Vasilopita – Greek Saint Basil’s New Year’s Cake

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Vasilopita – Greek Saint Basil’s New Year’s Cake

Happy New Year!!!!

Vasilopita, a traditional Greek Saint Basil’s New Year’s Cake!

It tastes amazing, soft on the inside and crisp on the outside. For those not familiar with this Greek Orthodox New Year’s tradition it began many, many years ago when a holy man by the name of St. Basil wanted to share his wealth anonymously.  He had an idea to bake sweat bread for the needy and add a large gold coin to each loaf; and so he did.  The poor would eat the bread to nourish and feed their families and then would be at a loss for words when finding the gold coin that would help them financially in the future. To this day in remembrance of St. Basil we still make a sweet bread with a gold coin in it.  The cake is always cut starting with Jesus first, then the house gets a piece, then the husband, the wife and children from oldest to youngest.  The one who gets the coin is said to be lucky for that year.

Here is my favourite recipe that I use every year for our Vasilopita.  It’s such a super easy and delicious recipe.  

Vasilopita – Greek Saint Basil’s New Year’s Cake


  • 6  eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 2 tbsp cognac or 2 tbsp orange juice (Both are optional. You can just do 2 tbsp of vanilla extract too if you like.)
  • 1 cup  butter, plus
  • 1 tablespoon butter, for greasing cake pan
  • 2 cups white sugar, plus
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar, for sprinkling
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds


  1. Clean a silver or gold coin, and wrap in aluminum foil (a quarter works well).
  2. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 10 inch round cake pan with 1 Tbsp butter.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream the cup of butter and 2 cups of sugar together until light in color. Add the vanilla extract. Stir in the flour and mix until the batter resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the eggs one at a time, blending each one in well.
  4. In a small bowl combine the baking powder and milk, add to the cake batter and mix well. Finally combine the lemon juice and baking soda in a small bowl, add to the cake batter and mix well. Pour the cake batter in to the greased cake pan, insert the foil wrapped coin, and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Slightly slide the cake out a little from the oven, sprinkle the nuts and 2 tbsp sugar over the cake, then return the cake to the oven and bake for an additional 35-45 minutes, or until the cake springs to the touch.   Allow to cool on a rack for 10 minutes then invert the pan on to a cake plate.
  6. Ideally the cake should be served warm; each person gets a slice of the cake starting with the most senior member. Members of the Greek Orthodox Church believe that whoever gets the coin is blessed.

Recipe Yields: 12 Servings

Who will get the coin in your family?  

I’m wishing you ALL a VERY Happy New Year again!  May you all have a year filled with blessings of love, abundance, prosperity and above all HEALTH! 




PureSense Health Clients: 1 Slice Vasilopita = 4 Fat + 3 Starch

Recipe adapted from:

2018-03-28T23:15:39-07:00 Desserts, Recipes|