1.1.09

vassilopita (βασιλόπιτα)

Every Greek family on the first day of this New Year will be cutting into a version of this cake, known as vasilopeta.  It is one of the great traditions, which is still maintained in Greek communities of the Diaspora.  In Greece, we also celebrate today the feast day of Saint Basil, and the name of the cake bears its origins from this holiday.  Enjoy, and happy New Year!

1 cup softened butter
2 1/2 cups caster sugar
8 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
1 cup almonds crushed
1 dime (or 10 pence coin) washed with soap, and covered in aluminum foil
1 cup whole almonds
1 cup confectioner's sugar

1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.
2. Using an electric hand mixer, beat egg whites over medium speed until you reach an nice stiff and frothy consistency. Keep to the side.
3. In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar over medium speed for 10 minutes. Add yolks, almond extract, and vanilla extract. Beat for a minute. Then slowly add the flour, the baking powder, milk, and almonds.
4. Fold in with a spatula the egg whites, using a smooth motion and ensuring you blend everything well.
5. Grease a 14" round cake pan and pour batter smoothly in the middle of the pan. Drop in your coin and allow it to submerge into the batter.
6. Bake for 45 minutes (first 30 minutes DO NOT dare open your oven or the cake will sink).
7. When finished baking, take out cake and let it cool. Once cooled, flip over onto a cake plate.
8. Generously sprinkle confectioner's sugar. Take whole almonds and arrange them to create the numbers '2009' on top.

When you are ready to eat this delight, cut each piece for a specific person in the household. Whoever gets the coin will have great prosperity and luck in the coming New Year!

9 comments:

History of Greek Food said...

Your pie looks fabulous!
I wish you all the very best for 2009.

Yannis said...

thanks :)
it was awesome...very yummy.
i didn't win the coin though!

Bellini Valli said...

May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons bring
the best to you and yours!

Yannis said...

bless you guys.......

Ivy said...

Happy New Year. Your Vassilopita sounds delicious. Thanks for adding me in your blogroll. I'll add you in mine as well.

Yannis said...

all the best! great to hear from you! many more recipes to come including my aunt's recipe for lamb roast we had on new year's day.

Anonymous said...

I used this recipe for our Vassilopita ceremony tonight at our Greek dance evening.
We love Greece, the people, its culture, music and traditional dances.

Thanks,
Anna-Maria

Yannis said...

Anna Maria....it's a great recipe....great to hear from you....any feedback or everything turn out ok?

Hazel said...

One year on and I happened on your recipe via Google - I was looking for a vassilopita recipe on New Year's Eve as my husband expressed horror that I had not bought one (we live in Cyprus). Your recipe sounded the best of the ones I vetted, and I am happy to report it turned out very well. Thank you for this recipe, and happy 2010. :)