Vasilopita the traditional New Year’s Eve Greek Cake

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.  🙂



  • 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


  1. In a large bowl add in the shifted flour, sugar and baking powder.
  2. Add in the room temperature butter and Vanilla.
  3. Beat ingredients and slowly start to add in the eggs, and milk.
  4. Continue to beat and add in the almonds and cognac.
  5. In a buttered baking pan add 1 teaspoon of flour to cover the bottom and sides of the pan.
  6. 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!!! 🙂

Comments (24)

  • jyo 2 years ago Reply
    Such a beautiful cake for new year... perfect ✔ happy new year Sophie ✌✌
    foodzesty 2 years ago Reply
    Awww Jyo thank you so much.....Happy and Healthy New Year!!
  • Very nice cake for the New Year and lovely post, Sophie! :-) And all the in the New Year <3
    foodzesty 2 years ago Reply
    Thank you Vero...Huge hugs and Happy New Year
    Huge hugs to you! And Happy New year too, Sophie!
    foodzesty 2 years ago
    Thank you Vero :)
  • mistimaan 2 years ago Reply
    So yummy it is :)
  • dtills 2 years ago Reply
    Thank you, Sophie, for your friendship, caring and thoughtful posts and responses all year long! I can't watch tennis without thinking about you! Happy New Year, and by the way, when do you add the coin to the cake!
    foodzesty 2 years ago Reply
    Awww Dee dee....Tennis starts soon!!! The coin is added after it is baked :)
    dtills 2 years ago
    So the baker knows where it is?
    foodzesty 2 years ago
    Well not really :) Because you kind of turn it around to Sugar coat it and you lose track hahahahhahaahhaaha your so funny hahahahah
  • Lovely tasty cake. Happy New Year! :)
    foodzesty 2 years ago Reply
    Thank you!!!
  • foodzesty 2 years ago Reply
    Awww Ben, thank you so much...Wishing you and your family a Happy and Healthy New Year
  • The cake looks delicious, Sophie! Happy New Year and all the best for you and your family!
    foodzesty 2 years ago Reply
    Good morning, Thank you Karin so very much...I wish you and your family a Happy and Healthy 2018 :)
    Thank you, Sophie :)
    foodzesty 2 years ago
  • chefkreso 2 years ago Reply
    Wow looks so simple for a cake, yet so delicious.. I'd love to go to Greece one day :)
    foodzesty 2 years ago Reply
    Thank you....I think you would enjoy it...:)
  • FrugalHausfrau 2 years ago Reply
    Happy New Year's to you! I love reading your blog and this post is a perfect reason why! The cake sounds wonderful and rich, it's a handed down recipe and that story and the way it was told just tugs on my heart-strings. Have a blessed New Year, Sophie!!
    foodzesty 2 years ago Reply
    Awww Molly....I am so touched, thank you so much for your kind words...:) Can't wait to see your recipes for this year...Take care of yourself and your family :)
    FrugalHausfrau 2 years ago

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Member, Association of Food Bloggers
my foodgawker gallery
Greek Food Blogs
%d bloggers like this: