Turkish Semolina Cake in Syrup (Revani)

Honey and Butter Revani Cake

One of the hardest things for me when making unfamiliar food is that there is absolutely no way to tell if it turned out correctly. Is that really supposed to be that …lumpy? …spicy? ….gooey? This phenomenon tends to occur most frequently when cooking Turkish dishes.

This cake uses semolina flour, also sold as durum or pasta flour, and is drenched in syrup after baking. The result is half-cake, half-pastry. It is best eaten chilled the day after baking. Make sure you make the syrup ahead of time, and it is completely cool before you pour it on the cake. Very important.

Turkish Semolina Cake in Syrup (Revani)

For syrup
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
zest and juice of half a lemon

For cake
3 eggs
½ cup sugar
1 cup yogurt
1 cup vegetable or corn oil
3 tbsp flour
1 cup semolina
1 tbsp vanilla
½ tsp baking soda
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp grated lemon zest

For syrup: Put water and sugar in a pot and bring it to boil. Let it boil for about 5 minutes, then add lemon juice and zest. Boil it for about 3 minutes and cool it in the refrigerator.

For cake: Preheat the oven at 350F. Beat eggs and sugar well. Add yogurt and oil and mix. Then add the other ingredients and mix. Oil a square 8×8 pan and pour the batter in it. Bake it until golden brown, about 25-30 min.

Pour the cold syrup on the cake, in portions if it doesn’t absorb the syrup fast enough. Chill in the refrigerator and cut into squares before serving.

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  • Reply
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  • Reply
    July 10, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    Does the recipe call for plain or vanilla (sweetened) yogurt?

    • Reply
      October 14, 2015 at 5:14 pm

      Hi Yasmine, the recipe calls for plain, unsweetened yogurt (not Greek yogurt).
      Hope this helps!

  • Reply
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    December 10, 2013 at 12:44 pm

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  • Reply
    Sandra Mitchell
    November 18, 2013 at 8:05 am


    I made this for a Mum’s Night Out – Turkish themed pot luck dinner.

    The Turkish lady who was hosting it enjoyed it so much that she has requested a link to your site for the recipe.

    It is a very delicious cake.

  • Reply
    November 19, 2010 at 10:41 am

    yo lo hago diferenteee!!

  • Reply
    November 13, 2010 at 6:55 am

    I love how moist this cake looks, I can only imagine how wonderful it tastes.

  • Reply
    November 13, 2010 at 5:47 am

    Oh I had this delightful dessert when I was in Turkey, I never thought this was relatively easy to make! Bookmarked!

  • Reply
    November 13, 2010 at 4:24 am


    You cake looks beautiful, just perfect, and is probably delicious. But since you asked, I must say this is traditionally a no egg cake and your recipe get a lot of consistency from the use of eggs and the use of oil and yogurt, the chances are that we, people used to eat this cake, might find the texture different. It is also usually made with melted butter or ghee.

    This is supposedly a very moist and crumbly cake since there is no eggs to “glue” things together. I made a different version myself recently, with coconut, but I used a Lebanese recipe. This cake has versions many all over “Middle Eastern countries” though, e.g. Egypt, Israel, Syria and Lebanon and even in Greece. It is actually a recipe from the the Jewish Sephardi from Egypt… You can use orange or orange flower water and honey to make the syrup, the aroma are fantastic with orange. I actually like to use orange and limes, never use lemon myself.



    • Reply
      November 15, 2010 at 7:42 pm

      Wow, thanks Claudia! This gives me a really good history to go off of. If there is a different recipe you’d like to share, I would love to try it! 🙂

  • Reply
    November 13, 2010 at 1:14 am

    A fabulous treat! Your revani turned out fabulous!

    • Reply
      November 15, 2010 at 7:42 pm

      Thanks Cherine!

  • Reply
    Okan Jae
    November 12, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    It looks yummy.. i can not wait to eat it! this is not fair ! lol

  • Reply
    November 12, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    you are great! 🙂 are u from Turkey ?? 🙂 [i think so 😛 ] looks delicious..
    Do you know to make cookies with Mahlep ???
    i send u Mahlep by the way 🙂

    **what is mahlep ?

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