Revani (Kalo Prama)

Revani, or Kalo Prama, is a traditional syrup-drenched lemon cake that I first discovered in Cyprus. Served chilled it is the ideal summer dessert!

Glorious blue skies above, hot pink bougainvillea in the garden, cicadas singing in the trees, and the sun beating down fiercely. This is the time of year to be up early while the day is still cool before the heat sends us in search of the shadiest rooms in the house. 

At this time of year, we eat simply in Cyprus: salads, simple grilled chicken or fish, and if there is cake to be had, it is always, always my favourite:  Revani or Kalo Prama

Revani or Kalo Prama on a plate with bougainvillea and lemons.

What is Revani?

Revani, or Kalo Prama, is a traditional syrup-drenched lemon cake from the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East, and the Levant. Variations of this recipe are served all over these regions, each with its own unique twist.

This cake is both sweet and tart from lemon juice syrup. It is invitingly Middle Eastern, with the gentle aroma of orange blossom and crunch of pistachios. It is traditionally served cold from the fridge at the end of a meal.

Bougainvillea in Cyprus with blue sky behind.

I first discovered this delicious sweet at a small roadside restaurant called Sevket’s in Cyprus, so to me, it will always be a Cypriot specialty. (Although, you might often see it referred to as Greek Semolina cake on restaurant menus!)

The Cypriot name for this dish, ‘Kalo Prama’ means ’a little of something good’—a phrase that reflects the Cypriot culture’s appreciation for simple pleasures. One bite, and you’ll know why they call this a good thing!

When I first tried it, it was such a perfect, cool, sweet, and surprising ending to a delightful meal that I immediately had to try it at home. The memory of that first bite, the tangy sweetness, and the refreshing coolness will always make me long to return to the island!

Lemons in a basket on a blue tabletop.


Revani or Kalo Prama requires very simple ingredients, though you may need to visit a Greek, Turkish or Mediterranean grocer to get a good quality orange blossom or rose water. You’ll need the following main ingredients:

  • Lemons: Cyprus is famous for producing glorious, fragrant lemons. Look out for big, juicy lemons, best organic and unwaxed, as you’ll use the zest and the juice.
  • Sugar: Revani is drenched in a light syrup, so you’ll need white sugar both for the syrup and the cake.
  • Semolina: Semolina, a milled durum wheat, is the key ingredient in this cake. It provides a unique texture and flavour, giving the cake its characteristic crumbly yet moist consistency. For Revani, you need finely ground semolina.
  • Eggs: I use large eggs in this recipe.
  • Oil: Revani is an oil-based cake, though the oil can be replaced with melted and cooled unsalted butter.
  • Yogurt: Greek-style yogurt provides moisture and structure to the cake batter. For this recipe, use good-quality unsweetened yogurt.
  • Orange Blossom Water: Syrup desserts like this often include a few drops of orange blossom or rose water to give them a wonderful floral flavour. If you can’t find these ingredients in your regular grocery store, try a Greek, Turkish, or Middle Eastern Grocery store —they’ll likely have much higher-quality ingredients in stock anyway!
Lemons in a traditional Cypriot basket.


This is a wonderfully simple dessert with no special equipment required. 

  1. First, zest your lemon or lemons and set aside, then simmer the lemon juice, water and sugar to create a light syrup, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Grease a baking dish and heat your oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4.
  2. Next, stir together the dry ingredients and whisk together the wet ingredients, then combine the two. Pour into the prepared pan and bake in the middle of the oven for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and firm in the middle.
  3. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then use a skewer to poke holes all over the cake. Slowly pour over the cooled syrup, then leave to cool completely in the pan before chilling.
  4. Before serving, slice into small diamond-shaped pieces, sprinkle over a little coconut and chopped pistachio nuts and serve.

The complete ingredient list and detailed instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

Sliced revani or kalo prama in a baking dish.

How to Serve Revani (Kalo Prama)

I like to serve this cake very, very cold on a hot summer evening, but it is also perfectly delicious at room temperature. Make it well in advance and let it get nicely chilled in the fridge.

This cake keeps well in the fridge for up to a week, so you can enjoy it for several days. Garnish with the coconut and pistachio just before serving, and serve with Greek-style yogurt or cream whipped just to soft peaks.

Close up of sliced revani or kalo prama in a baking dish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make a gluten-free Revani?

Unfortunately, semolina is made from wheat, so revani is not suitable for those with gluten intolerances.

Can I reduce the sugar in Revani?

I suggest cutting smaller slices rather than reducing the sugar, which is integral to this dish. This dessert is meant to be enjoyed just a little bit at a time.

Revani of Kalo Prama cut into diamond shaped pieces on a plate.


Revani of Kalo Prama cut into diamond shaped pieces on a plate.

Cyprus Revani (Kalo Prama)

Jay Wadams
I first tried Revani or Kalo Prama at a small roadside restaurant in Cyprus called Sevket’s. This cake was such a perfect ending to a delicious meal; it was so cool, sweet, and so surprising that I immediately had to try it at home! Serve this delightful cake well chilled with plenty of yoghurt or whipped cream.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Serves 16 Slices (approx)


for the syrup:

  • 225 g white sugar
  • 250 ml water
  • 50 ml lemon juice

for the cake:

  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 150 g fine semolina
  • 100 g plain or all purpose flour
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150 g white sugar
  • 150 ml sunflower or other vegetable oil
  • 250 ml unsweetened Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp orange blossom water

to serve:

  • 2 tsp finely chopped pistachios
  • 1 tbsp dessicated coconut


  • ZEST LEMON: Zest the lemon using a fine grater and set aside for the cake.
  • MAKE SYRUP: In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon juice and boil gently for about 10 minutes until syrupy. Set aside to cool.
  • PREPARE OVEN: Heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4. Oil or grease a 23-25cm rectangular or oval baking pan or ovenproof dish.
  • MIX DRY INGREDIENTS: In a large mixing bowl, combine the semolina, flour, salt and baking powder and mix well.
  • COMBINE INGREDIENTS: In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, oil, yoghurt, lemon zest and orange blossom water until well combined. Add the wet ingredients to the semolina mixture, mix well, then pour the cake batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake in the centre of the preheated oven for 35 minutes until golden and firm in the middle.
  • COOL AND DRENCH: Allow the cake to cool on a rack (in the baking pan) for 5 minutes, then poke holes all over it using a skewer. Pour the cooled syrup over the hot cake and let it cool in the pan completely before topping with pistachios and coconut, refrigerating until very cold.
  • SLICE: Slice into approximately 16 diamond-shaped pieces and serve.


Ingredient Substitutions:

I like to make Revani with lemon juice and orange blossom water, but you could mix things up and use orange juice and orange zest with rose water, though it will be a little sweeter. If you’d prefer not to use vegetable oil in this cake, replace it with an equal quantity of melted unsalted butter at room temperature.
You can use coarse semolina if you like, but I prefer finely ground semolina, as it looks more delicate and has a nicer mouthfeel.

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Serving: 1slice | Calories: 244kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 70mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 32IU | Vitamin C: 0.03mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Leave a review or a star rating and let me know how it was! Use the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram so I can see your delicious creations.
Course | Dessert
Cuisine | Cypriot
Jay Wadams
Jay Wadams

Jay Wadams is a cookbook author, food photographer and Le Cordon Bleu Gastronomy and Nutrition graduate. Based in Italy 🇮🇹 Germany 🇩🇪 and Australia 🇦🇺.

Articles: 339
5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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