Here’s a delicious vasilopita recipe, infused with the aromas and blends of oranges and garnished with a thick and glossy vanilla scented sugar glaze!
Vasilopita is a traditional Greek cake or bread served at midnight on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the life of Saint Basil.
After baking the vasilopita cake, a coin is inserted through the base and when cut the person who finds the coin is said to be granted luck for the rest of the year.
Vasilopita is made of a variety of doughs, depending on the region, and almost every family has its own recipe.
The most popular vasilopita recipes are either made with tsoureki dough or like a cake.
This is my family’s vasilopita recipe with which we welcome the New Year with friends and loved ones for more than 30 years.
Hope you enjoy it!
Merry Christmas to all!
from Yianni Pappas, The Greek Pantry
Vasilopita Cake Recipe
(Greek New Year’s cake)
Ingredients for the vasilopita:
• 375g butter (13 ounces)
• 3 cups sugar
• 6 eggs (divided into yolks and whites)
• Zest of 2 oranges
• 1/2 cup orange juice
• 200g yogurt, strained (7 ounces)
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 750g self-rising flour, sifted (26.5 ounces
Ingredients for the glaze:
• 2 cups icing sugar
• 2 tbsp hot water or milk
• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. To prepare this vasilopita recipe, start by dividing the eggs into yolks and whites.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of the electric mixer, along with a pinch of salt.
Make sure your egg whites, bowl and whisk attachments are clean and free of any water. Whisk the egg whites until the mixture is very thick and glossy and a long trailing peak forms when the whisk is lifted (meringues). Place the mixture in a bowl and set aside.
2. Use the electric mixer, to mix the butter and sugar, for about 20 minutes, until the butter is creamy and fluffy, like whipped cream. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, whilst mixing, allowing time for each one to be absorbed, before adding another. Pour in the orange juice, the vanilla extract, the orange zest, the yogurt and mix to combine. Add 1/3 of the sifted flour and blend, using a spatula. Add 1/3 of the meringues and blend with light circular movements from the bottom up. Repeat with the rest of the flour and meringue (adding 1/3 of the flour and 1/3 meringue and then the remaining flour and meringue).
3. To bake the vasilopita, preheat the oven to 200 C (both top and bottom heating elements on).
Butter the bottom and sides of a round non-sticking cake tin (approx.32cm diameter) and pour in the mixture. Place the cake tin in the preheated oven, on the lower rack, turn the heat down to 175C and bake for 50-60 minutes, until nicely coloured and cooked through. Check if the vasilopita is ready, by sticking in the middle of the cake a wooden skewer or toothpick. If it comes out clean, then the cake is ready.
4. Let the vasilopita cool down (otherwise it will break) and invert the pan on a plate. Wrap a coin with aluminum foil and stick it in the cake. Invert the vasilopita on a serving platter.
5. Prepare the glaze for the vasilopita. In a large bowl add all the ingredients and blend with a spatula to combine, until the glaze is smooth and and glossy. Add a little bit more hot water, if needed (the glaze should be like a thin cream). Top the vasilopita with the glaze and even out with a spatula. Don’t forget to carve the number of the year on top of the glaze!