12/30/2014 07:02 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Greek Traditional New Year's Cake for Good Luck!

Vassilopita with Chios mastic, orange blossom water and pistachios


Every New Year's Eve we prepare the cake ("Vassilopita", St. Basil's New Year's cake), decorate it with the number of the New Year and we hide a coin (gold, silver or brass) inside, which is believed to bring good luck to whoever wins.

The unique flavor of Mastic will give a special aroma in your "Vassilopita" that will be memorable to the family and your guests !


3/4 cup olive oil
1½ cups sugar
4 eggs
3 1/2 cups (400gr.) self -rising flour
1 cup warm fresh milk
3 tablespoons orange blossom water
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon crushed mastic
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 lemon ( zest )
1 cup pistachios ground

Beat the oil with sugar . Pour the egg yolks one at a time , and continue beating . Add the lemon zest , mastic , orange blossom water , lemon juice , milk and flour sifted with baking powder . Finally add the pistachios and egg whites , after we beat them on meringue . Gently incorporate the meringue in the dough and mix with a spoon until the mixture becomes homogenous .
Grease and lay parchment paper on a baking tray 30 cm . Pour the mixture into the baking tray .
Bake for 45-50 at 180 °C/350F, up to inflate the cake and turns lightly brown evenly. Let it cool for a while, sprinkle some sugar powder on the top and garnish with pomegranate seeds.

Mastic when not used sparingly bitter . So, do not put more than 3/4 teaspoon !
If we use mastic crystals we must crush them very well in a mortar until they become a fine powder. The mastic should be frozen . Add always a little sugar in the mortar.

For more recipes by Katerina, visit here.