Greek Vasilopita recipe

© Sophie B.

Vassilopita (or vasilopita) is the cake(pita) of Agios Vassilis(Saint Basil), whose feast day is celebrated on New Year’s Day. Vasilopita is the equivalent of our Galette des rois. A bean is hidden inside, which lucky people discover and which is supposed to bring good luck for the whole year.

It is a culinary tradition tradition. Vasilopita can be found in bakeries throughout January. But it’s even better to make it yourself. So Evi gave us her grandmother’s recipe, easy to make and delicious.


Recipe serves 8-10 people. Vasilopita (or vassilopita) is made in a round dish 38 cm in diameter.

For the dough :

  • 6 eggs
  • 480 g flour
  • 250 g sugar
  • 4 heaped teaspoons baking powder
  • 250 g velouté yogurt, in Greece yogurt agelados
  • 200 g butter
  • 160 g unhulled almonds + 1 tablespoon butter
  • zest of one or two lemons to taste, or one orange
  • 1 capful old rum (optional)

For the royal icing :

  • 200 g powdered sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • juice of half a lemon or less
  • 1 well-washed coin or a “gouri”, a small New Year’s medallion for good luck
The recipe for Vassilopita

Vasilopita recipe

First place the almonds in an ovenproof dish with 1 tablespoon of butter. Place in the oven at 180°, turning occasionally to coat the almonds with butter. When they begin to color (about 20 mins), remove from the oven and chop coarsely with a pestle or blender. But be careful not to turn it into powder!

Beat the eggs with the sugar until the mixture whitens. Add the yoghurt, then gradually the flour mixed with the yeast. Melt the butter and add to the mixture, along with the lemon or orange zest and rum. Finally, add the roasted almonds and mix well, not forgetting the fava bean!

Butter and flour a 38 cm diameter round tin, pour in the mixture and bake for around 45 minutes at 180°. The tip of a knife inserted into the center of the mold should come out clean. Leave the cake to cool, then remove from the mould.

Prepare the glaze: whisk the powdered sugar with the egg white. Very gently add the lemon juice, until the cream is smooth and fairly thick. Pour the icing into the center of the cake, then spread with a flat knife. Wait at least 3 hours before eating the cake, to allow the glaze to set.

When serving, don’t forget to cut four extra slices from your vasilopita: one for Christ, one for the Virgin Mary, one for Santa Claus, or rather St. Basil in Greece, and one for the poor.

From a recipe by Evi S.

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