Happy Christmas Eve! At midnight, I’ll be looking up at the full moon waiting to see Santa and his sleigh cross the sky! But for now, I need to arrange the last of my pastry and cookie platters for my family gathering. The pastries that require syrup I typically prepare last—baklava, melomakarona and revani. By the time they’ll be consumed, the sugary liquid will have fully absorbed into the pastry, yet still taste freshly made.

There are other pastries drenched in delicious syrup—ones I’ll share with you on another occasion—Karithopita, a cinnamon walnut cake. And Galaktoboureko, a semolina pastry cream, layered between fluffy phyllo dough. But today, if you are looking to make a quick dessert, nothing could be easier than a pan of revani.

If you are celebrating Christmas, I wish you a joyous and peaceful one. If you’ve already celebrated your holiday, I hope you had a very Happy Hanukkah. And for those celebrating other holidays this season, I hope the message of your holidays bring happiness to your lives.



1 1/3 cups flour

1 cup farina or semolina

8 eggs

¾ cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla

Zest of 1 orange


Preheat oven to 350°

Combine flour, farina, baking powder and salt. Beat sugar and eggs with a mixer. Mix in vanilla and orange zest. Slowly add the farina mixture and mix through. Pour batter in a buttered 11x 14-inch baking pan and bake 35 minutes.The cake should take on a light golden color. While the cake is baking, prepare the syrup.


4 cups water

3 cups sugar

1 cinnamon stick

1-2 slices of orange rind

Juice from ½ orange.

Add all ingredients into a pot. Boil for 10 minutes and simmer for another 10 minutes.

The juice from the orange is optional.  I decided to put the orange juice in the syrup so not to waste the orange I took the zest from. The cake had a more intense orange flavor than usual. If you only wish to have only a hint of orange flavor, omit the juice and use only the rind.

After the cake has cooled a bit, cut it into serving size squares or diamonds.  Pour the warm syrup over the cake and let it absorb the syrup before serving.





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