This traditional Lucky Greek New Year’s Cake called a Vasilopita, has a hint of orange flavor, is covered in powdered sugar and has a coin hidden inside for good luck!
My Greek culture plays a huge part of who I am and the older I get the more I realize that. Being Greek, we have so many traditions that have been passed on from generation to generation. Food and family go hand in hand in our culture, so naturally many of these traditions revolve around food!
Vasilopita is something my family bakes and cuts on New Year’s Eve at midnight, or New Year’s Day every year. It can be made as a bread or cake, and you place a coin into the dough before baking. The bread/cake is sweet which symbolizes the sweetness and joy of life. The Vasilopita also represents the hope that the New Year will be filled with life, health and happiness.
You cut a piece for “the house” and one for each person. Whoever gets the coin has good luck for the entire year!
I’ve shared this recipe in the past, however last time I made it in a bunt cake, whereas today I’m sharing the traditional way a Vasilopita is made.
- 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.
- Add the eggs to the butter mixture and mix.
- In a medium bowl mix the flour and baking powder and add to the wet ingredients and mix.
- Add the coin in the batter. The batter will be thick.
- Pour batter in the pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
- Bake for about 50-60 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!
I hope your family tries our family tradition! Enjoy!
I love your pics… I loved seeing it on IG how you took it 🙂
Hope you have a wonderful Christmas weekend!!!
Thanks! It’s fun to share a little behind the scenes of my posts! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas as well! xoxo
Thank you! I’m also dairy free, can I substitute oil or vegan buttery sticks for the butter?
Vegan buttery sticks or room temp (slightly softened) coconut oil would work best since you need to cream it with the sugar. I’m now dairy free also, so I will be making mine this way too!
My boss used to do this cake for us every Christmas. So cool to see it here. And in a gluten free version. Merry Christmas!
How fun that your boss did it! Did you ever get the lucky coin?! Merry Christmas to you too! 🙂
Ah! We’ve done this kind of thing with the Polish Kind’s Cake (with the baby inside!) Fun fun memories of that! Haha!
I’ve never heard of the Polish cake! I’ve heard of the Mexican cake with the babies inside. I love all the different cultural traditions!
I love that you made this cake gluten-free and don’t have to give up your tradition! I’d love to make it… and I need to find a way to ensure I get the coin because I could use some luck in the New Year 🙂 Happy Holidays!
I love that I get to enjoy it too! Thanks, Happy Holidays to you too!! 🙂
This looks absolutely delicious! I love learning about other people’s tradition and this sounds like a seriously tasty one 😉
Thanks! It’s a fun tradition we do every year!
My husband made this today for me. So delicious. Thank youl
I’m so happy you loved it! I hope this becomes a tradition in your family each year! Happy New Year!
Hi I’d love to try the recipe however we don’t have the flour in Australia and it’s not worth buying on Amazon the postage is costly. Is there another blend I can use or make my own mix.
Any all purpose 1:1 gluten free flour will work!
Any Way to make it using a sugar substitute?
You can use coconut sugar in place of white sugar in the cake. Powdered sugar is best for the outside. Happy New Year!!
This recipe is so close to mine. Are you Greek? My aunt gave me this recipe. All you did is make it gluten free.
This is my original recipe.
Mary at CaliforniaGreek Girl
I am Greek! This is my YiaYia’s recipe that I made gluten free!
Thank you so much for this gluten free recipe! I’ve been making vasilopita for years but this year, we discovered my husband needs gluten free. I’m going to surprise him and make a vasilopita he can eat too! Xronia Polla!
Xronia Polla! Did you make it? I hope he enjoyed it! 🙂
Hi just wondering is it 350 degrees Fahrenheit? If so that’s 176 degrees Celsius and is your recipe cooked to a conventional oven, fan assisted or fan forced? In my experience oven settings make all the difference. Thanks Eleni
I’m wondering if this can be made into 2 smaller cakes, and then freeze one for later? I’m a widow on my own now, and can’t possibly eat an entire cake myself (and would hate for any to go to waste). If this can be done, how would I modify baking time for 2 smaller cakes? Thanks!
I’ve never tried that, but I would say start by cutting the time in half and check with a toothpick and add 5 minute increments as needed. Let me know what ends up working if you try it! Enjoy!
Hi! Firstly I’d just like to say that I’ve been following this recipe for the last 3 years and every time it is absolutely delicious!! However, I must be doing something wrong, perhaps with my oven settings, as the middle of the vasilopita sinks and creates a hole! Any ideas what I’m doing wrong and how to fix it?