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Catholic Recipe: Vasilopitta


  • 3 sticks butter or margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 cups flour
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence (extract)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp mixed spice (pumpkin spice)
  • grated rind and juice of half an orange
  • 3/4 cup ground almonds


Prep Time: 2 hours

Difficulty: • •

Cost: $$$$

For Ages:11+

Origin: Cyprus


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Also Called: New Year Cake

Vasilopitta, honoring Saint Basil, is a Greek New Year's custom. The Greeks bake coins and other trinkets into this bread. Whoever receives the coin will be prosperous throughout the following year. The trinkets also signify some future event in the lives of others who receive them.


1. Cream the butter and the sugar together.

2. Add four eggs and half the flour, and mix well.

3. Add the remaining ingredients except the almonds.

4. Pour the mixture into a greased 9 in./28 cm round cake tin and sprinkle the top with almonds.

5. Bake in oven at 325┬║ F for 1 1/2 hours until a fork pushed to the bottom comes out clean.

6. When cool, mark the number of the year on the top in cream or icing (or confectioners) sugar.

Recipe Source: Feasting for Festivals by Jan Wilson, Lion Publishing Corporation, Batavia, Illinois, 1990