New Year Vasilopita Cake with Lucky Coin

Happy New Year

A new years tradition by Greeks and Cypriots worldwide is the Vasilopita cake. The Vasilopita cake is decorated with the new year's date and normally contains a hidden lucky coin.

Vasilopita Cyprus New Year Cake

The Vasilopita cake is eaten on the feast day of Ayios Vasilis (Saint Basil) which falls on New Years Day 1st January. Once the cake is cut, the person who finds the lucky coin is said to have good luck for the year.

Recipe for Vasilopita Cake (New Years Cake)


  • 200ml sunflower oil
  • 180 g sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla powder
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 200ml freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 360 g self-raising flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest

How to make the Vasilopita Cake

- Mix the egg yolks with sugar and slowly add the sunflower oil until smooth and creamy and then add the brandy and orange juice.

- Beat the egg whites until they form a meringue. 

- Slowly start adding the meringue and flour the mixture taking care to fold in slowly to keep the air in the meringue.

- Gently fold in the baking powder and orange zest.

- Wash a pound coin and wrap it in foil then add it to the mixture

- Pour the mixture into a non-stick oiled cake tin.

Cooking directions

 Cook at 170 degrees centigrade for 45 minutes


Allow the cake to cool.

Sprinkle liberally with icing sugar.

Write the year over the top of the cake with either cocoa powder or cinnamon powder (this can be done by free hand or using a stencil).

Enjoy and Kali Xpronia (Happy New Year!)

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