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New Year’s Vassilopita Tsoureki

New Year’s Vassilopita Tsoureki

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New Year’s Vassilopita Tsoureki is a brioche kind of Greek Sweet Bread made for New Year’s Day. 

Vassilopita Tsoureki Top shot image

After midnight and the change of the Year, the head of the family cuts this bread (or cake).  Whoever finds the coin is considered to be lucky during the next year.   If you would like to learn more about the tradition, read an older post here.

Αlthough we love tsourekia and always make them during Easter, I’ve never made a Vassilopita Tsoureki as we prefer the Vassilopita Cake type.

As this bread has been mentioned many times in older Vassilopita posts, I decided that it was time to post this recipe as well.   I made this bread today, in order to have time to post it ahead, for my readers.

Collage 1st stage Vassilopita Tsoureki 2011 image

The recipe is based on  Tsourekia filled with Chestnuts which I made a couple of years ago.

Collage 2nd stage Vassilopita Tsoureki 2011 image

For a start, I adjusted the recipe and made a smaller dose, as I just wanted one tsoureki.  I also made some minor changes, like adding ordinary butter and not ewe’s and goat milk butter, which we use during Easter and changed the flavour by not adding anise seeds and adding orange zest, instead of lemon zest.  After adding all the ingredients I added the flour last, from a 1 kilo packet and weighed the leftover to see how much I used.

One tip I want to share with you is that whenever I bake  during winter, using yeast, I always plan my day’s meal to be something cooked before in the oven, so that the kitchen is warm so that the yeast will rise much easier.

Vassilopita Tsoureki 2012 image
Vassilopita Tsoureki Top shot image

New Year's Vassilopita Tsoureki

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes

New Year's Vassilopita Tsoureki is a brioche kind of Greek Sweet Bread made for New Year's Day 


For the yeast

  • 21 grams (1 packet) fresh yeast or 8 grams dried yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup lukewarm milk
  • 2 tablespoons flour (out of the whole flour used)

For the dough

  • 765 grams bread flour (including the 2 tbsp used above)
  • 1/3 cup lukewarm milk
  • 150 grams brown sugar
  • 150 grams butter
  • 4 egg whites and 3 yolks
  • ¼ tsp mahleb seeds
  • 1/8 tsp whole mastic resins (if impossible to find add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp orange zest

Egg wash:

  • 1 egg yolk mixed with a spoonful of milk for glazing
  • About 1 tbsp brown sugar for sprinkling on top
  • ½ cup blanched and cut almonds


  1. In a small bowl dissolve the yeast with milk and add a couple spoonfuls of flour together with the sugar and mix  Cover with cling film and a napkin and leave it to rise (about fifteen minutes).
  2. Until this is ready, heat the milk, grate the orange, pound the mastic resin and the mahlab together with 1 tbsp sugar and blanche and cut the almonds into two thin slices.
  3. In the mixer beat the butter and sugar until white and fluffy  Add the yeast mixture and add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, the salt, the mastic and mahlab and orange zest, as well as the milk and mix.
  4. Change the paddle and attach the hook on your mixer  Add the flour, until the dough does not stick on the bowl or your hands  If your eggs are smaller or bigger, you may need to add more or less flour, if necessary.
  5. Cover the dough with a napkin and leave it to rise and double in volume.
  6. Knead again a couple of times to deflate and divide the dough in three equal parts (about 500 grams each)  Form each piece into a large cord about 1 inch diametre and braid them together.
  7. Line a baking tin with parchment paper and place in a spring form ring  Place the braid inside, forming a circle.
  8. Brush with the egg-milk mixture on top and sprinkle some sugar and some blanched almonds.
  9. Preheat oven at 180 C / 350 F and bake for about 45 minutes until golden brown and a skewer or a knife, inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  10. Wash a coin, dry and wrap it in a small piece of aluminum foil.
  11. Remove to a wire rack to cool before adding the coin vertically in the cake, from the bottom side.
Nutrition Information
Yield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 506Total Fat 20gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 90mgSodium 223mgCarbohydrates 68gFiber 5gSugar 16gProtein 16g

"These values are automatically calculated and offered for guidance only. Their accuracy is not guaranteed."

Did you make this recipe?

Tried this recipe? Tag me @ivyliac and use the hashtag #kopiaste!

Vassilopita Recipes

There are two types of Vassilopita. One is a cake type and the other a brioche (Tsoureki type). You can use either one.

Here are some more Vassilopitas to choose from!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year,

Collage New Year's Vassilopita Tsoureki image

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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Wednesday 1st of February 2012

Thank for wonderful recipies! Where i can found in on-line shops mastic resin? I want to prepare tsoureki at first time exactly according with your recipe.


Wednesday 1st of February 2012

Unfortunately I cannot help you as I do not know where you live. Google search Mastiha shop in your area and see if there is a mastiha shop then surely you will find mastic resin.


Wednesday 4th of January 2012

Delicous and beautifully presented! Best Wishes for the new Year

Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul

Sunday 1st of January 2012

I love how festive you made this look Ivy! I love all kinds of vasilopites...Happy New Year and all the best for 2012

Banana Wonder

Saturday 31st of December 2011

Nice work on the vasilopita! I need to get my vasilopita on for NYE before it's too late.


Saturday 31st of December 2011

Happy New Year,Ivy!

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