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Petimezopita: Grape Molasses Spice Cake


Petmezopita: Spice Cake made with Grape Molasses

Petmezopita: Grape Molasses Spice Cake

Photo © N. Gaifyllia, licensed to About.com, Inc.

In Greek: πετιμεζόπιτα, say: peh-tee-meh-ZOH-peetah

The recipe for petimezi, a molasses-like syrup made with grapes, dates back to the Bronze Age. Petimezi can also be made from grape must, and may also be available in Greek markets. It gives a unique flavor to this spice cake which tastes like a cross between carrot cake and gingerbread.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes


  • 1 cup of water
  • 4 sticks of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • juice and grated peel of 2 oranges
  • 2 cups of olive oil
  • 2 cups of petimezi *
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of Cretan Raki or brandy
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 4 cups of flour
  • sesame seeds


* Recipe for petimezi

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

  • Boil the cinnamon in 1 cup of water until the water turns brown. Discard cinnamon.
  • Dissolve the baking soda in the orange juice.

In a mixing bowl, beat together the olive oil, sugar, and grape molasses (petimezi) until well blended. Add orange juice (with dissolved soda), water from the cinnamon, orange peel, raki or brandy, and ground cloves.

Add the flour slowly until the batter is smooth.

Lightly oil the bottom of one or two cake pans and pour in the batter. Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds and bake at 350°F (175-180°C) for about one hour or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

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