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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Karidopeta (Walnut Cake)

Every September is the start of a new season for the Los Angeles Opera and I am always happy to be back at work with my wonderful friends and colleagues. This is one of the reasons I have been unable to blog more often lately, but I will keep posting things as time allows.

We work hard preparing and rehearsing the music before each production opens and have fun afterwards. From time to time people will bring something special to share during our breaks and one of my favorites to bring is this walnut cake. It is a moist cake that has been soaked with a honey syrup and is spiced with orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.

Did I mention that I LOVE my job?!!

The ingredients:

Honey Syrup:

1 cup water
1 cup honey
3/4 cup sugar
2 cinnamon sticks or 1 tsp. cinnamon
2 or 3 whole cloves
1 slice orange
1/4 cup orange liquor

Cake batter:

1 cup sugar
1/2 lbs. softened unsalted butter (2 sticks)
6 eggs
1 cup farina (cream of wheat)
1 cup flour
1 lb walnuts
2 to 3 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmug and clove
1/2 tsp sea salt
The zest from one orange - Use a fine zest.


Into a small pot goes the water, sugar, honey, cinnamon sticks, cloves and orange slice. Bring to a boil and let simmer about five minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool as you prepare the cake.

Preheat oven to 350. Fahrenheit!

Now for the batter.

First mix all your dry ingredients together - farina, flour, baking powder, and spices. Set aside.

In a large mixer begin creaming the sugar and butter together.

<----Until it looks like this. You are ready to add your eggs.

I always like cracking my eggs into bowl first to make sure there is nothing amiss with them.

Add them one by one into the mixer until well blended.

Zest entire orange into the wet mixture.

If you have large pieces of walnuts just whirl them in a food processor until they are fine.

Put your dry ingredients into the mixer, half of it - mix well, then the rest. Fold in the walnuts. Incorporate all the ingredients well. Put into a 9 by 13 greased pan (that's inches.)

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the cake springs back.

Take out of the oven and pour the honey syrup over the cake. It will absorb the liquid and make this a very luscious treat.

Cut into diamonds or squares and serve. Enjoy!!


  1. When you say, "one orange finely grated" do you mean to add the orange or just the zest? Also I assume you add the orange liquor to the syrup?

    1. Use the zest from 1 orange. I usually grate it into the batter. You can also squeeze some of the juice from the orange if you like.

  2. Use the zest from one orange into the batter. I will edit the recipe so it is clear. Thank you for your question!

  3. Looks delicious! I very much apprecite the photos. I will make this between now & Easter. Thank you for sharing this recipe!!