Semolina is a wheat product often used in Cypriot cooking. Here it is used to make a beautiful cake with lemon syrup called kalo prama, which translates to mean "good thing". We think it's better than good, and nobody will believe just how easy this recipe is.






Skill level

Average: 3.1 (275 votes)


  • 200 g fine semolina
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 100 g self–raising flour
  • 100 g soft unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • pinch of vanilla sugar
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • small pinch of ground mastic (see Note)
  • 3 eggs
  • blanched almonds, to decorate (optional)


  • 400 g caster sugar
  • 200 ml water
  • pinch of vanilla sugar
  • ½ small lemon, juiced

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 10 cm x 23 cm loaf tin.

To make the cake, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat all ingredients, except the eggs and almonds, for 2 minutes. Add eggs, increase speed to high and beat for 5 minutes. Spoon batter into prepared tin. Use a knife to lightly mark small serving portions on top of batter, then top each portion with an almond, if you like.

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into centre of cake comes out clean.

When cake is nearly cooked, make the syrup. Place all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and remove from the heat. When cake is cooked, pour a little hot syrup over hot cake, allowing it to absorb. Continue with all of syrup, allowing it to absorb after each addition. Serve.


• Mastic is the hardened resin from a small evergreen tree found mainly on the Greek island of Chios. It is used to flavour Greek and Cypriot baked goods, sweets, drinks and ice-cream. It’s available from Greek food stores and good delicatessens.