Brandy-Orange New Year's Cake (Vasilopita)

By • December 29, 2013 • 0 Comments

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Author Notes: The brandy, orange and lemon flavours combine to form a light and springy cake packed with flavour. It's a not a heavy cake as just a small amount of brandy is added. Traditionally, this cake is served on New Year's Day. A coin is hidden inside just before it is placed in the oven and whoever cuts the piece of cake with the coin inside, is said to have "luck" for the year - it results in people wanting large pieces! It's not just a New Year's cake - it's the perfect partner to a cup of tea or coffee too.christina@afroditeskitchen

Makes 30 pieces

  • 3/4 cups unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 & 1/2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • (optional) coconut flakes & icing sugar for topping
  1. Preheat the oven to 176C. Grease and flour an 10 inch circular pan, line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. With a mixer, beat the butter and sugar well. This will take around 10 minutes on a high setting. The mixture has to change to a very pale yellow colour.
  3. Add all the eggs, one egg at a time, ensuring that it has been incorporated into the batter before adding the next egg.
  4. Add the brandy and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Add the orange and lemon zests. Don’t worry if your batter begins to curdle at this stage.
  5. Stir the baking powder and flour together.
  6. Next add the orange juice and flour, alternating with small amounts of each as you add these ingredients, starting and ending with flour.
  7. Pour the batter into the pan. If adding a coin into the cake, tightly wrap the coin in plastic wrap, and drop it into the batter. Ensure the top of the batter is smooth so that it is not obvious where the coin has been dropped. I sometimes make the "edges" higher than the center of the cake (so it almost dips in the center) with a spatula so it cooks better, but don't overmix the batter when you do this.
  8. Place in the oven for 60 minutes. Test the center of the cake with a toothpick after 60 minutes to ensure it is cooked. Remove and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool on a cooling rack.
  9. If you wish, dust icing sugar and coconut flakes on top before serving.
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