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Serves: 12

  • 8 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups self-raising flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 cups walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 1⁄2 cups white caster sugar
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons white clear liqueur (eg Ouzo, Cointreau)

For the syrup: 

  1. 3 ½ cups water
  2. 3 ½ cups normal white sugar
  3. 10 whole cloves
  4. 1 cinnamon stick
  5. 20cm piece lemon rind
  6. 3 tablespoons white clear liqueur (eg Ouzo, Cointreau)

To decorate: 

  • 2 tablespoons walnuts, finely chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 160C (fan-forced).

  2. First, make the syrup. Place the water, sugar, cloves, cinnamon stick and lemon rind in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over a medium-high heat. Leave to boil for 5 minutes until it slightly thickens, remove from the heat and allow to cool.

  3. Grease a deep rectangular baking tray (mine is 34x24x7cm) and set aside.

  4. Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in a medium bowl and the whites in the bowl of your stand mixer. Set aside.

  5. In another bowl, sift the flour and baking powder. Add the 3 cups walnuts and set aside.

  6. Add the white caster sugar, butter, ground cinnamon, ground cloves and 2 tablespoons of clear liqueur to the bowl with the yolks and whisk until it is thick, creamy and a lovely pale colour.

  7. Then, beat the whites with your stand mixer on a high speed until they have sufficiently risen. Reduce the speed on the mixer to a medium speed and slowly add the yolk mixture, a tablespoon at a time. Reduce the speed again to low and add the flour mixture one tablespoon at a time.

  8. Once everything has just mixed in, place in the greased baking tray and level the top. Place in the oven to bake for about 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

  9. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, randomly spear the cake about 20 times. Add the extra 2 tablespoons liqueur to the sugar syrup mixture and then ladle the syrup all over the cake, making sure each ladle is absorbed before pouring the next one. Sprinkle the finely chopped walnuts over the whole cake as decoration and allow to stand for a few hours for the syrup to infuse into the cake before cutting into slices and serving.