Greece has a lovely tradition of baking a special cake for the New Year, to start things off right! It’s called a “Vasilopita”. Those who follow the tradition strictly hide a golden lira coin at the bottom of the cake but any coin will do. They cut the cake into slices on New Year’s Day, naming each slice as they cut it, after everyone in the family and friends. Whoever is lucky enough to get the coin in their slice has a very lucky year! Try it with your family and friends!
300 g butter, at room temperature
250 g icing sugar
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 g mastic
7 g mahlab
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
grated zest of 1-2 oranges
2 packets vanilla powder or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs (200 g)
75 ml milk 3.5% fat
400 g all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 180* C (350*F) Fan.
Beat the butter and icing sugar in a mixer, with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Stop beating and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat for another 5 minutes. (It is important that the butter is at room temperature. The softer it is the fluffier your mixture will be.)
While you are waiting, add the remaining ingredients from the 1st mixture (apart from the orange zest) and beat them in a blender along with a tablespoon of sugar, until they become powdery. When ready, add the orange zest and mix.
Add this powdery mixture to the mixer and beat on low speed.
Add all the ingredients from the 2nd mixture, in batches. Release the mixing bowl and add the ingredients from the 3rd mixture. Mix with a large spoon.
Grease a round 25 cm springform baking pan and dust with flour. Transfer the batter to the baking pan.
Bake for 45-50 minutes.
When ready, remove from the oven and dust with icing sugar and serve!
If you would like to follow the Greek tradition, wrap a coin and place it somewhere on the cake before you bake it! It will be a Lucky New Year for whichever family member or friend finds it in their slice!!
Watch Akis making this delicious cake here-
For more amazing recipes by Akis Petretzikis check out