Greek Cooking Challenge
Vasilopita ~ Greek New Years Bread
Vasilopita is a sweet bread or cake that is traditionally made to celebrate the New Year.
You can choose to make it for New Years Eve or for New Years Day. But if you don’t make it in time for New Years…. don’t stress too much. The Greek Cooking Challenge is for the whole month of January. It is better to still make your dish a little late, rather than not make it at all. The purpose of the challenge is to learn How to Be A Good Greek Cook, and you will never learn if you don’t try. So, don’t worry about the details too much. Just give it a go!
If you haven’t already signed up to the Greek Cooking Challenge then
It’s not too late… don’t be shy… anybody can do it!
Step 1: Recipe
The recipe that I plan to cook is right below, but you can choose to cook your own Vasilopita recipe if you prefer. Use your mum’s recipe or your Yiaya’s recipe. Google a recipe from a Greek food blog or read one of the cook books that you have stored in your book shelf. In fact, I highly encourage you to use different recipes, test it out and then share your experience with us all here on the blog. Share your cooking tips and secrets. Tell us what worked, and what didn’t work during your own cooking challenge. Tell us about your own family tradition or story that is linked to this Vasilopita recipe.
If you need some inspiration, you might like to check out our Pinterest Board for more recipes and decorating ideas or you can always use this recipe:
Vasilopita: Greek New Year Bread by Ioanna Aggelidaki and her mum Mary:
- 500gr of self raising flour – or if you are using plain flower then it is best to also get some baking powder to help it raise.
- 250gr (1 1/2 cups) butter
- 440gr (2 1/2 cups) plain white sugar
- 4 large eggs – or use 5 if the eggs are not very big
- 230gr (1 1/4 cups) milk
- 1 orange with nice skin – grate the orange for the zest ( or if you don’t like orange, you can use 4 tiny vanilla powders instead)
- 1 cup of almonds blended with a food processor (optional)
- Icing sugar or your choice of decorating ingredients
Vasilopita Recipe ~ Instructions
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Get your lucky coin and wrap it in foil or wax paper.
- Grease your pan with lots of butter to ensure that the cake doesn’t stick to it. Then take a bit of flour and sprinkle it around so that it sits on top of the butter – not much flour…just a pinch.
- Use a large bowl to beat the butter and the sugar together. You can use an electronic hand blender or a mix master but be sure to continue beating on medium speed for about 10 minutes.
- Crack the eggs into the mixture one at a time and continue beating.
- Add the milk beat the mixture.
- If you decided to use the almonds in this recipe then add them in now and continue beating.
- Add the orange zest or the vanilla powders (or both) and then get ready to add the flour.
- Use your hands and kneed the flour in to the mixture to create a dough. If you choose to use an electronic mixer or hand blender then be really careful that you don’t over beat the mixture while you add the flour in.
- Pour the mixture in to you pan (that you greased earlier) and add the fluri (the lucky coin).
- Make a wish before you add the fluri (the coin wrapped in foil) in to the pan. Place it in a lucky spot on the side of the cake and ensure that it is covered with dough.
- Let the cake bake in the oven for about 1 hour but keep a watch over it. If your oven is a feisty one, then be careful not to burn the top. You want the cake to be baked in the centre too.
- Use a cake tester, skewer or knife to check if you cake is cooked on the inside. If there is mixture on your testing stick, then it will need more time.
- Once your cake is cooked and ready, place it on a cooling rack. Let it cool before you decorate it.
- Decorate your cake however you choose to. Sprinkle some icing sugar on top, add almonds, cinnamon or chocolate and write the New Years Date… this part is up to you.
Step 2: Cook!
Our lives these days are so busy with lots of stuff to do, so just pick a day, any day you have free time, and cook away! As I mentioned earlier, the Vasilopita is usually prepared for New Year Eve or New Years Day but if you don’t get it done in time… then don’t worry. You can still make it any time throughout the month of January and still take part of the challenge.
Step 3: Take A Photo and Share It
Now that your Vasilopita is ready, take a photo of it! You might like to snap a few shots during the cooking process. If you are using a secret ingredient in your recipe then take a photo of that too. Be sure to share your photo on social media with the hash tags #greekcookingchallenge and #vasilopita. You can share it on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
Or if you prefer to keep your pictures private, then send an email directly to Sia@greekweddingtraditions.com.
Step 4: Receive Your Gift
At the end of the month, the Greek Cooking Challenge subscribers will receive a pdf ebook of the Vasilopita recipe enhanced with all your comments, secrets and notes, all gathered together and garnished with your new years bread photos. By the end of the year, you will have the perfect ebook of Greek food recipes, with home made pictures and secrets form within the kitchen of our subscribers. This gift will only be sent to you if you officially join the Greek Cooking Challenge – so if you haven’t already, you can still Sign Up Now!
The Greek Cooking Challenge is all about Learning How To Be A Good Greek Cook.
Here on the blog, we can all help each other to learn how to be good Greek cooks together.
So don’t forget to share your thoughts throughout this Vasilopita month, your cooking experiences, tips and recipe secrets. Share the things that have gone wrong or perfectly right with your recipe, so we can all learn form each other!
Good Luck Everyone!