Αρχική 5 Gastronomy 5 Local and Traditional Recipes 5 Vasilopitta from Agiasos

Vasilopitta from Agiasos

The vasilopitta (New Year’s Day cake) from Agiasos has no match anywhere in Greece since it is made with fifty layers of dough sheets (fyllo). Its preparation requires up to four hours, since housewives roll the dough sheets one by one, placing them on top of one another, adding herbs and myzithra cheese in between. It requires four more hours of baking in the oven. This recipe originally hails from Asia Minor.



For the fyllo:

2 ½ cups water

2 tsp. fennel seeds

8-10 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

2/3 cups extra virgin olive oil

1 ½ cups butter, melted


The filling:

3 cups unsalted myzithra cheese, broken up by hand

1 cup kefalotyri cheese, grated

½ tsp. ginger, peeled and grated, fresh or powder

½ tsp. clove powder

½ tsp. cinnamon powder

½ tsp. nutmeg powder

½ tsp. allspice powder

1 coin wrapped in aluminum foil



1 large egg, mildly beaten

1 cup sesame seeds



Step 1

Preparing the dough: Bring water with the fennel seeds to boil. Lower the flame and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the boiling pan from the flame, let seeds soak for 5 more minutes. Drain water in a bowl and let cool.

Step 2

Stir in the boiled water the baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a small hole in the middle of eight cups of flour. Pour the mix into the hole. Add olive oil. With a wooden spoon mix the water and the flour, adding extra flour, if needed, to make a soft, pliable and smooth dough. Cover the dough and let rest for one hour.

Step 3

Preparing the filling: Mix all cheeses and spice in mid-sized bowl.

Step 4

Lob off two pieces of dough smaller than a fist in size and knead them into balls. Divide the rest of the dough in twelve equal balls. Grease the bottom and the sides of a deep round and sizeable pan. Pre-heat oven at 180° C.

Step 5

Sprinkle lightly your working surface and knead one of the two balls open forming a round dough sheet, slightly wider than the baking pan by 5 cm approximately. Grease liberally the dough sheet with the melted butter and spread across it about 1/3 cup filling. Repeat this step twelve times for all twelve smaller balls and lay them one on top of the other, greasing likewise all of them liberally and spreading 1/3 cup filling. The last layer must be thicker than the rest.

Step 6

Fold the edges of the bottom sheet on top of the top sheet and close the edges. Grease the edges liberally.  Spread open the second of the largest balls and place this on top of the last sheet, pressing against the baking pan’s rim, so that the edges of this sheet may stand against the pan’s walls.

Step 7

Press softly the entire pie downwards with your palms. Spread the beaten egg on the top dough sheet and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake the vasilopita until brown, for about two hours at 180° C to secure the best possible thorough baking. Take the pie out of the oven and let it cool off in the pan. Serve.



The harmonious combination of sweet and salty is the main feature of the filling. The vasilopita may require 2-3 days to drain its fluids and bring out all its fragrances and tastes. The intermediate layers are very fine (their preparation needs patience and effort), while the bottom and top layer are thicker than the one in between. The more in-between layers the better (the optimal number usually exceeds thirty).