Olive Oil Cake AKA Fanouropita


On the 27th of August, the Greeks celebrate Saint Fanourios’ day. Just a little bit before, on the 26th, a huge baking-sharing-tasting feast begins: people make and bake their own Fanouropita (Saint Fanourios’ cake), bring it to church and share it with numerous others who have done the same.

Saint Fanourios is known as the protector and finder of lost things, like items, forgotten keys and jewellery, solutions to problems, or, your long gone patience.

The legend has it, that if you ask from Saint Fanourios to reveal you your lost something (and he does), you have to thank him via his favourite Olive oil cake.

The recipe is simple yet gorgeous, including good fat from the olive oil, a balanced sugar sweetness, a crunch from the nuts, and a fall-ish essence from the cinnamon, making it a perfect match for your morning cup of coffee, or a great party for a big dollop of vanilla ice cream.


Ingredients: (for a large sheet pan)

  • 1 + 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of Vendema Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cups of rising flour
  • 1+1/2 cup orange juice
  • Zest from 2 oranges
  • 1 tb cinnamon
  • 2 tb cognac/rum/bourbon
  • 1 cup of raisins, soaked in some water and drained
  • 1 cup of walnuts, smashed

Do the magic:

In a large bowl, mix all your liquids: the Vendema Extra Virgin Olive Oil, the orange juice and the zest, the cinnamon, the alcohol of your choice as well as the sugar. Mix thoroughly, until the sugar gets dissolved.

After that, just add in the flour, the raisins and the smashed walnuts.

Mix until you get a thick batter, and transfer to your oiled sheet pan. Lay the mix evenly, and bake at 170 C for an hour.

You could stop here, or, if your sweet tooth is calling, you could serve your cake topped up with some caster sugar.