We baked our Vasilopita a few hours ago, (added the coin) so this gives me plenty of time for cooking. This traditional Greek Cake is basically found on every Greek table on New Year’s Eve. My family cuts the Vasilopita once we give our best wishes to each other for the New Year a few minutes after the clock strikes midnight. Most might already know that Greeks add a coin into the cake and who every finds it in his/her piece has Good Luck for the whole year.
Legend has it that hundreds of years ago a priest (Megas Vasilios) was threatened by a Tyrant General who was greedy he demanded to have all the villagers gold. The priest tried to explain to the General that the villagers were poor and had no gold that would be worth wild, but the General didn’t accept this and he ordered his solders to destroy the village and kill the villagers. The priest asked the villagers to give him any gold they may have to give to the general, Megas Vasilios knelt and prayed for a miracle as he was handing over a small sak filled with the villagers gold and all of a sudden the villagers saw a bright light shine and out from nowhere it was Saint Merkourios who appeared with his solders, who were angels and vanished the tyrant general along with his solders.
The priest was left with the gold, but he had to think of a way to return each family’s gold, so he called his helpers and told them to bake small cakes and in those cakes to add in the gold and distribute to each family. Each family received small breads and once they cut into the Vasilopita they saw that their gold was return. This is how the coin in the Vasilopita came about….:)
This recipe is my mom’s and aunt’s with a few tweaks of their own over the years. 🙂
VASILOPITA THE TRADITIONAL NEW YEAR’S EVE GREEK CAKE
- 4 cups shifted All Purpose Flour
- 2 cups Sugar
- 6 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 6 Eggs
- 250 grams Butter
- 1 1/2 cups Milk
- 2 Vanilla powders or 1 tablespoon Vanilla extract
- 25 grams Cognac 🙂 optional
- 125 grams Almonds cut in half
- Sugar Powder for Topping
In a large bowl add in the shifted flour, sugar and baking powder.
Add in the room temperature butter and Vanilla.
Beat ingredients and slowly start to add in the eggs, and milk.
Continue to beat and add in the almonds and cognac.
In a buttered baking pan add 1 teaspoon of flour to cover the bottom and sides of the pan.
Pre heat oven at 180 degrees…and pour batter into baking pan and bake for 50 minutes and until golden brown. Top with Sugar Powder and INDULGE!!! 🙂