Vasilopita - Greek New Year's Eve Cake
Vasilopita is the cake we make to cut on the night of New Year’s Eve dedicated to St Basil. Yet another popular tradition, just like baking melomakarona for Christmas.
Everyone present on New Year’s Eve gathers around to witness the cutting of the cake. The reason? To taste the cake but mainly to find the hidden coin! A coin is wrapped and placed in the vasilopita. The person who gets it needs to keep it somewhere safe and they are said to have good luck in the new year.
I was the lucky winner a year ago and I have to admit it was a great year overall! There are variations of this cake across the whole of Greece, some even savoury rather than sweet. The most popular versions though include flour, almonds, eggs, butter, sugar, orange juice and/or milk. Spices and aromatics like mastic drops may also be added. For more sweet creations, traditional and non, check out this link http://myfamilysfooddiary.com/category/sweets/""
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200 g unsalted butter, softened
125 mL vegetable oil, or any other neutral oil, ½ cup
345 g caster sugar, 1 ½ cups
2 tsp brandy or 1 tsp vanilla paste
orange zest of a whole orange
5 large eggs
375 g plain flour, 2 ½ cups
2 tsp baking powder
190 mL orange juice, ¾ cup
140 g oven-roasted almonds crushed, 1 cup
For more sweet creations, traditional and non, check out this link http://myfamilysfooddiary.com/category/sweets/
- Preheat the oven at 175°C conventional settings (155°C fan-forced). Beat the butter, oil and sugar until it is all creamed together and combined. Beat in the brandy and orange zest. Then add one egg at a time and continue beating for 20sec after each time.
- Sift the flour and baking powder and add 1/3 of it in the creamed sugar slowly. Alternate with 1/3 of the orange juice. Repeat until both the dry and wet ingredients are finished. Lastly, fold in the crushed roasted almonds.
- Pour half the batter in a lined or greased and floured 22.5cm springform. Place a coin wrapped in aluminum foil or baking paper on the batter and then pour the rest of the batter in. Bake for 55min and check for readiness when you place a skewer in the middle and it comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool in the springform for 10min before you place it on a cooling rack. Let it cool down completely before adding any icing sugar on it and preferably add the icing sugar just before serving so that it doesn’t turn yellow.