Vasilopita is the traditional Greek New Year’s cake or sweet bread like brioche. It has evolved from simple sweetened bread into any type of cake containing a hidden coin. Vasilopita is not just a cake, It’s a beautiful custom and very tasty!
There are so many different recipes for vasilopita and everybody shares their favorite recipes. Some recipes are even passed down from generation to generation. Basically it’s just any type of cake, simple or luxurious. Decorated with powder sugar or icing glace and the new year written on it. This is my favorite vasilopita recipe. I have tried other recipes but this is the one I have always liked best. The cake is light and moist with a taste of cinnamon, ginger and clove.
The name “Vasilopita” in fact means “Santa’s pie” as the Greek name for “Santa Claus” is “Saint Basil” and the 1st of January is the day they honor his name.
It’s traditionally cut at midnight on New Year’s Eve by the head of the household. Three times in the shape of the cross. The first part is for Jesus Christ, the second for the less fortunate and the third is for the household that hosts the celebration. Then a separate piece is cut for each family member and finally each guest from oldest to youngest.
The good luck coin.
The hidden gold coin is called flouri. The coin is baked into the cake or inserted after baking on the top of the cake. Then you turn the cake upside down and decorate it with icing sugar or icing and happy new year written on it.
If the coin is in your piece, it’s assumed that you are lucky the rest of the year. I always wash the coin really well and then wrap it in aluminum foil before I put it in the cake. Usually I only use a regular coin, but if you want to make a real splash, you can always use a real gold coin.
Most people crumble the cake to see if they got the coin. And it may be a good idea to do so. Because you do not want to swallow the coin by mistake. Right?
What happens if the coin is in between two slices? Then the good luck goes to both the persons.
What happens if the coin falls on the plate. Well, then the coin goes to the household hosting the event.
Are you ready to make your own Vasilopita – New Year’s cake this year?
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