This traditional Greek cake served at New Year’s hides a coin somewhere in the cake. With religious undertones, the cake is cut into slices for the home, its inhabitants, other family members, the poor, Jesus, and Mother Mary. The piece with the coin will have good luck throughout the coming year. The cake has a pound cake consistency with wonderful citrus undertones.
6 cups flour
2 3/4 tablespoons baking powder
2 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups butter, room temperature
2 cups orange juice
2/3 tablespoon orange zest
2/3 tablespoon lemon zest
1 1/3 teaspoons vanilla extract
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350°F, spray the bottom of a round pan with non-stick spray, and line with a parchment paper round on the bottom. In a large bowl, sift the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
Separate the egg whites and yolks. Add the egg whites into a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and beat until light and fluffy. Add the sugar 1/4 cup at a time into the egg whites until it is incorporated. Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract and continue to beat for 5 minutes. While the eggs are beating, zest the orange and lemon into the orange juice. Set aside.
Add the butter into the eggs a bit at a time and beat until well incorporated. Add the orange juice and zest into the egg mixture and beat until combined. Pour the egg mixture into the flour and fold it together. Add a coin wrapped in silver foil and fold it into the batter. The batter is quite thick.
Transfer the batter into the pan, spreading out the surface with a spatula. Bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and, while hot, dust with the confectioner’s sugar (the bottom layer melts slightly and sticks to the cake allowing the rest of the sugar to stay in place). You may add the year by cutting out the numbers on a piece of paper in a larger size. Place them on the top of the cake and then dust with the confectioner’s sugar. Carefully remove the paper stencil.
Makes one 12.5” round cake.