This cake is named after Saint Fanourios. It's said that if you've lost something, you make this cake so that St Fanourios can help you find it.
The “Fanouropita” cake is baked on the eve of the Feast Day of Saint Fanourios, the twenty seventh of August, or can be baked when St Fanourios' prayers of intercession help us find something we have lost.
The “Fanouropita” is called the lost and found cake because it is associated with Saint Fanourios the holy martyr and miracle worker, whose name comes from the Greek word “Fanerono”, meaning “I reveal”, the Saint of lost things, lost souls, lost anything really, who, if you say a prayer to will “reveal” things you were careless enough to misplace!
The story goes that Saint Fanourios' mother was a cruel and sinful woman, but despite all her faults, Fanourios loved her dearly and tried his best to save her. Even on being stoned to death for defending and spreading the Christian faith, Saint Fanourios did not ask God’s help for himself, but begged God to forgive his mother, to grant her salvation, save her soul and let her rest in peace. Here is the recipe:
Total: 60 mins
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 50 mins
1 cup olive oil (or sunflower or canola oil)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup brandy
2 teaspoons cinnamon (ground)
1/4 teaspoon cloves (ground)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup walnuts (ground)
1/2 cup raisins
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease and flour a round or square cake pan, or line the bottom with lightly greased parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and the sugar until well combined.
Add the orange juice, brandy, cinnamon, cloves, and baking powder and mix well.
Using a spatula, incorporate the flour in batches into the batter, continually scraping the sides of the bowl, and mix until just combined. Stir in the ground walnuts and raisins.Transfer the batter to the cake pan, pressing it out to the edges and smoothing the top with the spatula.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the cake turns golden and a toothpick inserted at a few different points comes out clean.
Serve and enjoy!
If you prefer to stick with the tradition of seven ingredients representing the seven sacred mysteries of the Church, you can use all cinnamon and eliminate the raisins and ground walnuts.
Add a sprinkling of sesame seeds to the top before you bake it or a dusting of confectioners sugar after it cools.