Why I Love This Recipe
Vasilopita is a traditional Greek bread-like cake made every New Year. The cake is made to bless the house and to bring good luck for the next year.
Vasilopita is named for Saint Basil (Agios Vasilis) and traditionally, the first piece “goes” to Agios Vasilis. Beyond that, each family has their own traditions. Some will cut a piece for the church or the home, the Virgin Mary, some will just cut slices for present family members and visitors, others for family far away. Typically, the head of the household cuts the cake and the slices go in order of age (oldest to youngest).
Inside the cake is a foil-wrapped coin. Whoever gets the coin in their slice is said to have good luck for the new year.
Ingredients You'll Need
4 eggs, separated
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (2 large naval oranges)
1 tsp. orange zest
1 tsp. vanilla powder or extract
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a cake pan (I used a springform pan).
Beat the egg whites to medium peaks and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and set aside.
Beat your butter for a couple of minutes on its own before adding the sugar in and creaming them together. Then, add the egg yolks one at a time beating until just incorporated. Add the orange juice, zest and vanilla.
Gently fold in about 1/3 of the egg whites, followed by 1/3 of the flour mixture. Repeat two times until the batter is just combined. Stir a foil-wrapped coin into the batter and pour everything into the prepared pan.
Bake for about 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.