Vassilopita – (New Year’s Cake)


  • 250g butter (soft) 1 1/4 cup (9oz)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 kilo (2lb) flour
  • 5 tbsp cognac
  • 500g (1lb) sugar
  • juice from 6 oranges
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp grated orange rind
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Icing sugar to decorate (confectioner’s sugar)

In a glass bowl beat the butter until it is light and fluffy.

In a 2nd bowl beat together the egg yolks and sugar, until pale, add the butter to the egg mixture. Stir to combine.

Dissolve the soda in the orange juice and add to bowl. Beat the egg whites in a clean separate bowl until stiff.

Add half the flour, half the cognac with the baking powder dissolved in it, and half the egg whites to the sugar/butter mixture. Mix well and then repeat with the second half.

Pour mixture into a 30cm (12in) round baking tin and bake in a preheated moderate oven 180c /350f/Gas 4 for approx 1 hour. Until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Leave to cool. Wrap a coin in foil and insert it in the base of the cake (see note). Decorate the cake with icing sugar, sprinkled on top or make a stencil of 2002 ;sprinkle icing sugar over then gently remove the stencil.

Note: Make sure you place the coin away from the centre of the cake, or you may end up with the coin still on the plate when you have cut it into slices!