When Greek coffee met extra virgin olive oil…

Eat Dessert First Greece loves sweets, but also wants to keep healthy. So, we decided it was time for a healthy dessert… Of course, not having dessert is not an option! So, we borrowed a recipe for an original cake with Greek coffee and extra virgin olive oil, added our own touches and enjoyed it with a strong cup of Greek coffee with lots of foam on top. We read about the history of Greek coffee and learned about the nutrients our delicious cake will contain.

Healthy and mouthwatering cake with Greek coffee, grated apple and extra virgin olive oil. We garnished it with pomegranate seeds and served it on New Year’s Eve!

Our cake tasted and smelled of tradition. We served it on New Year’s Eve, after the traditional Vasilopita, as a juicy and fragrant cake is the perfect end to a nice festive dinner. It was the ideal recipe for holiday season, when there is a lot of preparations to do, as it is super easy to make (although it doesn’t show). Everyone loved its authentic flavor. It also had a very impressive look, with the shiny coffee glaze and the pomegranate seeds we added for flavor and festive decoration. It is also great in the morning or evening, along with a warm cup of coffee!

A foamy Greek coffee, served with water, and a piece of cake… a great healthy snack!

How coffee was invented is a mystery… The myth says that a sheperd from Ethiopia, Kaldi, discovered the stimulant properties of coffee by observing his goats. When the goats ate the fruits of a certain plant, they gained so much energy that they couldn’t sleep at night! Kaldi told a monk of a local monastery about his discovery. The monk prepared a drink with these fruits, which kept him awake during night prayer. He shared his discovery with the other monks, and it spread all over the world. So, did Kaldi’s goats invent coffee? We guess we’ll never know…

A goat we saw wandering around with lots of energy near the Holy Monastery of Panagia Pelekiti in Plastiras Lake… Could it have found some coffee fruits to eat?

We read that coffee came to Greece during the Turkish Occupation. The Greeks of Constantinople, Thessaloniki and Northern Greece in general where the first ones to enjoy coffee. During the 17th century Thessaloniki had over 300 coffeeshops where Greeks and Turks hang out. According to Papadiamantis, since 1760 the habit of drinking coffee spread to the rest of Greece.

Kafantari coffeeshop in Thessaloniki, since 1917, the oldest remaining in town (source)

We learned that until the 1960s Greek coffee was called Turkish coffee. Then, it changed its name into Greek coffee in Greece and in Cyprus after the Turkish invasion. Our coffee may be made in a special pot named briki, originating from a Turkish word, but it is described with Greek expressions, dating back to the Medieval times. Greek coffee can be made glikis (sweet), varis (strong) or me oligi (with a little sugar), and is part of our mentality and habits.

Briki, a special pot for making Greek coffee

How do you call your coffee? We call it Greek!

Advertising campaign of a coffee company

Coffee, especially Greek coffee, offers nutrients to our organism, when consumed in moderation of course. According to dietician-nutritionist M.Sc. – MMedSci Paraskevi Koustouraki, research has shown that coffee is one of the richest drinks in antioxidants, and especially Greek coffee can be a great source of antioxidants. Also, a study of elderly with high pressure in Ikaria island showed that moderate consuming of Greek coffee helps in aorta’s elasticity.

Greek coffee has a small amount of caffeine and contains nutrients!

Caffeine, when consumed in moderation, can improve memory. The recommended quantity of caffeine for adults is up to 400 mg a day and one small cup of Greek coffee contains only 40! And something even more important for our dessert: Greek coffee has very few calories… a small cup with no sugar or milk has only 1 calorie (kcal)!

In our cake, Greek coffee meets extra virgin olive oil. We use extra virgin olive oil a lot in our recipes, as it is our Greek alternative to butter and offers so much more nutrients that it is really a shame not to use it as much as possible. But do we know what exactly is extra virgin olive oil?

As we read, it is traditionally produced by pressing the olives and collecting their juices, from which olive oil is made. But all oils are not the same: often, bad quality oils are extracted from olives’ juice with chemicals. Also, often olive oil is mixed with cheaper oils. Greece may be blessed with a lot of pure products, such as high quality -and affordable- extra virgin olive oil… but in many other countries it is very expensive and there are a lot of fraud incidents.

Greece is blessed to produce olives that make great extra virgin olive oils, lets promote them!

As a result, all olive oils are not of equal quality. The best olive oil is the extra virgin olive oil, which offers most benefits to our health thanks to the phenols (a group of antioxidants) it contains. We learned that it has been proven that extra virgin olive oil offers a series of benefits, as it contains beneficial monounsaturated fatty acids and vitamins E and K. It has significant anti-inflammatory action, especially in cases of cardiovascular damage, and antibacterial properties. It can also help prevent heart attacks. It lowers blood pressure and protects against “bad” LDL cholesterol.

