Happy New Year!!
Vassilopita is our traditional New Year’s cake which is also made as a Sweet Brioche Bread, called «Tsoureki».
There are many ways to make this cake, so you can learn all about the tradition behind the cake and another recipe in my last year’s post.
The traditional recipe is usually an orange flavoured cake with almonds and icing sugar sprinkled on top, in which a coin is inserted for good luck.
I am sharing an alternative cake I made with lemon flavour.
260 grams (about 2 cups) cake flour or use all purpose flour (minus 4 tbsp) plus 4 tbsp corn flour, sifted*
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 250 grams (about 2 sticks+) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 225 (about 1+ cup) grams icing sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 coin, wrapped in aluminium paper
- Icing sugar and buttercream for decoration (optional)
*To make 1 cup cake flour: In a measuring cup add two tablespoons corn flour (starch) and fill it with all purpose flour. Sift the two kinds of flour into a sifter set over a bowl before using, a few times so that they are well combined. Use it in any recipe using cake flour.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C 350 degrees F and place the rack inthe centre of the oven. Line a 35 cm (10 inch) diametre baking tin with parchment paper and butter or spray the sides.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, corn flour, baking powder and mix in salt, vanilla sugar and lemon zest.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter with sugar until creamy and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. After about five minutes the batter should be light in color and fluffy in texture.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. You will notice that the batter will look curdled. Don’t worry as the batter will come together again after you add the flour mixture.
- Add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Wash and wrap the coin and drop it in the cake.
- Bake for about 50 to 60 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and cool completely.
- Using a stencil, sift some icing sugar on top.
For the lemon buttercream:
- 60 grams butter, softened
- 1 tsp lemon flavoured vanilla sugar
- 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
- 120 grams icing sugar, sifted
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Put all the buttercream ingredients into a bowl and beat together with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy.
- When the cake has cooled, spread the filling on top and decorate as you like.
Update for Vassilopita 2014:
I used the above basic recipe and flavoured it with orange.
Baking time: about 1 hour
- 250 unsalted butter, room temperature
- 225 grams sugar
- 200 ml orange juice
- 100 ml milk
- 30 ml orange liqueur or Grand Marnier
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 400 grams cake flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 120 grams almonds with skin on, powdered
- 4 large eggs, (about 65 grams each) at room temperature, separated
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- A pinch of salt
For red sugar icing (optional):
- 1/3 cup icing sugar
- 2 – 3 tablespoons blossom water
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- A few drops of red colour
The directions to make the cake are similar as the above. As I used a hand mixer, I whisked the egg whites with lemon juice and a pinch of salt, separately into a meringue.
The dry ingredients were sifted together.
I then whisked the butter with sugar until fluffy and added the yolks one by one. I added the remaining wet ingredients and turned off the mixer. I then used a spatula and gradually incorporated the flour mixture with meringue, alternating until all was added.
Here’s the remaining:
Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
Remove the cake from the pan and place on a platter. Sprinkle with some icing sugar on a stencil.
Put the remaining icing sugar in a bowl, add lemon juice and colour. Mix and add enough blossom water to make a thick paste. Add more sugar if needed.
Put it in a piping bag and pipe out the design you like.
My best wishes to all of you for a
A similar recipe is included in my cookbook «Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!» or in Volume 2 of my e-cookbook.
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,