It’s always a great idea to welcome the New Year with delicious homemade Greek dishes. As far as the most traditional one is concerned, Vasilopita cakes come in different shapes and for all tastes, both sweet and savory. All of them are equally delicious and belong to the Greek festive season. Bake them yourself and, no matter what taste you prefer best, don’t forget to hide a coin inside!
Sweet varieties of Vasilopita
In its most rigorous version, Vasilopita comes disguised as a cake, prepared either with butter or with the more traditional olive oil and sometimes including ingredients such as mastic and exotic spices like mahleb. This kind of Vasilopita often resemble brioche-style preparations and are similar to tsoureki in taste.
Vasilopita with nuts, fruit, and spices
This is a very aromatic kind of Vasilopita, with a nice texture. It’s made richer thanks to the addition of nuts and dried fruits such as raisins. A generous use of spices plays a key role in the fragrances of this pie. This cake is ideal for the cold season.
Vasilopita with dried fruits and chocolate
Dried black raisins, dried figs, and delicious apricots blend perfectly well in the mixture of this Vasilopita to give it a unique flavor. For an extra touch of sweetness, add some dark chocolate chips.
Vasilopita with orange
Oranges, lemons, and clementines fit really well in winter pastries. So, nothing better than orange juice and zest to the more festive winter cake of all. An extra pungent touch can be given grating the peel of a fresh lemon to the batter. A simple decoration made honey and orange peel bring out the natural aromas of the cake.
This beloved version of the Vasilopita can be slightly changed using brown sugar, or less white sugar, as well as eggs. The result will be a very light version of the traditional tsoureki but so tasty that it won’t probably last until the next year!
Vasilopita with olive oil, honey, and tahini
The use of tahini gives an extra twist to this dessert. The paste of sesame seeds adds a creamy consistency which is also enhanced by the texture of Greek honey. The mixture results in a naturally sweet cake that everybody loves. Sprinkle some almonds on top for superb aromas and some “crunchy” effect.
Vasilopita with citrus and white glaze
This is a rather easy version of the pie but with a very fragrant aroma. This cake has a very delicate taste made even softer with a white glazing on top that adds a touch of class to your table!
Savory varieties of Vasilopita
Saint Basil pies aren’t always sweet. In several regions around Greece, for instance in Thessaly, Epirus or in western Macedonia, this dish is savory and can include fillings that mix rice, greens, and dried grapes, as well as minced meat, cheese, sauerkraut or chicken.
Pontian style Vasilopita
A rather uncommon Vasilopita coming from the Pontic tradition. This is a pie normally stuffed with different varieties of cheese. Among the traditional ones, mizythra cheese and kefalotyri. Lots of sesame seeds for decoration.
Chicken Vasilopita from Thessaly
This delicious Vasilopita comes from the region of Thessaly. Traditionally, this kotopita also includes onions, tomatoes and an abundant use of cinnamon, which adds a unique touch to the final flavor.
Prasokreatopita or Vasilopita from Macedonia
This wonderful winter pie combines minced meat and leeks. To make it even richer, some love to include smoked sausages and a light mix of fragrant spices. This traditional pie from Macedonia gets stuffed with a coin when they cook it for New Year’s Eve. For a more exotic dinner, it’s a good idea to add a handful of raisins and toasted pine nuts, as well as a touch of lemongrass.