Vegan Twist On The Classic: Greek Orange Cake (Portokalopita) Recipe

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Portokalopita, a traditional Greek dessert, is a flaky pastry filled with a sweet citrus custard. This recipe offers a delicious vegan version that is just as satisfying as the original. Made with plant-based milk, yogurt, and a touch of orange liqueur, this vegan portokalopita is perfect for anyone looking for a cruelty-free treat.


Vegan Portokalopita - Greek Orange Cake
Vegan Portokalopita – Greek Orange Cake

For the Crust:

  • 1 ¾ cups (220g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) vegan butter, cold and cubed
  • 3-4 tablespoons ice water

  • For the Filling:

  • 1 cup (240ml) unsweetened plant-based milk (almond, soy, or oat milk work well)
  • ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (100g) vegan plain yogurt
  • Zest of 1 large orange
  • ½ cup (120ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ¼ cup (60ml) orange liqueur (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • For Finishing Touches:

  • Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)

  • Directions:

    1. Make the Crust:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
  • Using a pastry cutter or your fingertips, cut the cold vegan butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. There should still be some pea-sized pieces of butter visible.
  • Gradually add the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork until the dough just comes together. Be careful not to overmix, as this can make the crust tough.
  • Form the dough into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.

  • 2. Prepare the Filling:

  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together the plant-based milk, sugar, vegan yogurt, orange zest, orange juice, and orange liqueur (if using).
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and cinnamon. Add this cornstarch mixture to the saucepan and whisk well to ensure there are no lumps.
  • Heat the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it simmers and thickens. This will take about 5-7 minutes. The filling should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the nutmeg. Set the filling aside to cool slightly.

  • 3. Assemble and Bake:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  • Divide the chilled dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one half of the dough into a rectangle slightly larger than the baking dish. Carefully transfer the dough to the prepared dish and gently press it into the bottom and sides.
  • Pour the cooled filling over the dough.
  • Roll out the other half of the dough into a rectangle large enough to cover the filling. Drape the dough over the filling and crimp the edges to seal.
  • Cut a few slits in the top of the dough to allow steam to escape.
  • Bake the portokalopita for 50-60 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is set.

  • 4. Cool and Serve:

  • Let the portokalopita cool completely in the baking dish before slicing and serving. Dust with powdered sugar (optional) and enjoy!

  • Nutrition Facts (per serving):

    This recipe yields approximately 12 servings. Please note that these are just estimates, and the exact nutrition content will vary depending on the specific ingredients you use.

    Calories: 350

  • Fat: 18g
  • Saturated Fat: 8g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 120mg
  • Carbohydrates: 40g
  • Sugar: 25g
  • Protein: 4g

  • Conclusion:

    This vegan portokalopita is a delicious and satisfying dessert that is perfect for any occasion. It is easy to make and requires no special ingredients. With its flaky crust and creamy citrus filling, this vegan version is sure to become a new favorite.


    1. Can I use a different type of plant-based milk?

    Yes, you can use any type of unsweetened plant-based milk that you like. Almond milk, soy milk, and oat milk are all good options.