan.

    1. wwwmygreeksalad says:

      It depends on how you add it to the batter. If you dry out the phyllo sheets, the portokalopita will be a bit more crunchy. I use them as they are for the sake of saving time, and the result is a rich, moist and dense portokalopita. It’s really up to your personal taste how to use the phyllo!

    1. wwwmygreeksalad says:

      Hi Melina. I’ve been making this portokalopita for ages and I haven’t tried cutting down on any of the ingredients. However, I recently read a piece on reducing sugar in baking and it basically suggested cutting down about 10%-30% in recipes that do not require sugar for chemical reasons. It seems that you could decrease the quantity, but I’m not sure about the taste or actual baking success. Maybe you could try it and let us know how it went!

  1. Karen Aamodt says:

    Hello,

    This is one of my favorite recipes and I am auditioning recipes to arrive at The Perfect One. Do you use the “regular” thin phyllo or the thicker “country” sheets?

    Thank you, Karen

    1. wwwmygreeksalad says:

      Hi Karen. I’d go with regular phyllo sheets. I’m not sure about the final result with thicker phyllo, but you could try it and let us know how it turned out!

    2. Janet Mallinson says:

      5 stars
      Hi I made the portokalopita and it was delicious, just if not better than the one I had this year from a bakery in Crete. 10/10 easy to make, easy to follow. Made it for a friend’s birthday who we went to Crete with and he was very impressed as we all were. Thank you for sharing, a family favourite from now on.

      1. wwwmygreeksalad says:

        Janet thank you so much for your kind words. This portokalopita recipe is my favourite because it is very easy to make and absolutely delicious for the whole family! Stay tuned as more recipes are coming up soon.

  2. Kathryn Hughes says:

    Would it be possible to bake the cake and freeze, without the syrup? I would like to later thaw the cake and add the hot syrup. Any thoughts?

  3. Dana says:

    Hi! So I made it yesterday the flavor was great but it came out very dense
    , do you have any idea what went wrong? How can I recreate the airy texture I’ve tasted in Greece? Maybe drying the Philo?

  4. Marsha says:

    My package of phyllo is two individual packets totaling 16 oz. which the recipe calls for, but in the video it looks like you only use one. I am awaiting the outcome now.

  5. Vivien says:

    Can I make this in advance? For example.. the night before I am entertaining (for lunch the next day).. and would I store in the fridge or room temp?

  6. Gina says:

    5 stars
    Made this cake today, beautiful just a little too sweet for me, do I reduce the amount of sugar in cake mix or syrup? Also what size cake tin do you recommend?

    Thank you!

  7. Mia says:

    5 stars
    Hi Tasso, I am in the states, can I use regular sugar or it has to be caster? Also do you recommend sunflower over corn oil? And the best portokalopita I had was in Santorini. Do you think it’s better to let the phyllo dry? For the best taste? Thanks so much in advance

  8. Stephen Solar says:

    I’m planning to make this recipe this weekend for my sister but I’ve read some variations that say you should add ‘cooled’ syrup to a warm cake, not hot syrup. Does it make much difference?
    And does it improve by leaving it for a day before eating it? (assuming you have the willpower to leave it that long)

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