Lenten Cake

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It’s good to see so many clicking and looking for Lent-friendly dishes – just a few days ago this site experienced the largest spike it traffic EVER. Thank you! A quick look at the links to all of my Lent-friendly dishes and you’ll see that the sweet side of Lent is a little lean – few recipes and my goal this year is to pad that part of the list.

This recipe come from my mom’s good friend Helen who was kind enough to send a piece of cake for me to try and I almost immediately contacted her and asked for the recipe.  The concern with many egg-free cakes is that the cake may be dense, that horrid taste of baking soda is unmistakable and perhaps the cake is dry. This Lenten Cake defies all those prejudices with the use of olive oil for moistness, ground almonds giving some lift and neutralizing any baking soda after taste and the amount of sugar in here is moderate with dried fruits rounding out the sweet aspect.

There’s ground cinnamon and clove, chopped nuts, toasted sesame seeds and dried fruit for texture, lots of orange and lemon zest to brighten the flavours and best of all…it’s easy to whip up. Gather the ingredients, prepare them and mix the batter while your oven is pre-heating.

Lenten Cake

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup ground almonds

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

zest of two oranges

zest of 1 lemon

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries

1/4 cup chopped dried cherries

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds

1 cup of warm olive oil

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups orange juice

1 tsp. baking soda

1 demi-tasse/shot of Ouzo (or brandy)

splash of rose water

Pre-heated 350F oven

  1. Add your flour, ground almonds, zest and spices in a large bowl and mix well. Add the baking soda to your orange juice and reserve.
  2. Now add the sugar to your warm oil and stir then add into your dry ingredients along with your orange juice, Ouzo and rosewater. Quickly mix then add your chopped walnuts, dried fruits and sesame seeds and mix well.
  3. Grease the inside of a Bundt pan and dust with flour then empty your cake batter into the pan and place in your pre-heated oven for 45 minutes (insert toothpick to check if cake is baked).
  4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes then carefully turn-out on a cooling rack. Once the cake is cooled transfer to a platter and dust top with icing sugar.


© 2012 – 2016,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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10 Comments for “Lenten Cake”

Mary Dailey


I will be printing this recipe. I have tons of Greek cookbooks, but this one really looks good. I wish there was a way to pin your recipes on Pinterest. I notice you are on Pinterest, but I would love to put some of our wonderful Greek recipes on there. I think people would love to try them and they won’t be sorry. I am on there under the name Mary Avlos-Dailey.


Hi Mary, Thank you for your comment. Which Greek cookbooks are your fave? As for Pinterest, I am on there and you can pin these recipes on there.



This cake sounds delicious. Since it contains olive oil, is it only to be eaten on Saturdays and Sundays during lent?


Η Σαρακοστή και η νηστεία, έχουν κι αυτές τις νοστιμιές του, όπως το εξαιρετικό κεκάκι σου Peter!
Φιλιά, καλό μήνα, καλή Σαρακοστή!


I love it Peter, I will try it, with the dried cranberries and cherries.. Yum!! Good Luck for Sunday, you are going to rock!!!