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Greek Vasilopita – Βασιλόπιτα

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • Grated rind of 2 large oranges
  • Grated rind of 2 large lemons
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed/powdered sour cherry pits (Arabic mahleb, Greek makhlepi)
  • 2 teaspoons crushed/powdered gum mastic (Arabic miski, Greek mastikha)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 ounce Mandarin orange juice
  • 1 egg yolk blended with 1 tablespoon milk
  • sesame seeds
  • blanched almonds
  • a clean coin – a quarter will do nicely – wrapped in silver or gold foil


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Thickly butter a 10-inch round spring form pan.
  2. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the sugar and beat until the mixture is light. Beat in the eggs, one a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the orange and lemon rinds, the Mandarin orange juice and the crushed/powdered sour cherry pits and gum mastic.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together two cups of the flour, the baking powder and salt.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the dry mixture alternately with the milk. The batter will be quite thick. Using a wooden spoon, gradually blend in the remaining flour, beating well until completely smooth.
  5. Spread the batter into the pan, press the coin into the dough until it is completely covered (don’t let anyone see where you place it!), and then smooth the top. Brush the top evenly with the egg and milk mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Gently press the blanched almonds into the top to make a Cross and spell out the date of the new year.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown (if it browns too quickly, cover the top with aluminum foil). Cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing from spring form and thoroughly cool before slicing.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours