I love making special New Year’s recipes that promise luck in the coming year. I can ALWAYS use some more luck! Some of my past favorite have been: whole fish (head on), grapes, long noodles and pomegranates . This year, I’m putting my own spin on a lucky New Year’s cake, vaselopita, a traditional greek cake. The sweetness symbolizes ending the past year and starting the next year on a sweet note. The circle is meant to represent coming full circle and a quarter is placed in the center for good luck. I put a Jewish spin on the cake by making the coin a down-payment on a gift to charity, a gift of tzedakah for the New Year. Tis’ better to give than receive, right?
My family and I decided to go bowling to ring in the New Year a bit early. The service was a bit slow, so we dug right in with our hands. It was the perfect beginning, and ending, to the New Year, to start by giving back to those in need.
For the cake:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon orange zest
For the icing:
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
4 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/8 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a bundt cake pan and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Stir in the flour until the mixture is mealy.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Combine the milk and sour cream. Microwave until warm ( about 20 seconds). Stir baking powder into the milk/sour cream mixture. Mix into the egg batter. Add vanilla, orange zest, and baking soda to the batter and mix well.
Bake for 45 minutes. Start checking after 30 minutes, insert a tooth pick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean your cake is done.
Once the cake is done, remove it from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool. Let cool for 30 minutes. Insert a quarter (sanitized by boiling in water) into the center of the cake. Invert cake onto the wire rack and cool completely.
While the cake is cooling, mix the orange juice, confectioners sugar, and heavy cream together. Drizzle the icing onto the cake.
The Greek tradition is to serve the cake New Year’s morning. Serve the cake according to age, youngest first. The person who gets the quarter is said to have a year of good luck. I recommend you use the quarter as your first donation to the Tzedakah box in 2016.
Have a great year!