Ayios Fanourios and his cake

27th August is the day of my beloved saint, Ayios Fanourios in the Greek Orthodox calendar.

St. Fanourios is one of the saints that we ask to intercede for us when we lose things. His name is from the Greek word fanerono which means 'I reveal'. The term 'lost things' is interpreted broadly—some people hope to retrieve literal lost objects, but equally popular is for unmarried women to eat it in hopes of finding a husband. It is also baked to find a job, a cure or anything else the person has sought to find. I often pray to him not only because I lose things all the time (although this is common) but also when I am feeling lost. 

On this day we bake a traditional 7 main ingredient cake which we share in his honour with orange, cinnamon, and olive oil. And though it's called a cake, you will start with a product that has a consistency more like a dough than a batter, so don't worry if it's thick. This citrus notes of this orange cake goes best with a fruity olive oil.

(Recipe from Carrie Vasios of seriouseats)

Fanouropita - the cake for lost things


  • 3 3/4 cups (about 18 3/4 ounces) all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (about 7 ounces) sugar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice from about 3 large oranges
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup dark and gold raisins (optional)


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F. Grease pan with olive oil and dust with flour, knocking out any excess.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and sugar. Add olive oil, orange juice, and vanilla and stir to combine. Batter will be very thick. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until golden and a tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes then release springform and continue to cool on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners sugar before serving.

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