“Vasilopita” – The Greek Santa Claus or St. Basil or New Year’s cake tradition

‘Tis the season!  You’ll be getting a flood of cookies, cake and other sweet recipes.  If you are here for a dinner idea, yesterday I made broccoli soup and the recipe is already posted for this dish. Check it out. Now back to `vasilopita’.  In Greece, we cut  the `vasilopita’ cake on new year’s eve to celebrate the coming of the new year. We stick a coin in it and whoever gets it will get super extra lucky with money or otherwise in the coming year. There’s tons of `vasilopita’ recipes but they are basically of two types. The pound cake type that I’m offering here and the `tsoureki‘  type which is less sweet and more `bready’, made with yeast.  The pound cake type is definitely quicker and easier.  I made two of those last night. One to take to my son’s holiday celebration at school and one to take it to my work for a holiday get together. This is a really quick and easy and fun and yummy and everybody-in-my-family-likes-it recipe.  Enjoy it decorated as holiday treat, as coffee cake, as  fun snack for your kid or as just  breakfast bread to dip in the milk.



  • 250 grams butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 cups self-rising flour
  • 6 eggs
  • juice and zest from 2 oranges
  • vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar

How to make: Beat butter with sugar well with the whisk part of your mixer until the mix becomes white and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and continue beating. Add orange zest and vanilla. Beat for a few more minutes. Switch whisk to a bread part (I use the flat white part) and add flour one cup at a time. After you  have added the first two cups, add the orange juice and then add the last 2 cups of flour. Blend at  lowest speed until all the flour is folded in. Do not overbeat. Pour in a buttered pan and cook in pre-heated oven at 200 C or 400 F for about 50 minutes. Check with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, turn off the oven, take it out and let it cool. Use a sieve to sprinkle powdered sugar on top.

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