Did you know that other than using phyllo pastry to make crunchy desserts like Baklava, you can actually use it to make a moist cake? Yeap, you can actually use it inside the cake batter itself. This way you can make a very quick cake. Without even having to use an electric mixer!
Wherever there is phyllo in a dessert recipe, there is almost always syrup as well (except if you’re making a Bougatsa). And this Honey Lemon Cake is no exception to this. Only this time the syrup is made out of just honey. Therefore, you can skip the sugar and enjoy a truly healthy Lemon Cake!
But other than the fact that this cake is sugar-free, another thing that makes it healthy, is the addition of Greek Yogurt. Yogurt takes the place of butter to give that soft texture.
How To Make The Honey Lemon Cake
First things first, in order to use the phyllo inside the cake, you have to let it air-dry first. This way you make sure that the phyllo sheets won’t stay stuck to each other creating a dense uncooked texture in the cake.
So once you have let the package of phyllo to unfreeze in the fridge overnight, take the phyllo out of the package and lay it open. Separate each phyllo from the other, and let it air-dry on your kitchen counter for about 30 minutes. It doesn’t matter if the sheets lay flat or not as you’re going to tear them into small pieces anyway.
Then all you basically do is, whisk all of the ingredients together, starting with the eggs. After this, tear the phyllo into small pieces with your hands an toss into the batter, mixing in small bits at a time, until all phyllo is incorporated into the batter.
Place the cake batter in a round-10-inch pan and bake for about 50 minutes. And while the cake is baking, you prepare the syrup by mixing together the freshly squeezed lemon juice, along with the honey and a bit of water and simmer for 5-10 minutes until it slightly thickens. Make sure you do this in a large enough saucepan. Because honey gets a bit too bubbly when it starts to boil, so be careful not to burn yourself.
And right as the cake comes out of the oven, take a ladle and start pouring the hot honey syrup on top. It will look like a lot but it will soak it all up.
SERVE WITH ⬇
Now don’t tell me you can think of something that goes better with lemon other than strawberries… These two are truly meant for each other! So ideally, serve this Honey Lemon Cake with fresh strawberries.
Or you can make a fresh-strawberry-honey sauce (that I served the next time I made this cake since we really enjoyed it the first time). Just chop the strawberries into small pieces and then cook with an equal amount of honey for about 5-10 minutes (like you do with the honey-syrup in this recipe). Although other then strawberries you can use any other berry sauce or jam you like, even toss some sour cherry preserves on top (my next favorite thing).
As for the cream on top, I served each piece with a loaded spoonful of a 2 minute Greek yogurt & honey whipped cream. To make this just whisk together 330 ml of heavy whipping cream, along with 4 tablespoons honey, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Then whisk in 5 tablespoons of full-fat Greek yogurt and you are ready to serve!
If the weather gets too hot you can try it with this homemade strawberry frozen yogurt. It will take you no more than 5 minutes to make.
Honey Lemon Cake (with phyllo + Greek yogurt)
- 4 lemons zest + juice
- 4 eggs
- 300 grams / 10.6 oz Greek yogurt full-fat
- 200 ml sunflower or corn oil
- 1 package (450 gram / 15.9 oz) phyllo pastry left to unfreeze in the fridge overnight
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 550 grams / 15.9 oz honey
- Remove phyllo from its package, separate each phyllo from the other, and lay on your kitchen counter to air-dry for 30 minutes. NOTE: The sheets don't have to lay flat (you can leave them ruffled) as they will be torn into pieces later on.
- Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs to get a bit foamy. Add the Greek yogurt, and whisk to combine.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together 100 grams / 3.5 oz of the honey along with the oil, baking powder, vanilla extract, and the lemon zest. Then incorporate into the egg mixture.
- Preheat oven to 160°C / 320°F.
- Take the phyllo and tear it into small pieces with your hands and start adding it into the batter. Toss each piece of phyllo right into the batter, giving a good stir as you go, so the pieces won't stick together. Keep doing this until you mix all the phyllo into the batter. NOTE: If phyllo sheets aren't separated from each other they won't bake properly.
- Grease a round 26 cm / 10-inch round pan with some oil or cooking spray. And add the cake batter.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes until deep-golden on top.
- While the cake is baking, add remaining honey in a saucepan along with 220 ml water and the lemon juice. Whisk to combine and then heat over high heat. Once it starts to boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5-10 minutes until it starts to thicken a bit. Remove from heat and set aside. NOTE: Make sure you use a large enough saucepan so the honey won't spill out of it when it starts to boil.
- Once the cake is baked pour the hot honey syrup all over using a ladle. It may look like a lot but it will soak it all up slowly.
- Let cake reach room temperature before refrigerating.
- Cut into 10-12 pieces and serve!
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