In our cake we used the awarded, extra virgin olive oil produced by the family company Nature Blessed. It is produced from different olive varieties (Halkidikis, Amfissis, Koroneiki, Petroelia) cultivated at the foot of Mount Olympus by Macedonian producers and mixed together to give a natural blend of extra virgin olive oil. It has been certified by the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens as an oil that protects against the oxidation of blood lipids.

Recent studies have also shown that consuming extra virgin olive oil is beneficial to the genes connected to cancer, and also Alzheimer’s disease. It can also diminish the possibility of type B diabetes and help in reducing pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Moreover, the consumption of extra virgin olive oil is not connected to gaining weight and obesity, and in small quantities it can even help lose weight.

The nutrients of extra virgin olive oil are medicine to our health!

In the past, people who knew used to drink one teaspoon of raw extra virgin olive oil every morning for health… It is a real shame not to use it as a basic ingredient in our sweet recipes, given that it abounds so much in our country. This is why we got inspired by a recipe we found on Nature Blessed company’s page and made a cake with Greek coffee, apple and extra virgin olive oil. It is super easy and fasting, as well as suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

We served our cake on New Year’s Eve… It disappeared in a second!

Our recipe

Cake with Greek coffee and extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients for the cake

First step: organising our ingredients.
Self-raising flour390 gr
Extra virgin olive oil210 ml
Sugar300 gr
Grated apple1
Greek coffee prepared (no sugar)1 cup made with 2 tsp of coffee
Baking powder1 tsp
Baking soda1/2 tsp
Lemon zest

How to make the cake

Grate the apple in a blender well, but without getting mushy. Place the extra virgin olive oil, sugar and Greek coffee (keep 2 tbsp aside for the glaze) without the grounds at the bottom of the cup in the mixer bowl and beat for 3-4 minutes. In another bowl mix the self-raising flour with the baking powder, soda and lemon zest. Remove the bowl with the virgin olive oil mixture out of the mixer and add the flour. Lastly, add the grated apple and mix with a spatula.

Fill a cake pan (we used a metal ring) and bake in a preheated oven at 175°C for 45 minutes. When taking it out of the oven to check if it is fully baked, place a toothpick in the centre of the cake and if it gets out dry, then it is ready. It there is dough sticking to the toothpick, bake for another 5 minutes. When it is ready, flip it upside down on a platter, so that it has a smooth surface to glaze. Let it cool and prepare the glaze.

Fill a cake pan or metal ring and bake at 175°C for 45 minutes.
When the cake is baked, flip it upside down so that it gains a nice surface to glaze.

Ingredients for the glaze

Powdered sugar100 gr
Greek coffee1 1/2 – 2 tbsp

How to make the glaze

Mix the powdered sugar and Greek coffee by adding the coffee gradually to gain the right consistency, runny but not too watery. Then pour over the cake and let it stabilise.

Glaze the cake and let it stabilise.

In the end, we decorated the cake with pomegranate seeds, as it is its season, to bring luck for the new year! We wish everyone a happy and blessed new year and warmly thank Nature Blessed company for sending us its products and giving us inspiration for our recipe:

Extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin olive oil dressing with oregano, oregano & chili and rosemary, Black Truffle virgin sesame oil with black truffle, and Black Truffle extra virgin olive oil with black truffle by Nature Blessed. Nature Blessed, a family company from Thessaloniki, aims at high quality and has a deep knowledge of production techniques. Its extra virgin olive oil, “the Olympian gods’ nectar” has won Great Taste, IOOC, Olympia and Αthena awards.

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15 Comments Add yours

  1. Congratulations. A most interesting site. I don’t go to many sites unless I am researching. Don’t feel I have the time. But I am so inspired by yours I am going to make your Greek cake tomorrow. I hope to explore it further. Colleen


    1. Thank you so much, we are truly happy that you found our site interesting! Looking forward to hearing about your opinion on our cake! Greetings from Greece!


  2. Looks like a wonderful cake.. we cook both savoury and sweet with olive oil having lived in Spain for 17 years.. some amazing desserts here and will share this one tomorrow in the blogger daily.. good to connect.. Sally


    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and thanks for following us! Spain have great olive oil too! Greetings from Greece!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much from our hearts for the awesome presentation!! We wish you all the best!! Greetings from Greece!!


  3. That cake does look good, particularly with the coffee glaze!


    1. Thank you very much for your sweet comment! 💖🙏

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome!


  4. This cake looks amazing.


    1. Thank you so much! 💞🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Looks delicious! Thanks for sharing!


    1. Thank you very much for your kind comment! 🙂


  6. The cake looks delicious, beautifully presented as well. Interesting notes about the origins of the Greek coffee. I visited Serbia in August last year, where they still drink Turkish coffee prepared in the same special pot that you call briki. I found it an interesting tasting experience, but the stuff is just too strong for me.
    Stay safe!


    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, hope you visit Greece in the future too! Stay safe, greetings from Athens, Greece!

      Liked by 1 person

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