Vasilopita (Lucky New Year’s Cake)

newyearscakeHolidays in our family are a big deal. Our Greek traditions play a large role in each holiday. I have so many wonderful memories growing up with my “Big Fat Greek Family” and all our special traditions.

 During the holiday season I always used to bake traditional Greek sweets with my yiayia (grandma) and one that stands out most to me is the Vasilopita. It is something we would bake and cut on New Year’s Eve at midnight, or New Year’s Day. It can be made as a bread or cake, and a coin is placed inside. You cut a piece for “the house” and one for each person. Whoever gets the coin has good luck for the entire year.

 When I got diagnosed with Celiac, I was sad I could no longer enjoy our family’s traditions. Once I realized I just needed to modify recipes, I am now able to enjoy them again!

 I hope you try our tradition in your family!


4 cups gluten free flour (I use Cup4Cup)
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 ¾ cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 ½ cup orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
Powdered Sugar

A Coin


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 9-10 inch cake or bunt pan.

In a bowl, cream the sugar and butter.

 Add the orange juice, vanilla and orange zest. Mix with a mixer.

Whip the eggs in a small bowl and add to the butter mixture and mix.

 In another bowl mix the flour and baking powder and add to the wet ingredients and mix.

Add the coin in the batter.

Pour batter (it will be thick) in the pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.

 Bake for about 45-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

 Remove from oven and let cool.

Release cake from pan, turn right side up and sprinkle top with powdered sugar.

cut the cake and hope you get the coin! 🙂

Happy New Year! Enjoy!

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  1. Eleni says:

    I found your recipe on Pinterest. It is wonderful and a “keeper” for sure! I made this for our church’s Vasilopita Sunday and it was quite a hit. Thank you very much for sharing it.

  2. Kay from Texas says:


    I’m looking forward to making this in a few days. My daughters’ class is studying greek history. The class is having a pentathlon and feast after. We’ve been asked to bring a greek desert. I looked on pinterest and besides baklava, some look very… interesting =). Plus I think I’d have to search for some of the ingredients.

    Then I found this cake which looks yum AND I already have all the ingredients, happy dance! =)
    Plus I LOVE LOVE LOVE that we put a coin in for good luck!!!! While it isn’t New Years, I’m doing it anyway! So cute! AND I’m going to totally steal that New Years tradition!! This Irish-Eastern European family thanks you! =)

    Do you think I can make this cake the day before? Or is it best to make it the day of the event?
    Also, there will be so many of us, I think I should bring two. Do you think it’s safe to double the recipe or just make it twice?

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    • msmodify says:

      Yay! I’m sooo happy to hear this! I think the kiddos will love it, especially with the coin inside! If you don’t have time to make it the day of, I think the day before should be fine just make sure you cover it really well so it stays moist. Maybe make it the day before but add the powdered sugar the day of! I always double if not triple the recipe since I make them for multiple houses.

      I have so many friends that aren’t Greek that now do this tradition with their families!

      Enjoy and please let me know how it turns out!! 🙂

  3. Genie says:

    I was gonna make this cake with regular flour do I need to modify the baking powder. If you could let me know soon I was getting ready to make it today

  4. Mary Falaras says:

    I made one tonight, it came out great! Eldest son got thee coin. My two sons complemented my simple, yet tasty cake. I baked it in my cast iron skillet.

    • msmodify says:

      I’m so glad to hear this! That’s exciting your son got the coin! I’ve never tried it in a skillet, so that’s great to know it turned out well. Happy New Year!!

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