Home » Dessert Recipes » Greek New Years Cake: A Traditional Vasilopita Recipe

Greek New Years Cake: A Traditional Vasilopita Recipe

Vasilopita is a Greek New Years Day bread or cake that contains a hidden coin and is served at midnight on New Year’s Eve to welcome the New Year! Tradition says that this coin gives good luck to the receiver. The tradition of baking and cutting this special cake each year on January 1st is observed in honor of  St. Basil, who was the archbishop of Caesarea in Cappodocia. For this reason, this traditional Greek New Year’s cake is named vasilopita meaning St. Basil’s Bread. The most preferred vasilopita recipes are either a tsoureki or cake. I got this Greek New Years cake recipe from my mother.

Greek New Years Cake  – Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • Grated rind of 2 large oranges
  • Grated rind of 2 large lemons
  • 2 teaspoons of ground masticha
  • 4 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 egg yolk blended with 1 tablespoon milk
  • a well clean coin wrapped in silver or gold foil

Greek New Years Cake – Instructions

  1. Start making this Greek New Years cake by taking a 10-inch round springform pan. Grease it well with butter.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 °F.
  3. Place butter in an electric mixer bowl. Mix until it becomes fluffy.
  4. Add the sugar. Continue to beat until the mixture is light.
  5. Add the eggs, one a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Add the orange rind, lemon rind, and ground masticha. Mix well.
  7. In a separate bowl, sift together three cups of the flour, the baking powder, and salt.
  8. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the dry mixture alternately with the milk. The batter will be thick. Gradually blend in the remaining flour, beating well until completely smooth.
  9. Spread the batter into the pan, press the coin into the dough until it is completely covered and then smooth the top.
  10. Brush the top evenly with the egg and milk mixture.
  11. Bake for around 45-50 minutes, until golden brown (if it browns too quickly, cover the top with aluminum foil).
  12. Allow pan to cool before removing from springform and thoroughly cool before slicing and serving.
  13. Before slicing and serving, sift the confectioners’ sugar over the vasilopita so that it is bright white and completely covered with sugar (you can use frosting instead!)
  14. You may decorate your cake with Happy New Year wishes!

I hope you enjoy this Greek New Years Cake recipe! Happy New Year everybody!



Share This