Unique ‘Vasilopita’ Recipes from Across Greece



VasilopitaOn New Year’s Day or at midnight on New Year’s Eve people across Greece cut the vasilopita, a traditional bread or cake containing a hidden coin which gives good luck to the receiver. Vasilopita is associated with Saint Basil’s day, on January 1st, in most of Greece, however, there are some regions, where the traditions surrounding a cake with a hidden coin are attached to Epiphany or to Christmas. Vasilopita is made differently depending in the region.

Here are some of the most popular recipes:

1. Savory Vasilopita from Macedonia
9-10 pastry sheets
1 1/2 cup melted butter
300g feta cheese
300g anthotyro cheese
6 large eggs
80g semolina
salt
white pepper
1 egg yolk mixed with a bit of water

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and baste a round pan with some butter.
2. Break the eggs and beat with wire.
3. Crumble the cheese and add to the bowl with the eggs. Add the semolina, salt and pepper and stir.
4. Spread 5-6 pastry sheets in the pan, making sure that all of them have been properly greased with the melted butter.
5. Pour the filling into the pan and spread with a spoon. Insert the coin, wrapped in a little foil.
6. Cover the filling with the remaining pastry sheets, making sure to grease each one. Then cover the last sheet with the egg yolk and water, using a brush. Carve the vasilopita pieces.
7. Bake at 180⁰C for 55-60 minutes, until golden brown.

2. Vasilopita with nuts
1 stick of butter (250g)
500g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
5 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla powder
250 g yoghurt
zest and juice of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon
1 pack chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup morello liqueur (lukewarm)
1 cup pureed apples
1/2 cup blond raisins
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp clove powder

For the glaze
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
few drops of lemon juice
colored sugar for decoration

1. Preheat the oven to 170 ° C. Brush the pan with a little Flora and sprinkle with a little flour.
2. Pour the raisins with hot liquor and leave to soak.
3. Pour the Flora in the mixer bowl and beat with the sugar until the sugar is thoroughly melted and the mixture turns white.
4. Add one to one eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and zest.
5. Stir and add yogurt, apple and orange juice.
6. Then add a little – a little flour, mixed with the baking. Once the mixture is homogenous stop the mixer and add the raisins, chocolate and nuts. Mix well with a spatula.
7. Pour the mixture into a round baking dish, pour the coin wrapped in foil and bake our pie at 180°C for 55-60 minutes. After the cake has cooled down take it out of the pan.
8. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze: mix the icing sugar with the lemon juice.
9. Spread the glaze over the chilled cake and decorate with colored sugar. Allow the glaze to dry before cutting the cake.

3. Vasilopita from Constantinople
125g butter
4 large eggs
250g sugar
500g self-raising flour
2-3 tbsp brandy
The juice from 3 large oranges
The zest of one orange
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
Icing sugar
cinnamon

All the ingredients must be at room temperature.
1.Divide the egg whites and egg yolks. Beat the butter until white and in a separate bowl the egg yolks with the sugar until the grains are melted. Add the brandy to the egg mixture.
2. Add the mixture to the butter and continue mixing.
3. Dissolve the baking soda in the orange juice and after it foams add it to the butter mixture.
4. Beat the egg whites until firm and slowly add them to the butter mixture, using a spatula.
5. Add the orange zest and then the flour and baking powder after they have been shifted. Continue mixing with the spatula.
6. Grease a round pan and pour in the dough and a coin wrapped in foil.
7. Bake at 180°C in a preheated oven for 40 – 50 minutes.
8. After the cake has cooled down, cover it with the icing sugar and use a stencil to decorate with the powdered cinnamon.

4. Christmas Tree Shaped Chestnut Vasilopita
500g flour
100g melted butter
1 cup milk (warm)
1 fresh yeast pack
2 eggs
The zest of 1 orange
1 cup sugar
1 pinch of salt

For the filling:
350g chestnut jam
150g butter

For the top:
1 egg yolk
Some milk

For the decoration:
Melted white chocolate
Some cherries or candied chestnuts

1. First prepare the filling. Beat butter until fluffy and add the jam. Beat briefly.
2. Then prepare the dough. Dissolve the yeast in milk and add half the sugar. Leave the mixture for about 10 minutes to inflate.
3. Pour the shifted flour in a large mixing bowl with the remaining sugar, salt, eggs (lightly beaten) and the orange zest. Mix and make a well in the center. Pour the mixture of yeast and melted Flora butter in foil and stir.
4. Knead for about 5 minutes until you have a pliable dough that will not stick to your hands (if you need to add a little more flour).
5. Shape the dough into a ball, cover with kitchen towel and leave in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour.
6. Then divide the dough into two balls and roll out with a rolling-pin in 2 long sheets, on a floured surface. Brush each sheet with a little melted butter and spread over the chestnut jam.
7. Make each dough sheet into a roll and cut into small bun slices. Place the buns on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, forming a tree shape. Let them rest in a warm place for 45-50 minutes to rise.
8. Then using a brush spread egg yolk and milk on top and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for about 30-40 minutes.
9. When cool decorate with the melted chocolate and candied cherries or chestnuts.

5. Vasilopita with dried fruits and nuts
250g butter
250g icing sugar
125g crushed almonds
125g crushed pistachios
6 eggs
250g flour
1 tsp baking powder
300g chopped dried fruits
200ml Amaretto

1. Soak the dried fruits in the Amaretto.
2. Beat the butter,icing sugar and crushed until fluffy.
3. Beat the dried fruit and amaretto mixture and add it to the butter. Continue to mix.
4. Add the eggs one at a time.
5. Add the flour and baking powder while continuing to mix.
6. Grease a baking pan and add a bit of flour. Bake at 180°C for one hour.