Ravani Politiko ( Gluten free Almond- masticha cake with syrup, topped with pastry cream)


SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESRavani is a semolina cake drunk in luscious sweet syrup with Middle Eastern roots. Some make it with coconut flakes,some other add almonds,in Greece we do both,but what makes it so special,is the beautiful and aromatic spices we add. We add masticha. Masticha is originally come from a small and picturesque island of Greece,Chios. The collection of mastic drops is hard labor,but it’s a labor of love! Its unique aromas and taste made it popular around the world.

The Greeks from Istanbul,have one specific recipe,and that’s where I got inspired from. Greeks from Istanbul are amazing cooks,with  great knowledge of spices and desserts. There is so much respect for them!

As a gluten intolerant,I had to substitute the semolina with almond flour and coconut flakes with the hint of orange. Fluffy,aromatic topped with luscious pastry cream, is a heavenly dessert!




  • 6 eggs
  • 4.5 oz sugar
  • 3 oz almond flour
  • 2.4 oz gluten free all purpose flour
  • 1.7 oz unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

For the syrup:

  • 8.8 oz sugar
  • 7.5 water
  • 1 oz honey
  • an orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon mastic powder or 7 oz mastic liqueur

For the pastry cream:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon mastic powder or 1 tablespoon mastic liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest.


Make the pastry cream first:

  1. In a medium bowl,beat egg yolks well.
  2. Stir in milk.
  3. In a sauce pan,under medium heat,mix sugar,cornstarch and salt.
  4. Gradually,stir in a small amount of milk of milk mixture.
  5. Add the mastic powder,the vanilla extract and orange zest.
  6. Keep on whisking until your cream gets nice and thick.

To make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven at 350 F.
  2. In a medium bowl,beat the egg yolks with 3.5 oz of the sugar,until you get that pale thick cream.
  3. Add the almond flour,baking powder,coconut flakes and the all purpose flour.
  4. In a different bowl,beat the egg whites with the remaining sugar until you get a stiff meringue.
  5. Add the meringue into the egg yolk-sugar mixture in two batches and fold carefully. Be gentle,so the cake will not deflate.
  6. Pour the batter into a well greased 8 inch cake pan and bake for 20-30 minutes until the top is golden brown.

For the syrup:

In a heavy bottom  sauce pan, add all the ingredients for the syrup and bring it to a boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Take the cake out of the oven,don’t let both the syrup and cake cool. Pour carefully the syrup in the cake. It may seems a lot of syrup but it will absorb it fast.

Let it cool.

When it’s cooled down completely,topped it with the pastry cream and some whip cream.



Masticha cake with vanilla-rosewater cream (Politiko)

Mastic tree

Mastic tree

Greek cuisine has been at some point,influenced by the middle eastern cuisine. We adapt it according to our taste and domestic products. Like this masticha cake,which was made from Greeks of Constantinople,with masticha from the Greek island Chios.. Chios is a very beautiful island full of green, blue-green sea water,a lot of history and mastic trees!


I missed this dessert… You know…once you go to live for the rest of your life in a different country,you miss EVERYTHING! Even the food that you hated,back then when you were just a kid and your mom forced you to eat! Everything is different.. I felt a little bit nostalgic the past few days… The food,my family,the beach…

Back to the dessert!! I changed it a little bit because of my celiac,but it’s way much better than the one my mom used to make…!

For the cake we’ll need:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 200 ml fresh sqeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp masticha powder ( you can also find it at the stores as Arabic gum)

For the syrup:

  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water


For the cream:

  • 3egg yolks
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. rosewater


How to make it:

preheat the oven at 350 F.

First,I make the cream and I let it cool in the fridge.

Beat the egg yolks well in a bowl,stir in the milk.

Mix sugar,cornstarch and salt in a saucepan.

Gradually stir in,a small amount of milk mixture each time..

stir constantly till the cream starts thickening up.

remove from heat and add the rosewater in the end.

Make the cake:

Dissolve baking soda into the juice.  In a medium bowl mix all the ingredients together. It may seem a little runny and not as much as a cake,but if you continue stirring is getting thicker.

put the mix into the greased pan (9 or 10 inches if possible) and bake for 30 minutes.

once is done,let it cool and make the syrup. In a small pot put the water and sugar and let it boil in a medium heat for about 8 minutes.

once is all done,slowly with a tablespoon pour it all over the cake and let it absorb the syrup.

when it’s cool down,pour the cream on top. Let all the flavors blend together..!

the cake is so moist and all the flavors come along together! Is not overly sweet,because I put almost half of the sugar it really needs,nutty and light! You really have to try it!