By Thanos Voudouris

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 Vasilopita (St. Basil New Year’s Cake)  

This is a delightful New Year’s custom. The Vasilopita contains a coin that is said to bring good luck for the year to the person who finds it in his served piece. We serve the Vasilopita with wine or champagne just after midnight at the dawn of the new year or at a gathering in the coming days.  The entire cake is cut into the number of pieces needed to serve each guest, plus special pieces identified for Jesus, the Home, of other designation. The cake is served in a particular order, from oldest to youngest.

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 4 cups flour
  • 6 tsp. baking powder
  • Grated rind of one orange
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • Powdered sugar to sprinkle on the top
  • Nickel wrapped in aluminum

Preheat oven to 350º

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat for 2 minutes. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Add to butter mixture alternately with the milk. Add the orange rind and mix in well. Add the vanilla.

Pour into well-buttered 9” spring-form cake pan. Push coin into the batter. Bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour (or until golden brown and completely set in the center). Cool. Remove sides of pan. Sprinkle top with powdered sugar. Serves 10-14. 
Don’t forget the coin – you can place it inside the finalized dough, or after backing you can insert the coin from underneath the cake. 

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