Phyllo Dough Citrus Cake

Phyllo Dough Citrus Cake
This recipe is from the Milk Street Magazine


  • 1 cup of organic cane sugar
  • 4 three-inch strips of orange zest, plus ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cardamom pods, lightly smashed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 8 ounces phyllo, thawed
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup neutral oil
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


In a medium sized saucepan, add the sugar, orange zest and juice, the cinnamon stick, cardamom, bay leaves, and ½ cup of water. Bring to a simmer, stir to dissolve the sugar. Remove the pan from heat and allow it to cool for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 F degree with the rack in the middle position. Spray a 9-inch by 2-inch round cake pan with flour and oil cooking spray, line the bottom with parchment and mist with spray.

Roll out the thawed phyllo dough and slice it crosswise in ½ inch strips.

Transfer to a medium sized baking sheet and unfurl and separate the strips. Distribute into even layers and bake until lightly browned, for 15-20 minutes. At the halfway point of baking be sure to move the dough strip around to get even baking throughout. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the sugar and the orange zest on medium until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the yogurt, oil, eggs, baking powder and salt on low. Increase to medium and beat until the mixture is well combined, about 1 minute, scraping the bowl as needed.

Add half of the phyllo to the batter base and fold until phyllo is well moistened. Add the remaining phyllo and fold until well combined and no dry patches remain. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until deep golden brown and toothpick inserted at the center of the cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. When the cake is almost done, remove the zest strip, cinnamon, cardamom and bay leaves from the syrup.

Set the cake in a wire rack. Using a toothpick to poke holes throughout the cake thickness every ½ inches or so. Slowly pour half of the syrup evenly onto the warm cake, then let it stand for 5 minutes. Slowly pour the remaining syrup over the cake. Cool to room temperature and allow the syrup to absorb for two hours.

Run a paring knife around the inside edge of the pan and loosen the cake, then invert the platter. Lift off the pan and peel off the parchment. Re-invert the cake onto a serving platter. Serve.
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