Vasilopita (Greek New Year’s Cake)

A dense, pound cake like treat, traditionally served for New Year’s. A coin is hidden in the cake. Whoever gets the slice with the hidden coin is said to also get good luck all throughout the coming new year.

Simply Delicious: Episode 43: Vasilopita



  • 1 pound sweet, unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 7 cups flour


  • Blanched, whole almonds
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon sugar


  • Assorted silver coins (washed well and wrapped in aluminum foil)


  1. Using electric mixer, cream butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl.
  3. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients, blending well; dough will be thick and dense.
  4. Pour cake mixture into two buttered 8” x 8” square pans. Spread batter between 1 – 1½ inches thick.
  5. Hide coins in cake batter.
  6. Decorate cake tops with almonds.
  7. Combine beaten egg yolk, 2 teaspoons milk, and ½ teaspoon sugar.
  8. Brush each cake top with egg yolk mixture.
  9. Bake at 350° for about 40 minutes until golden brown and pick inserted near center of cake comes out clean.
  10. Cool completely.

Serving Suggestions

Serve cake slices with fruit, if desired.


Leftover cake may cut into 1 inch slices and toasted in oven like Paximadia. Lay each piece cut side up on cookie sheet. Bake at 350° until toasty, turning once (about 7 minutes per side). Be careful not to over brown or burn the cake slices.