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A very traditional Greek Cake that celebrates the life of Saint Basil. Usually served at New Year, it is quick and delicious at any time.
- Clean! Silver or gold coin wrapped in aluminum foil (a quarter works well).
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 10 inch round cake pan with 1 Tbs butter.
- In a medium bowl, cream the cup of butter and 2 cups of sugar together until light in color. Stir in the flour and mix until the batter resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the eggs one at a time, blending each one in well.
- In a small bowl combine the baking powder and milk, add to the cake batter and mix well. Finally combine the lemon juice and baking soda in a small bowl, add to the cake batter and mix well. Pour the cake batter in to the greased cake pan, insert the foil wrapped coin, and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the oven, sprinkle the nuts and 2 Tbs sugar over the cake, then return the cake to the oven and bake for a further 20-30 minutes until the cake springs to the touch. Allow to cool on a rack for 10 minutes then invert the pan on to a cake plate.
- Ideally the cake should be served warm; each person gets a slice of the cake starting with the most senior member. Members of the Greek Orthodox Church believe that whoever gets the coin is blessed.
This is a very tasty recipe, and the tips in recipe are really helpful. I however, found this Vasilopita recipe produced a lighter cake than the traditional version, otherwise if I did not have the traditional version to compare it was really great tasting. I made an addition to the end of the baking time, I added silvered almonds that were dipped in melted butter and a bit of sugar and added to the cake in the last 20 min of baking time. Yum!
I have been making this version for quite a few years now, and my family and I are very happy with the results. I never cared for the bread version of Vasilopita. This one comes out so moist and delicious, just like Yia Yia used to make! 1/2/2009 update-I came back to this recipe after trying out another great Vasilopita last year. My nephew requested the "original" recipe and I happily obliged. I added 2 Tbsp of cognac this time in keeping with my grandmother's recipe. I also subbed 1/2 pound of butter with ICBINB, 2 liquid egg substitutes, and 1/8 tsp almond extract instead of slivered almonds; used only 1 Tbsp of sugar on top. I put it in a large round baking pan and got about 20 nice sized slices out of this wonderfully light and delicious pound cake Vasilopita. Not going back from this one again!
This was a very nice moist cake with an interesting fresh flavor. I didn't put in the coin and I made a sweet lemon sauce to serve with it. However, we didn't end up using the sauce because the flavor was already so good :)