New year. New blog. New twist on one of my favorite Greek traditions: Vasilopita.
In case you don’t know, the vasilopita is traditionally a cake or bread baked with a coin in it that’s eaten around the start of the New Year. If the coin lands in your piece, then it’s your lucky day, or rather–it’s your lucky year!
That being said, cutting the vasilopita with the family can get a little tense with so much at stake. I don’t know how many times my brother complained that my piece was cut a fraction larger than his and what happens when the coin falls in between two pieces. Do they share the good luck? Is it a tie?
Me to the rescue! I converted my mother’s practically ancient recipe that’s circulated through our family since who-knows-when into something mom was appalled at the idea of: cupcakes!
She quickly got over the fact that I tweaked our family tradition once she gave them a taste.
1 small coin
1 c butter
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 1/2 c sugar
7 eggs, separated
1 tsp almond extract
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp grated orange rind
1/4 c sugar
3 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2/3 c Greek yogurt
2 c sliced almonds
Makes approximately 18 cupcakes.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Melt 1 tsp butter and stir with sliced almonds. Toast in the oven until golden-amber in color stirring often (about 5 minutes). Allow to cool.
Cream butter and oil with 2 1/2 cups sugar on medium to high speed for 10 minutes. Add 7 egg yolks, vanilla & almond extracts and orange rind. Beat until fluffy.
Sift all dry ingredients and slowly add to batter alternately between them and the yogurt. Fold in 1 cup of the toasted almonds.
Beat the egg whites with salt until foamy and gradually add 1/4 cup sugar until stiff meringue forms. Carefully stir into batter. Drop a sterilized coin into the batter and stir it in. Pour mixture in muffin greased and floured muffin tin (or use baking cups like I did) filling each cup 1/2 – 3/4 full and sprinkle with remaining toasted almonds.
Bake for 20-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.