Fanouropita is a traditional Greek Orthodox Christian cake or pita, that we lovingly refer to as a lost and found cake. It is made in honor of Saint Fanourios, the patron saint of lost objects.
My bestie called me over recently and asked if I would help her with this task, since this is my area of expertise. So obviously, I had to oblige! I am usually cooking on my own in my kitchen, but it was so much fun to share that love and energy with her and her beautiful children, and make some kitchen memories together.
A few things to know about this cake, as it is made in honor of a saint. The cake is meant to be shared. Enjoy it with your family, share a slice with your neighbor and your friends.
This is a vegan cake, as there are no eggs or butter in it. I made a traditional recipe using wheat flour, so I have not experimented with this in a gluten free or low carb version, as I do with other cakes.
In this recipe there have to be either 7, 9 or 11 ingredients. His saints day is celebrated on August 27, however, you can bake this any time of the year.
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 cups of orange juice (4 medium oranges)
Zest of 1 orange
1 cup olive oil
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup of raisins
1/3 cup cognac/brandy
1 cup sugar + 1 tsp to garnish
In a small bowl, soak the raisins in the brandy. Finely chop the walnuts and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and clove.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the olive oil and sugar. Beat them till the sugar has been absorbed and has begun to dissolve in the oil. Add in the orange juice and orange zest. Beat again.
Little by little, add in the dry ingredients from the medium bowl. Beat all of that until combined. Add in the walnuts, the soaked raisins and the brandy, and thoroughly mix.
Using a little olive oil, grease a springform pan, and dust it with a little flour. This will assist in a better rise of the fanouropita, so that you don’t get a dome in the center.
Bake at 350 F for 50 minutes or until you can pierce it with a toothpick and it comes out dry.
Allow it to cool for 15 minutes and remove from the pan. Dust it with a little bit of powdered sugar. I did not have any powdered sugar, so I put a tsp of granulated sugar in a spice grinder and turned that into powder. It wasn’t super fine, but rather a slightly sandy texture that suited this rustic cake. I think I prefer it that way for this!
Serve when room temperature, if you can wait that long! The boys kept checking in to see when the cake was ready because the house smelled divine!
(And if you want to know, she found the object the next day. You can make your own judgement call.)