Fanouropita the Greek Lenten cake with the revealing powers (more on this below) is a very aromatic one, with flavors of orange, wine, spices, olive oil, walnuts, and raisins. With a soft and crumbly texture, it's the perfect cake to enjoy with your cup of coffee.
Fanouropita is St Fanourios cake. Every year on the 27th of August we celebrate St Fanourios or St Phanourios. And right on the day before this cake is made.
It is said that if you want something revealed to you, be it a lost item, a new job you're looking for, or even a husband you should make this cake.
Traditionally this cake has to go to church for a blessing first before being cut into 7 or 9 pieces and served.
Today most skip the church part but do make this delicious cake. Because whether it reveals something to you or not it's surely a great cake to enjoy. And one that doesn't require any effort to make.
Fanouropita cake or Phanouropita, is made without any dairy products such as milk, butter, or eggs. This flavorful cake is made with healthy olive oil instead. Which gives it an earthy nutty flavor.
Apart from this, the other ingredients you will need to make this cake are sugar, orange juice and zest, sweet or semisweet red wine (some use brandy instead, but wine for me goes best with this cake), ground cinnamon and nutmeg, raisins, and ground walnuts, plus baking soda and self-raising flour.
The last two ingredients are used in combination to help leaven the cake properly and make it airy. Because it's a cake that is made with olive oil (which is a fat that weighs the dough down and makes it a bit "heavy") and it's without any eggs.
Therefore, the combination of two strong leavening agents, baking soda and self-raising flour helps the cake to become very soft and airy. And all that without having to use your mixer!
Easy No Mixer Cake
Fanouropita recipe is perhaps one of the easiest cake recipes. It's a mix-everything-in-a-bowl and-bake cake. Super speedy, super easy!
Just grab a whisk and mix the sugar with the wet ingredients and spices until the sugar dissolves. Then add the baking soda which will turn the mixture foamy (as it will get activated by the acidity of the wine and orange juice). And finally, finish by mixing in the self-raising flour, raisins, and ground walnuts.
Decorating The Top
There are basically two ways to serve Fanouropita. Most people simply dust it with icing sugar while others prefer it with sesame seeds on top. To add the sesame seeds you need to sprinkle on the cake before baking it.
Many people like to use icing sugar to make all kinds of beautiful shapes on the cake. Like placing a doily, dusting it with icing sugar, and then removing the doily to reveal a beautifully decorated cake.
Since Fanouropita cake does not contain any dairy it can keep out of the fridge without spoiling for up to a week. It may keep for longer but the flavor will start to degrade.
To store it at room temperature place it in an airtight food container or cookie tin.
Fanouropita - St Fanourios Cake
- 180 grams (¾ cup + 1 tbsp) olive oil or half olive oil and half vegetable oil such as corn or sunflower
- 200 grams (1 cup) sugar
- 100 ml sweet red wine
- 450 grams (15.8 ounce) fresh orange juice
- 1 orange zested
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅓ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 500 grams (4 cups + 2 tablespoons) self-raising flour
- 100 grams (3.5 ounce) raisins
- 120 grams (4.3 ounce) walnuts
- icing sugar to serve with
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C.
- Add walnuts to a food processor and pulse until finely ground but not powdered. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl add the olive oil, sugar, orange zest and juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and red wine. Whisk until sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens slightly.
- Add the baking soda and whisk to dissolve.
- Gradually whisk in the flour. And finally, stir in the walnuts and raisins.
- Transfer to a 10-inch Springform pan (26 cm) and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Place the cake pan on a cooling rack and allow to cool down to room temperature. Then remove the ring, dust with icing sugar, cut and serve.
- You may keep this cake in an airtight food container for up to a week at room temperature.