Portokalopita-Orange Phyllo Cake is a decadent syrupy Greek dessert. It is easy to make with simple ingredients like oranges, phyllo sheets, yogurt, and star anise, making it an irresistible treat.

If you love this Portokalopita-Greek Orange Phyllo Cake, you will also love this Pistachio BaklavaTrigona-Almond Phyllo Pastries or Galaktoboureko-Custard Pie!

A plate with three pieces of greek orange phyllo cake utensils over napkin. A pan with cake at the back.

Why this recipe sings

  • It is delicious. Portokalopita has a bread pudding texture and a delicious, fragrant syrup.
  • It is easy. Portokalopita is an effortless traditional Greek dessert you can whip up in a couple of hours. You will not need any flour; the phyllo sheets do all the work and are very easy to prepare.
A plate with three pieces of greek orange phyllo cake utensils over napkin. A pan with cake at the back.

How to make orange phyllo cake

Preheat oven to 250°F / 120°C.

  1. Make the syrup. Add three cups of water, three cups of sugar, the zest from one orange, and three star anise to a saucepan. Boil for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Syrup ingredients in a pot.

Prepare the phyllo sheets

  1. Prepare the phyllo sheets. Scrunch up the phyllo sheets one by one and place them on a large pan. Use two pans if you have to. Bake them in the oven for about an hour until they are completely dried out and crunchy. Turn them over halfway to make sure they dry out all over. 
Phyllo sheets scrunched up in a baking pan.

Prepare the cake mixture

  1. Prepare the cake mixture. Using a mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, oil, orange juice, and zest from one orange, yogurt, vanilla, and baking powder for about 4-5 minutes.
Ingredients for orange cake in a mixer bowl.
  1. Turn up the oven heat at 350°F / 180°C.
  2. Brush your baking pan with a little vegetable oil.
A baking pan with crumble phyllo pieces inside.
  1. Crumble up the dried phyllo sheets until all are broken up. Add them all in your pan (I used a 9 x9 inch bake pan).
Pouring egg mixture over phyllo pieces in a baking pan.
  1. Pour the filling all over phyllo. Mix well but gently to make sure filling and crumbled phyllo are evenly spread within the pan.
Orange cake ready for the oven to be baked.
  1. Bake for 50 minutes or until it is golden on top.
Syrup poured over a portokalopita.
  1. Remove from the oven and immediately pour the syrup all over the cake.
  2. Let the cake cool completely and soak up the syrup. I usually make this cake the day before I want to serve it. It tastes so much better this way. The extra time allows all the flavors to blend, and the syrup is well absorbed.
  3. Serve as is or with vanilla ice cream.
Tips
A plate with three pieces of greek orange phyllo cake utensils over napkin. A pan with cake at the back.
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A plate with three pieces of greek orange phyllo cake utensils over napkin. A pan with cake at the back.

Portokalopita – Greek Orange Phyllo Cake

by Jenny | The Greek Foodie
Portokalopita – Greek orange phyllo cake is a decadent syrupy Greek dessert. Easy to make with simple ingredients like oranges, phyllo sheets, yogurt and star anise, it is an irresistible treat.
4.91 from 10 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Additional time for phyllo prep 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine Greek
Servings 16 pieces
Calories 396 kcal

Equipment

  • 9 inch square baking pan
  • large baking pan
  • medium sauce pan
  • Mixer (hand mixer or tabletop)

Ingredients
  

  • 1 package phyllo sheets
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup greek yogurt full fat
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 vanilla bean paste
  • 2 oranges juiced and zested (zest divided)

For the syrup

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 star anise
  • zest from one orange

Instructions
 

Make the syrup

  • Add 3 cups of water, 3 cups of sugar, the zest from one orange and 3 star anise in a medium sauce pan. Boil for 15 minutes. Leave aside to cool.
  • Preheat oven at 250 F (120 C).

Prepare the phyllo sheets

  • Scrunch up the phylo sheets one by one and place on a large pan. Bake them in the oven for about an hour until they are completely dried out and crunchy.
    Turn them over halfway to make sure they dry out all over. 

Prepare the mixture

  • Using a mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, oil, orange juice and zest from one orange, yogurt, vanilla bean paste and baking powder for about 4-5 minutes.

Assemble

  • Turn up the oven heat to 350 F (180 C).
  • Brush your baking pan with some vegetable oil
  • Crumble up the dried phyllo sheets until all are broken up. Add them all in your pan (I used a 9 x9 inch bake pan).
  • Pour the filling all over phyllo. Mix well but gently to make sure filling and crumbled phyllo are evenly spread within the pan
  • Bake for 50 minutes until it is a nice orange golden color on top.
  • Remove from oven and immediately pour the syrup all over cake. Let it cool completely and the syrup gets fully absorbed.
  • Serve as is or with vanilla ice cream. Pour all over some leftover syrup if you like .

Notes

 
Nutritional Info – Please remember that the nutritional information provided is only estimated and can vary based on the products used.

Nutrition

Calories: 396kcalCarbohydrates: 62gProtein: 4gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 133mgPotassium: 78mgFiber: 1gSugar: 52gVitamin A: 96IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 44mgIron: 1mg
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Portokalopita-Orange Phyllo Cake

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Recipe Rating




17 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Okay this is a very novel way to use phyllo for me. I always appreciate its crunchiness and thin flakes I wouldn’t have guessed it’s used in this moist cake. Pretty impressed, will not lie.

  2. 5 stars
    This would for sure be a favorite at my house! It looks so moist and flavorful. I think I’m going to warm some up and add a little ice cream!

  3. 5 stars
    My mouth is watering. I have to make this dessert today! I’m sure my husband will love this ,too.

  4. 5 stars
    These portokalopitas look super delicious and I really need to make these for me and my family one day as a treat! I love making these as they are pretty easy and it’s totally worth it in the end! thank you for sharing this recipe.

  5. 5 stars
    I love how simple yet delicious this orange cake looks. That glaze is a killer! I’m sure this would be a hit in the family, it looks so moist and delicious!

  6. Ok yum, this phyllo cake looks delicious! I need to make it asap! I love the easy step-by-step instructions and pictures. Makes it so easy to follow along.

  7. 5 stars
    Hey never heard of or tried this beautiful dessert. But I see myself trying this soon. Looks delicious.Will try this soon.

    1. Hi Diane,

      Sorry for the confusion. I mean the vanilla bean paste when you open the bean in half and you scrape it. You can also use a substitute. Each teaspoon of vanilla extract equals 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or a 2-inch piece of vanilla bean.

      Let me know if that helps.
      Thank you so much,
      x Jenny