Vasilopita (New Year Cake)

Vasilopita (New Year Cake)

Part of the Greek New Year tradition is to bake a Vasilopita; a type of bread or cake, which contains a hidden coin. Whoever receives the slice with the coin will have good luck for the rest of the year.

Or choke on it.

The name is associated with Saint Basil‘s Day (Vassilios in Greek), the patron saint of wishes and blessings.


259g butter

2 teaspoons grated lemon rind

2 1/2 cups (550g) castor sugar

6 eggs

1 cup (150g) self-rasing flour

2 cups (300g) plain flour

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 cup (250ml) milk

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 cup (35g) pistachios, chopped

1/4 cup (35g) walnuts, chopped

1/4 cup (35g) blanched almonds, chopped


1/4 cup (35g) pistachios

1/4 cup (35g) walnuts, chopped

1/4 cup (35g) silvered almonds

55g sugar

(Obviously if you are allergic to nuts you should use something else!)

What to do:

  1. Lightly grease a deep round cake pan, line base with paper and grease the paper.
  2. Cream butter and rind in small bowl with electric mixer until light in colour. Add sugar, beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.
  3. Transfer butter mixture to large bowl, stir in sifted flours and soda and milk in two batches. Stir in juice and nuts.
  4. Pour mixture into prepared pan, add lucky coin, and bake in moderate oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Topping: combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  6. Remove cake from oven, sprinkle with topping, press on lightly.
  7. Bake for about another 40 minutes.
  8. Stand cake 5 minutes in pan, turn onto wire rack covered with greaseproof paper, turn cake over, leave to cool.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. 31st December 2012 / 12:30 pm

    beautiful and delicious ! A very happy new year to u!

  2. 31st December 2012 / 10:09 am

    I need the luck – bake me a cake with a coin, and I promise… I’ll scoff the lot! Happy New Year!