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Greek Vasilopita cake.

Vasilopita (Greek New Year's Eve cake)

Vasilopita is a traditional Greek cake with a coin inside made for New Year's Eve. This recipe is flavored with vanilla, orange zest, cinnamon and finely ground hazelnuts.
Course Dessert, Sweet
Cuisine Greek, Mediterranean
Keyword cake, coin, New Year's Eve, Vasilopita
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 324 kcal
Author Makos

Ingredients

For the Vasilopita:

  • 1 1/2 cups (190 grams) cake flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) roasted hazelnuts
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 4 large eggs (220 grams)
  • 1 cup 200 grams sugar
  • 1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon (90 grams) butter
  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the chocolate trees:

  • 7 oz (200 grams) white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon matcha green tea
  • 6 wooden skewers
  • Icing sugar for decoration

Equipment:

  • one 8-inch (20 cm) diameter and 3-inch (7 cm) deep round cake pan (if your pan is not deep enough, grease it only and line the sides and bottom with baking paper just as you see in the video)

Instructions

For the Vasilopita

  1. Warm the eggs: transfer the eggs (with the shells) to a mixing bowl and fill it with very warm (but not hot) water. Let them there while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

  2. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease and flour your cake pan.

  3. Ground the nuts: Transfer the hazelnuts and some of the flour to a food processor and process until you can no longer see any bits of the hazelnuts. Then combine with the rest of the flour, the baking powder and the salt and mix well.

  4. Whip the eggs: Take the eggs out of the water, discard the water and wipe the bowl. Break the eggs in the bowl and beat them with an electric mixer until frothy. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until tripled in volume. The mixture should resemble thick shaving foam.

  5. Melt the butter: While you whip the eggs, transfer the butter and the milk to a small pot and heat until the butter melts and the mixture is steamy.

  6. Fold the flour: Sift the flour mixture over the whipped eggs in two additions and fold gently using a spatula after each addition. Folding ensures that the batter don't deflate much.

  7. Incorporate the butter: Transfer the milk and melted butter to a separate bowl and mix it with about one fourth of the cake batter (just eyeball it). Then, pour this mixture over the whipped eggs and flour mixture and gently fold with a spatula.

  8. Bake: Transfer the batter to the pan and bake for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean (if you use a wider pan check the cake at 55 minutes). Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, unmold on a rack and let it cool completely.

  9. Hide the coin: Invert the cake, make an insition with a knife and hide a coin (wrapped with foil) inside the cake. Reinvert the cake on a serving plate.

For the chocolate trees

  1. Melt the chocolate: Transfer the two thirds of the white chocolate to a bowl and melt in the microwaves or over a bain-marie. Gradually add the rest of the chocolate and stir until melted. Add the matcha and mix well.

  2. Make the chocolate trees: Transfer the chocolate to a piping bag or a food safe bag and let it cool slightly. Place the wooden skewers on a piece of baking paper, cut the end of the piping bag and pipe the chocolate trees. Their shape will form easilly if you just pipe 3 triangles the one under the other. Let the chocolate set and harden (best to put it in the fridge).

  3. Decorate: Cover the surface of the Vasilopita with icing sugar and write the number of the New Year with nuts, cocoa powder or melted chocolate. Place some chocolate trees on top and serve. Happy New Year!

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • If you don't want any nuts, replace the hazelnuts with 3 tablespoons cornstarch or flour.
  • Another recipe I often make as a Vasilopita is this velvety Xmas cake with vanilla buttercream.
  • Αdd 2 teaspoons orange zest if you prefer the orange to be the strongest flavor from the rest of the aromatics.

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For 12 servings: multiply this recipe x1.5 (6 eggs, 1.5 cups sugar, etc.) and use a 10-inch diameter, 3-inch deep round pan.

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For 16 servings: multiply this recipe x2 (8 eggs, 2 cups sugar, etc.) and use a 12-inch diameter, 3-inch deep round pan.

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For 16 servings and more I suggest using a stand mixer with a large bowl.
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