Vasilopita (New Year Bread)

"Greek New Year Bread is traditionally cut at midnight on New Year's Eve. After baking, a coin is inserted through a slit in the base. The person who finds the coin will have luck in the New Year. Long ago the coin used to be a gold one, then later a silver coin was used. These could be incorporated into the dough before baking. Nowadays because of the nickel content of coins it is undesirable to bake a coin in the cake. From: "The Complete Middle East Cookbook" by Tess Mallos ISBN: 1 86302 069 1"
photo by suetming photo by suetming
photo by suetming
photo by cathyloiacono photo by cathyloiacono
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photo by linkot_4965160 photo by linkot_4965160
Ready In:
1 loaf




  • Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup of the milk.
  • Add remainder of milk, eggs, orange rind and sugar.
  • Sift 3 cups flour, salt and spices into a warm bowl and make a wellin the centre.
  • Pour in yeast mixture and stir to blend in flour, gradually adding warm melted butter.
  • Mix dough with hands until it comes away from sides.
  • Turn on to a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding remaining flour as required.
  • Knead for 10 minutes.
  • Place ball of dough in a clean bowl brushed with melted butter.
  • Turn dough over to coat top with butter and cover bowl with a cloth or plastic wrap.
  • Leave to prove (rise) in a warm place until doubled in bulk.
  • Punch down and turn on to lightly floured surface.
  • Knead lightly and shape into a round loaf.
  • Place on a large greased baking sheet or in a greased 10 inch deep cake tin.
  • Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  • Glaze with well-beaten egg and arrange blanched almonds in numbers to denote the New Year, pressing in lightly.
  • Bake in a moderately hot oven for 45 minutes until golden brown and cooked when tested.
  • If bread browns too quickly place a piece of greased brown paper on top.
  • Cool on a wire rack.

Questions & Replies

  1. it says to ad sift 3 cups flour - what about the other 1-1/2 cup in the recipe ingredients (4-1/2 cups plain flour)? Thanks


  1. My Greek mother chose this recipie and she says that it's the best she's ever had. I agree! Loved it!
  2. This bread was so moist and delicious. The only change I made to the recipe was I substituted mahlepi for the masticha because I never liked the the taste masticha. Excellent recipe!
    • Review photo by cathyloiacono
  3. Absolutely delicious sweet bread recipe. My children usually don't eat the Vasilopita after we discover the lucky coin on New Years, however, this year they devoured it! I substituted the Masticha with 1 tsp clementine rind and 1 tsp anise. Moist, flavorful and by the way, I won the coin this year:)
  4. I used an AMB to prepare the dough. What wonderful flavors! Had an interesting time trying to grind the whole mastica. ;)


Recently married, I live in South Florida. I enjoy cooking and entertaining when I can. We recently bought a house and are trying to get our lives together. My husband loves me trying new recipes (as long as they don't have veggies!) which is great, because I love to try them. Everyone that comes to our house becomes a taste tester. :)
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