Shendetlie (Albanian Walnut Cake)

Prep Time
Cook Time
Ready In

Recipe: #29354

April 14, 2018

"Like all traditional recipes, there are as many ways to make it as there are cooks. This is a basic recipe - you can use the nuts whole, ground, or roughly chopped. Using ground walnuts gives the cake a darker color and (IMHO) a better mouthfeel. This is a very rich and sweet cake."

Original recipe yields 10-12 servings
  • Optional: 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Rosewater (or to taste)


  • Serving Size: 1 (149.9 g)
  • Calories 400.1
  • Total Fat - 12.2 g
  • Saturated Fat - 5.1 g
  • Cholesterol - 60 mg
  • Sodium - 83.1 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 68 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 1.4 g
  • Sugars - 38.7 g
  • Protein - 6.3 g
  • Calcium - 21.7 mg
  • Iron - 0.8 mg
  • Vitamin C - 0.1 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.1 mg

Step 1

In a mixing bowl, cream together the sugar, eggs, and melted butter. Add the baking soda and honey, mix well.

Step 2

Add half the flour and all the walnuts. Mix well. Add the remaining flour. If the dough becomes too stiff, use your hands to knead the remaining flour into the dough. It will be quite firm - more like a cookie dough than a cake "batter".

Step 3

Coat an 8 inch cake pan liberally with olive oil. Press the dough into the pan, taking care that the dough is level in the pan (ie, one side or part is not higher than an other). This ensures even cooking and, later, the soaking.

Step 4

Place on the bottom shelf of your COLD oven. Turn the oven to 350 F and bake for 35 minutes. The dough will turn a darkish brown and will be firm to the touch.

Step 5

Remove from the oven and let the cake cool IN THE PAN on a cooling rack.

Step 6

Meanwhile, make the syrup. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan, bring to a boil. Allow to boil for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add the rosewater, if using.

Step 7

Cut the Shendetlie into diamond shapes and pour the hot syrup over the cake. Use enough of the syrup to cover the cake plus about 1/2 inch over the top. The syrup will soak into the cake as it cools. You may have some syrup left over

Step 8

Best served after letting it sit overnight, but it can be eaten right after the syrup has soaked in (about an hour).

Tips & Variations

No special items needed.