I've been having fun with olive oil cakes, including Italian Apple Olive Oil Cake and this Orange Ricotta Cake. But my very favorite currently is this Greek orange honey cake!

This light, flavor-packed honey cake skips all the fuss. And it's the simple cake that will feed a crowd.

Pan of Greek Orange Honey Cake cut into slices

In search for easy desserts that aren't laden with butter or frosting, I happened upon a slightly different version of today's honey cake in Jamie Oliver's book Food Escapes. An inspiration from the island of Aegina, where pistachios and honey from local beekeepers are aplenty! I was immediately hooked! To be honest, I was ready to try this cake the instant I saw that it involved pistachios. (Whether in a plum cake or baklava, I'll take any excuse to use pistachios!)

This Yiayia-approved honey cake can easily feed a crowd (12 to 15 or so). And it's the kind of simple dessert where you dump all the ingredients in one single bowl and mix! But, there is more...

Entire Honey Cake in large pan. Topped with pistachios and slivered almonds

Why this Honey Cake Works

There is a lot to love about this honey cake. Top of the list, it's insanely DELICIOUS and very easy to make! But here are a few more things bakers and non-bakers alike will appreciate:

1. The combination of flours, all-purpose flour with coarse semolina (farina), gives it such interesting texture.

2. Greek yogurt here lends a great light and fluffy texture. Plus, its slightly tangy flavor balances so well with crave-worthy citrus from the generous amounts of orange and lemon zest.

3. The honey-pistachio SYRUP is king in this recipe! Admittedly, Jamie's original recipe called for less syrup; I found that more of it was need for such a large cake. It lent flavor, and made for a perfectly "sticky" cake.

Close-up of slices of Greek Honey Orange Cake garnished with pistachios and almonds.

4. Finally, as always, if you're going to make an olive oil cake, use the best olive oil you can. Shameless plug...I highly recommend our Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil. Learn more here.

Pro Tip

For maximum flavor, drizzle the hot syrup--made of honey, fresh orange juice, lemon juice, and pistachios--on the cooled cake. If you have the time, I highly recommend that you let the cake sit a few hours before serving (it's even better the next day when all the flavors and moisture have settled!)

Watch how to make this honey cake:


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Greek Orange Honey Cake | The Mediterranean Dish. This super simple Greek cake is made with olive oil and Greek yogurt, and perfectly flavored with lots of citrus. Topped with toasted pistachios and a luscious honey syrup. A foolproof honey cake that can feed a crowd! See it on TheMediterraneanDish.com #cake #oliveoilcake #mediterraneandiet #easterdinnerideas #easterdinner #dessertrecipes #chirstmasrecipes #christmasdinnerideas #easterrecipes

Greek Orange Honey Cake with Pistachios


This light, flavor-packed honey cake skips all the fuss. And it's the simple cake that will feed a crowd.



For Cake

  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt (I used fat-free plain Greek yogurt)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 tbsp ground almonds (do this in a small food processor)
  • zest of 1 Meyer lemon
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup coarse semolina (OR farina, Cream of Wheat, or this Creamy Wheat Cereal)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil
  • Handful shaved almonds for topping, optional

For Honey Pistachio Syrup

  • 1 1 /4 cup shelled salted pistachios
  • 1 ¼ cup quality runny honey
  • juice of 2 oranges
  • juice of 1 lemon


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan with butter and dust with flour (shake the pan a little to get an even coating of flour).
  3. Make the cake batter. Place all the cake ingredients (except the shaved almonds) in a large mixing bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon or a whisk to combine.
  4.  Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly with a spatula.
  5. Bake in heated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden and well cooked-through. To be sure, insert a wooden skewer into the center of the cake, it should come out clean if the cake is done.
  6. Remove from the oven and let the cake completely cool in the pan.
  7. Once the cake has cooled, prepare the honey syrup. Toast the pistachio in a dry non-stick pan over low to medium heat (pan needs to be large enough for the remaining syrup ingredients). Once they start to smell, stir in the honey. Add the orange juice and lemon juice. Bring to a boil for 1 to 2 minutes, or until nice and syrupy. (Do NOT taste the hot syrup, it will burn your mouth)
  8. Stab the cake all over with a small knife or a skewer to create holes. Pour the honey pistachio syrup all over the cake as evenly as possible. If you need to, use a spoon to distribute the pistachios across the top of the cake. Sprinkle shaved almonds, if using.
  9. You can cut the cake into 12 to 15 squares and serve at this point (see notes for best results.)


  • Note: The syrup needs to be hot when you pour it on the cooled cake, the cake will better absorb it. Also, for best results, allow the cake to sit for a few hours before cutting and serving. It is even better the next day when the flavors and the moisture have settled in.
  • Adapted from Jamie Oliver's Food Escapes
  • Recommended for this recipe: Our Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil. Also see our Greek olive oil bundle! 
  • Visit our store to browse our spices, olive oils and bundles!
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Greek

Keywords: Orange Honey Cake, Honey Cake, Greek Cake, Orange Cake, Pistachios

Mediterranean Dish spices and olive oils

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More Recipes to Try

Greek-Style Baklava

Greek Pastitsio (Bechamel Pasta Casserole)

Greek Green Beans

Loaded Mediterranean Omelette

Mediterranean Bean and Broccoli Pasta 

One-Skillet Garlic Dijon Chicken


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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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  1. 5 stars
    Hello, your cake look very good. May i have more détails about the olive oil.
    13/16 cups seems enormous.
    How much olive oil in ml may we used please.
    Thank you very much

  2. Just made it and really fantastic... only thing it was a little too sweet for my taste. Wondering if I could use honey in the cake instead of refined sugar?

    1. Hi, Angie! I think that could work! Another reader had success using 1 cup of honey in place of the 2 cups of sugar with success, so I think it's definitely worth a try!

  3. I have to make a dairy free cake for Rosh Hashanah. Is there a substitute to make it dairy free? This cooks delicious!
    Thank you

    1. Hi, Pam. You can try substituting the dairy yogurt with a plant-based alternative to make it dairy free. I believe brands like Silk and So Delicious carry those types of alternatives. It's not something we've tested with this recipe, though, so just keep that in mind. If you give it a try, we'd love to hear how it worked out for you!

  4. An older post someone commented they substituted gf flour blend and turned out great. Has anyone tried a gf version, and if so, what flour did you use ? Thank you.

  5. Hi! Just made for my sister’s birthday this weekend. We are letting it sit overnight before we try it. Should we let it sit out on the counter, or cover it at all, or keep it in the fridge overnight? Thanks!

  6. Hi,

    Can the cake be frozen and then thawed before adding the honey syrup and nuts. I'm looking to make ahead for a party.


    1. Hi, Vicki. Interesting question! We haven't tried that before, but I just reviewed the recipe again, and I think it would work.