Vasilopita is a traditional Greek cake, especially prepared for New Year’s Eve. On New Year’s Eve, the whole family gathers around the table, and just past midnight, the host cuts the Vasilopita. Each member of the family gets a piece. But there’s a secret. There is a coin inside the Vasilopita and whoever finds it is said to have luck for the entire year!

This year many of us will not be having the large family gatherings of the past. But in honour of these gatherings, we have prepared for you Oliveology’s Vasilopita. The recipe if from Marianna’s mother, Mrs Kalliopi, who makes it every year for her family. Needless to say we were extremely happy she shared it with us!

Serves 20

250g butter
6 large eggs
400g sugar
4 medium oranges (both juice and zest)
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 kg flour

Beat butter and sugar, until white and fluffy. In two bowls, separate the eggs yolks and whites. Beat the whites until soft peaks form. Set aside.

Slowly incorporate the yolks one by one into the butter and sugar mixture.

Mix the orange juice with baking soda and be careful as it will bubble. Slowly add to the mixture, so that it doesn’t splatter.

In a separate bowl sieve the flour and baking powder. Slowly add to the mixture.

In the end, fold in the egg whites and gently mix with a wooden spoon or spatula.

Bake at 180C, until your cake is cooked through, for around an hour. You can check by inserting a knife in the middle of the cake. If it comes our clean, it’s done.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and using almonds, or your fingertips, write 2021 on your cake.

Happy New Year!!!


The phrase “spoon sweets” sounds a bit peculiar in English, but it’s the actual translation of the Greek phrase Gluka tou koutaliou. The phrase gave its name to a category of “sweets” that are served and eaten with (you guessed it) a “spoon”. It includes fruits (but also vegetables) that are slowly cooked with water and sugar. The fruits are picked when in season, and large quantities of spoon sweet are prepared. They are then carefully stored in jars, and last all year-round, until the fruits are in season again. As the fruits slowly cook in the sugary syrup, they release their natural sweetness and their flavours intensify. The result is quite flavourful, so usually a small spoon is enough to satisfy your sweet cravings. In the past, every guest was greeted with Greek coffee and a small plate of spoon sweet.

So this week, as the market was full of grapes, we decided to go ahead and make Gluko tou koutaliou stafyli (grape spoon sweet). For this, select the larger grapes, as they will better hold their shape. And we used seedless grapes.

Makes 2 jars

675g grapes
350g sugar
200g water
zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice
Greek yoghurt (to serve)

Carefully remove the grapes from the vine and wash under cold running water. Drain well and place in a large pot with the water, sugar, lemon juice and zest. Bring to the boil, without stirring. Then immediately turn the heat to the lowest setting and stir carefully so that the grapes are mixed with the sugar syrup.

Cook, half-covered, for 54min to one hour. To test if the spoon sweet is ready, take a tablespoon of the syrup and place it in a small plate. Let it cool and run your finger through it, to create a line. If the syrup stays in place, then you are done.

Remove from the hob and let it cool.
Store is glass jars and keep in the fridge.

Serve with Greek yoghurt!