Greek Semolina Cake With Orange Syrup (Revani)

Revani cake with orange syrup

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  • Total: 65 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Servings: 15 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
318 Calories
12g Fat
49g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 15
Amount per serving
Calories 318
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 5g 27%
Cholesterol 63mg 21%
Sodium 247mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 49g 18%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Protein 5g
Calcium 129mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Revani (reh -vah-NEE) (also spelled Ravani) is not difficult to make and is a delightful addition to any sweet table. It is a semolina sponge cake with a touch of lemon and sweetened with a simple syrup flavored with orange zest.

Semolina is durum wheat that is more coarsely ground than regular wheat flours. Therefore, semolina can cause the cake to have somewhat of a coarse texture (especially if you don't use fine semolina, which this recipe calls for). But this flavor combination, as well as the citrus syrup, results in a delicious and moist dessert. You will want to make sure the syrup cools completely before spooning over the warm sponge cake or else the cake will become soggy.

As Revani is popular throughout the eastern Mediterranean countries, you will find slightly different versions depending on the recipe's origin. Check out Turkish Semolina Cake in Syrup for a subtle twist on this simple recipe. 

Ingredients

  • For the Cake:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup fine semolina
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup/1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon (zested)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • For the Syrup:
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 (3-inch) strips orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Optional Toppings:
  • Powdered sugar
  • Ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup blanched and lightly toasted chopped almonds

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Cake

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for revani cake
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  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease the bottom and sides a 9 x 13-inch pan and set aside.

    Grease pan
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  3. Mix the flour, semolina and baking powder in a medium bowl.

    Mix flour
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  4. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter with sugar until light and fluffy. With the mixer running, add egg yolks one by one. Continue mixing until the batter turns a light yellow color. Add vanilla extract and lemon zest.

    Cream butter and sugar
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  5. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three batches alternating with the milk.

    Mix batter
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  6. Clean the beaters well and beat the egg whites in a separate bowl with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form.

    Clean beaters
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  7. Using a spatula, fold the egg whites into the batter until just blended. Don't mix too much or you will "flatten" your egg whites.

    Fold eggs
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  8. Pour the batter into the pan, level with a spatula and bake for 45 minutes or until the cake is a nice golden color.

    Revani cake
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Make the Syrup

  1. Add water, sugar, and orange zest to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and cool.

    Syrup ingredients
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  2. While the cake is still warm, cover it with the syrup. When the cake cools, you can sprinkle with some powdered sugar, cinnamon, and the almonds, if you're using them.

    Cover cake with syrup
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