Coconut & Semolina Cake with Citrus Syrup

A simple revani cake is made all over Greece with a few variations. It is really lovely with a mix of semolina and coconut and drenched with syrup, making for a moist cake that is great served with Greek yogurt.

Mediterranean Summer Table


100 g/1⅓ cups grated dessicated/dried coconut

5 eggs, separated

220 g/generous 1 cup caster/superfine sugar

300 g/10½ oz. coarse semolina

180 ml/¾ cup hot water

260 g/9½ oz. Greek-style yogurt, plus extra to serve

Finely grated zest of ½ lemon

Finely grated zest of ½ orange

80 g/¾ stick butter, melted, plus extra for greasing

Plain/all-purpose flour, for dusting (substitute with semolina for a flourless version)


300 g/1½ cups caster/superfine sugar

Juice and thinly peeled rind of 1 lemon and 1 orange

23-cm/9-in. square cake pan



Preheat the oven to 140°C fan/160°C/325°F/gas 3. Butter and flour the cake pan and line with non-stick baking paper.

Scatter the coconut on a baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for 5–10 minutes until golden. Set aside until needed.

Beat the egg yolks and half the sugar in an electric mixer for about 5 minutes until pale. Combine the semolina and hot water in a bowl, stir through the yogurt and lemon and orange zests and add to the yolk mixture. Beat to combine, then leave to rest for 5–10 minutes, before stirring through the melted butter.

Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of the sugar in an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Whisking continuously, gradually add the remaining sugar and whisk until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Fold this into the semolina mixture until combined.

Pour into the prepared cake pan, smooth the top and bake in the preheated oven for 45–60 minutes until golden and the centre springs back when lightly touched. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a platter and pierce all over with a skewer.

Meanwhile, make the citrus syrup. Bring the sugar, lemon and orange juices and peel and 175 ml/¾ cup water to the boil in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Ladle the syrup over the cake and leave to stand for 10–15 minutes until the syrup is absorbed. Scatter over the roasted coconut and serve with extra yogurt.


This recipe is from Mediterranean Summer Table by Kathy Kordalis. To get more great blog posts like this one - direct to your inbox – be sure to sign up to our mailing list here.