Ruth’s Spatula

Kali Orexi Sharing our Greek culinary heritage through video and stories. Spatoula Hero Landscape

This is a dessert you will most commonly find in the region of Thessalía, with various names such as spatoula, poutinga, or kofti. Spatoula refers to using a large spoon to eat it due to the copious amounts of custard. Some make a slightly runnier custard so that it runs down the cake. I prefer it thicker so that the pieces can be cut easier and the custard sits nicely over the top. The pride and staple in Kalabaka is their remarkable milk, derived from the cattle grazing on the mountains. This cake is a showcase of Kalabaka’s milk production through the thick custard sitting pridefully on the top. It is a spiced walnut cake that is drenched in syrup, then topped with vanilla custard. It is refreshing and not overly sweet. Give yourself plenty of time to allow each laver to cool. It is a crowd-pleaser that can be made a day in advance.

Ruth Bardis @greekfoodphotography 

Ruth’s Spatoula

Course Dessert
Cuisine Greek
Keyword dessert, greek desserts, greek sweets, spatula, sweets


For the sponge you will need…

  • ¾ cup self-raising flour  
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • ¼ tsp clove powder 
  • 1 tsp baking powder 
  • ½ orange, zested
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely crushed 
  • 5 whole eggs, room temperature 
  • ¾ cup castor (superfine) sugar 

For the syrup you will need…

  • 1 ½ cups castor (superfine) sugar 
  • 1 ½ cups water 
  • 2 tbsp cognac or liquor of choice  

For the custard you will need… 

  • ltr whole milk 
  • 2 whole eggs 
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder 
  • ¾ cup castor sugar 
  • 100 g plain or all-purpose flour,   sifted
  • 2 cups thickened cream, whipped
  • Crushed walnuts and cinnamon to top 


Preparing the sponge 

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C fan-forced 

  2. Place the flour, cinnamon, walnuts, clove powder, baking powder and zest of orange in a bowl. Set aside.  

  3. In a stand mixer, add the eggs and sugar 

  4. Beat on high for 15 minutes or until thick and pale 

  5. Remove from mixer, and with a wooden spoon, incorporate the flour mixture very slowly, ensuring to not overmix 

  6. Pour into a well-buttered baking dish (32 cm x 24 cm) 

  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes - it will come away from the sides of the baking pan once it is cooked 

  8. Allow to cool 

Preparing the syrup 

  1. place the sugar and water in a pot 

  2. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 6 minutes 

  3. Remove from heat and add liquor 

  4. Slowly pour hot syrup over cold cake using a soup ladle, starting from the outer edges and working toward the middle 

  5. Allow it to cool completely 

Preparing the custard 

  1. Place the milk in a pot - heat well but do not boil 

    In a separate bowl, add the flour, sugar, vanilla and eggs 

    Whisk together, then add one cup of the heated milk 

    Whisk, then pour this mixture into the milk 

    Keep whisking on low heat until a thickened custard has been achieved It should be at boiling point 

    Remove from heat and add the vanilla powder 

    Place a piece of cling film directly onto the cream and allow it to cool completely 

    Once custard is cool, mix through the whipped cream 

    Pour custard-cream over the cooled cake 

    Allow to set in the fridge for at least a few hours before serving. 

Serving the spatoula 

  1. To serve, sprinkle additional walnuts over the top and sprinkle with cinnamon powder. It can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for three days. 

  2. Kali Orexi! 

Recipe Video

Key Points

The pan dimensions are very important so the layers formed are the right thickness 

Download this Recipe

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