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Turkish Cake – Revani

Revani is a Turkish cake that’s made with semolina flour, soaked in a lemon-flavored simple syrup, then topped with chopped pistachios. It’s light, extremely moist, and a very popular Turkish dessert. It’s also very easy to make!

a closeup of a slice of revani turkish cake on a white plate garnished with pistachios

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The first time I tried Turkish cake I almost passed it up. I’m not a huge cake person, mostly because they’re often too dry for my taste. The friend that I was with insisted that I’d love it, so I agreed to give it a try.

It was amazing! So moist, with a light lemon flavor, and a wonderful texture contrast with the pistachios. I’ve made it many times since to get the recipe just right.

What is Semolina?

Semolina is actually a common ingredient although it’s not used as often here in the US. It’s a flour that’s made from durum wheat. Durum wheat is grown mostly in the Middle East and it’s what is used to make this Turkish Cake, known as Revani. Semolina is also commonly used to make homemade pasta as it helps the pasta keep its shape when cooking.

Which type of semolina to use for making Revani?

Be sure to use fine-ground semolina when making this semolina cake. Regular semolina flour is much more coarse and gritty, which doesn’t work well here. You can find semolina flour at most grocery stores, or you can find it on Amazon here.

Ingredients in Revani Turkish Cake

There are only 10 ingredients in this recipe! You’ll also need some water to make the simple syrup but most of these ingredients you probably already have on hand.

  • all-purpose flour
  • fine semolina flour
  • baking powder
  • eggs
  • sugar
  • yogurt
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • fresh lemon juice
  • chopped pistachios

For precise measurements, see the recipe card at the bottom of this article.

an overhead shot of a slice of revani turkish cake on a white plate garnished with pistachios

How do you make simple syrup from scratch?

Simple syrup is, well…very simple to make! ba dum bum.

It’s basically a sugar syrup that’s made from granulated sugar and water. Simply mix equal amounts of sugar and water in a saucepan, then heat on the stove, stirring frequently, until the sugar has completely dissolved.

For this Turkish cake, we add some fresh lemon juice to flavor it as well.

How to make this Turkish cake dessert

Making this semolina yogurt cake is very similar to cakes you’re used to, with just a few different ingredients. You mix the batter, bake it, and allow it to cool. Then you pour the cooled lemon simple syrup over the cake and allow it to seep in for a truly moist and decadent dessert.

Similar recipes sometimes separate the eggs and whip the egg whites, then fold them gently into the batter. You can opt to do this but I’ve found that it doesn’t make a major difference in the end result. I like to keep it simple and get my Turkish cake on the table as quickly and easily as possible.

Make the simple syrup first by combining water and sugar in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer until it thickens, stirring frequently. Stir in the lemon juice, then set it aside to allow it to cool completely.

ingredients to make revani turkish cake with syrup

Whisk the dry ingredients together. In another bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until they’re fully combined and lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the yogurt, olive oil, and salt.

mixing the ingredients for revani turkish cake

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, about 1/4 at a time, mixing just until combine between each addition. Pour the batter into a greased pan and bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and pour the syrup over the cake. Set it aside and allow it to cool completely.

the mixed batter ready for the pan revani turkish cake

Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios, then slice it and serve! You can slice it into squares or triangles.

For detailed instructions, see the recipe card at the bottom of this article.

Tips for the best Turkish Cake

  • Be sure to use fine semolina flour which result in a much more tender cake
  • Mix the ingredients just until they’re combined – don’t overmix
  • Allow time for the simple syrup to cool completely before pouring over the cake. This helps the cake absorb as much of the syrup as possible.
a closeup of a slice of revani turkish cake on a white plate garnished with pistachios

Revani Recipe Variations

  • Replace the pistachios with almonds
  • Try using fresh orange juice instead of lemon juice
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar after the cake has cooled but before topping with the crushed pistachios
  • Top with toasted coconut flakes instead of nuts
  • Add some lemon zest to the simple syrup for a more prominent lemon flavor
  • Top with whipped cream or serve ice cream on the side

How to store this Turkish Cake

Revani will keep for 3-4 days if it’s kept covered in an airtight container. You can extend it’s shelf life to one week if you store the container in the refrigerator.

a slice of revani turkish cake on a white plate garnished with pistachios

Also check out these 40 Easy Desserts to make at home. If you’re looking for a savory Turkish dish, check out these amazing Turkish Meatballs, too!

a closeup of a slice of revali turkish cake on a white plate garnished with pistachios

Turkish Cake - Revani Semolina Cake Soaked in Syrup

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 41 minutes

Revani is a Turkish cake that’s made with semolina flour, soaked in a lemon-flavored simple syrup, then topped with chopped pistachios. It’s light, extremely moist, and a very popular Turkish dessert. It’s also very easy to make!

Ingredients

Syrup:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Cake:

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fine semolina flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup olive oil

Topping:

  • 1/4 finely chopped pistachios

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom and sides of an 11x7 baking dish or a round cake pan and set it aside.
  2. Make the simple syrup by combining water and sugar in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer until it thickens and reduces slightly, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, then set it aside to allow it to cool completely.
  3. Whisk together both flours, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl. In another bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until they're fully combined and lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the yogurt and olive oil.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, about 1/4 at a time, mixing just until combined between each addition. Pour the batter into the greased pan and for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs.
  5. Remove the cake from the oven and pour the syrup over the cake. Set it aside and allow it to cool completely and the syrup to fully soak into the cake.
  6. Loosen the edges of the cake and flip onto a serving platter (alternatively you can leave the cake in the pan, but flipping it helps the syrup to redistribute). Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios, then slice it into squares or triangles and serve.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 446Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 143mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 1gSugar: 45gProtein: 6g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

Kristy Bernardo
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