Prep. Time: 15′   Baking Time: 45′   Serves 12


  • For the Cake:
  • 6 eggs, separated whites from yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp. vanilla powder
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ cup cognac
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 ½ cup semolina, fine and coarse combined
  • 2 cups walnuts, roughly chopped
  • For the Syrup:
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ orange (unwaxed)
  • ½ lemon (unwaxed)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4-5 whole cloves


For the Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 360°F. Grease a 12-inch round baking pan.
  2. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar in a mixer for 7-8 minutes, until they turn into a white, smooth and shiny cream.
  3. Add the vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and cognac, and combine with the mixer.
  4. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and the salt with a hand-held mixer on medium speed for about 4-5 minutes, until stiff peaks form.
  5. Dissolve the soda in the glass of orange juice, but with care because it bubbles and may spill over.
  6. Add to the egg yolk mixture, using the mixer until incorporated.
  7. Set the mixer at a lower speed.
  8. Put the baking powder in a bowl with the semolina and walnuts.
  9. Gradually add the meringue to the egg yolks and finish with the dry ingredients (semolina and walnut mix).
  10. Fold in gently with a spatula and empty the mixture into the greased baking pan.
  11. Place on the lowest rack of the oven, or the second to last rack if using the convection setting.
  12. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the cake rises and turns golden brown. Check it is ready with a toothpick or the blade of a knife.
  13. Prepare the syrup while the cake is baking; the syrup must be lukewarm when poured over the hot walnut cake.

For the Syrup

  1. Put the sugar, water, and spices into a pot. Squeeze in the orange and lemon juice, and add the lemon cup.
  2. Stir the syrup and bring to a boil, but make sure not to stir it after it begins bubbling because the syrup will crystallize.
  3. Boil for 6-8 minutes on a medium heat.
  4. Stand until lukewarm.
  5. Using a ladle, pour the lukewarm syrup over the cake as soon as you remove it from the oven.
  6. Let the cake cool to room temperature.
  7. Wrap the baking pan in plastic and turn the cake upside down on the kitchen counter.
  8. Leave to rest before serving overnight. This achieves the best possible result and distributes the syrup evenly from top to bottom.
  9. Enjoy!

Source: Argiro Barbarigou