Vasilopita Recipe

Vasilopita is Greece’s traditional New Year’s cake that is cut when the clock strikes midnight. With a lucky coin inside, each family member is given a piece of cake and the person who receives the coin is said to have good luck for the rest of the year! 


  • 6 x cups sifted self-raising flour
  • 2 x teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 x cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2.5 x cups white caster sugar
  • 6 x eggs
  • 1 x orange (grind & juice) 
  • 1 x teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 x tablespoons cognac or brandy
  • Icing sugar for dusting 
  • Flaked almonds (optional) 


  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
  • In a large bowl, combine the sifted flour, baking powder and salt.  Mix together with a whisk.  Set aside.
  • In another bowl whisk together the eggs, butter and sugar with electric mixer. Beat until well combined and smooth, approximately 3 – 4 minutes.
  • Then, add the orange rind and juice, vanilla extract and cognac/brandy.  Mix well.
  • Slowly add one cup of the flour to the bowl of the electric mixer. Mix well. Then, slowly add remaining flour.  Mix well, over low speed to prevent too much splattering.  When the ingredients have been combined, turn the speed to medium and continue beating for a another minute or two.  Your batter should be smooth and without any lumps.
  • Take a round (30cm) baking pan and grease the bottom and sides with butter.  Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
  • Take a coin and wash it well.  Dry the coin and then wrap it in plastic wrap.  Set aside.
  • Pour the batter into the cake pan.  Smooth out the batter so it is spread evenly in the pan.  Using a knife, make an indentation in the batter and slip the coin in. Be sure that the coin does not poke out the top or bottom of the vasilopita batter. Smooth the top once again and add flaked almonds (optional).
  • Bake your vasilopita in the middle rack of your oven for approximately 60 minutes or until baked through and lightly golden on top. 
  • Allow to cool in the cake pan for about 5 minutes and then remove it from the pan and allow it to completely cool on a cake rack.  Once it is fully cooled, sprinkle the top with some icing sugar and serve.

Xronia Polla! 

Top Five Sweet Greek Delicacies to Try During Christmas

In Greece, Christmas is one of the most important holidays; it’s the season that brings families together. Sharing stories from the past, eating, drinking and, of course, enjoying local delicacies.

There are many traditional recipes for Christmas dishes in Greece and even more different versions for each one of them, depending on the region. What they all have in common though, is the love the masterminds behind them put into them while cooking. And by masterminds, I am referring to the amazing Greek people who pour their heart and soul into their recipes.

I narrowed down the list by including only desserts – I am a sweet tooth; it’s more than obvious, I guess. So get inspired and enjoy!


One of my favorite desserts of all time and a reason to expect Christmas. These delicious cookies are a combination of cinnamon, orange and honey, dipped in syrup once baked and topped up with sprinkled nuts. Some people stuff them with nuts or add chocolate as well. However, the traditional recipe is by far the best.


Another dessert saying that Christmas is around the corner! Kourabiedes are shortbread cookies, usually made with nuts and dusted with icing sugar. A truly mouthwatering experience!

Both melomakarona and kourabiedes are never absent from any house in Greece during the festive season. Just a friendly reminder: remove them from easily accessible areas; you will not resist eating them all in one go!


Diples means “folded,” and it’s a dough folded, covered with honey, cinnamon, and walnuts.


A very popular Greek tradition, “christopsomo” means “Christ’s bread”. It’s a loaf of bread, made with pure and fine ingredients and offered with nuts or honey.


The New Year’s Day cake contains a coin, which brings good luck to the one who finds it in their slice. There are many vasilopita recipes, and it’s usually sweet to symbolize the happiness of the new life.


Insights Greece - Top Five Sweet Greek Delicacies to Try During Christmas
Vasilopita @akispetretzikis

Cover image Akis Petretzikis