- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- zest of 2 oranges
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons ground mahlepi/mahlab
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mastiha/mastic gum
- 3/4 pound unsalted butter, very soft
- 2 cups confectioner's sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup yogurt, at room temperature
- 1 cup of raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, or candied citrus peel (optional)
- confectioner's sugar for decoration
- a coin wrapped in foil
- snowflake stencil
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, 180 degrees Celsius.
- In the bowl of a tabletop mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter, vanilla extract, and sugar beginning on low speed. Once the sugar is incorporated into the butter, increase the speed to high and beat for 3-5 minutes until the mixture is pale in color and very fluffy.
- Add the eggs and beat 3 more minutes on high speed until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl so that everything mixes evenly.
- Add the yogurt and mix until incorporated.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, mahlepi, and mastic gum. Whisk it to mix the ingredients together.
- Zest the two oranges over the flour and mix it.
- Place the raisins in a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of the flour and zest mixture to them. Mix them to coat. This will keep the raisins from sinking to the bottom of the cake pan during baking.
- Add the flour mixture to butter mixture in a few batches beating on low speed. Do not overmix. There will still be somne flour that has not completely been incorporated into the butter mixture. It will all mix in by hand with the raisins. Overmixing will create a tough cake.
- Add the raisins to the batter and use a spatula to fold them in and finish mixing the batter.
- Prepare a 10 inch (25.5 centimeter) round baking pan by brushing with butter, lining bottom with parchment and then dusting with some flour.
- Pour the batter in the prepared baking pan.
- Insert the coin into the batter.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool completely.
- Invert the cake onto a cake plate and remove the parchment paper.
- Place the stencil on top of the cake and lightly dust with the confectioner's sugar.
- Carefully remove the stencil to reveal the beautiful design.
- Serve with tea or coffee.
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