Vasilopita cake, also known as New Year’s cake, is served on New Year’s Eve, right at midnight. There’s a coin baked into it and whoever ends up with the slice that contains the hidden coin is considered the “lucky” one for the year. This is a fun tradition and a great excuse to serve up this delicious cake.
This year, I added some cinnamon and cloves along with raisins and walnuts for a change and I absolutely loved it! Of course, you may substitute cranberries (or your favorite dried fruit) for the raisins, and pistachios, almonds, and even pecans would be just as delicious as the walnuts.
The cream cheese icing pairs well with the warm spices and adds richness to this very light and airy cake. I’ve also made it several times and simply dusted lots of confectioner’s sugar on top instead of the icing and it was still very delicious. Whichever way you choose, just make sure to serve it with a steaming cup of tea. Enjoy!
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The Dry Ingredients:
- • 3 cups (440 grams) all-purpose flour
- • ½ teaspoon salt
- • 1 tablespoon baking powder
- • ½ teaspoon baking soda
- • Zest of 2 oranges
- • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- • ½ teaspoon clove powder
The Dry fruit:
- • 1 and ½ cups (150 grams) ground walnuts
- • 1 cup raisins
The Wet Ingredients:
- • ¾ pound unsalted butter softened at room temperature
- • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- • 5 eggs at room temperature, separated
- • ½ cup Greek yogurt
- • 6 ounces of orange juice
- Confectioner’s sugar for garnish
The Cream Cheese Icing:
- • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- • 2 ounces unsalted butter, softened
- • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- • ¼ cup or more whole milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F, 180 °C.
- Grease the bottom and sides of an 8-inch round baking pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk together.
- Combine the walnuts and raisins in a small bowl and add 2 tablespoons of the dry ingredients and toss together. This will keep them from sinking to the bottom while baking.
- In the bowl of a tabletop mixer fitted with the whisk attachment beat the egg whites until slightly thickened and add 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar. Continue to beat on high speed until a stiff meringue is formed. Set aside.
- Combine the egg yolks, butter, remaining cup of confectioner’s sugar, and the vanilla extract in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until thick and then increase the speed to high and beat for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the orange juice and yogurt and beat in low speed until incorporated. The mixture will curdle. Don’t worry!
- Add the flour mixture in a few batches while mixing on low speed until all of the flour has been added.
- Add one-third of the meringue mixture and whisk on low speed until incorporated. Add the remaining meringue while mixing on low speed until all of the meringue has been incorporated.
- Remove from the mixer and add the walnuts and raisins. Carefully mix everything together with a spatula.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan.
- Bake in the center rack of the preheated oven for 1 hour – 1 hour and 15 minutes. The cake is ready when a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with some crumbs attached.
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Make the cream cheese icing, if using. Combine all of the icing ingredients in a bowl and beat together until smooth. Add enough milk to create an icing that spreads easily.
- Spread the icing on top of the cooled cake and let it drip down the sides.
- Decorate with any festive sugar or candies that you have and serve.
- Alternatively, you may dust the entire top of the cake with lots of confectioner’s sugar.