Vasilopita - Greek Saint Basil’s New Year's Cake

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 40 mins

A very traditional Greek Cake that celebrates the life of Saint Basil. Usually served at New Year, it is quick and delicious at any time.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Clean! Silver or gold coin wrapped in aluminum foil (a quarter works well).
  2. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 10 inch round cake pan with 1 Tbs butter.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream the cup of butter and 2 cups of sugar together until light in color. Stir in the flour and mix until the batter resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the eggs one at a time, blending each one in well.
  4. In a small bowl combine the baking powder and milk, add to the cake batter and mix well. Finally combine the lemon juice and baking soda in a small bowl, add to the cake batter and mix well. Pour the cake batter in to the greased cake pan, insert the foil wrapped coin, and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the cake from the oven, sprinkle the nuts and 2 Tbs sugar over the cake, then return the cake to the oven and bake for a further 20-30 minutes until the cake springs to the touch. Allow to cool on a rack for 10 minutes then invert the pan on to a cake plate.
  6. Ideally the cake should be served warm; each person gets a slice of the cake starting with the most senior member. Members of the Greek Orthodox Church believe that whoever gets the coin is blessed.
Most Helpful

Bake for 1 hour @ 350 degrees. Knife did not come out clean after 40 minute baking time. I added an additional 20 minutes which completed the baking time. A piece for each person and one for the house. We look forward to this every New Year's Day.

Christine S. January 01, 2016

I made this lovely cake and it was terrific!!! I put the sugar and almonds in two of the three pitas and the two I put the sugar burnt a bit on top but the other was moist and delicious. I'm still giving this recipe a 5 star because the cake without sugar was amazing. Kalh xronia

Andonis C. December 30, 2015

This is a very tasty recipe, and the tips in recipe are really helpful. I however, found this Vasilopita recipe produced a lighter cake than the traditional version, otherwise if I did not have the traditional version to compare it was really great tasting. I made an addition to the end of the baking time, I added silvered almonds that were dipped in melted butter and a bit of sugar and added to the cake in the last 20 min of baking time. Yum!

Maha R January 01, 2013