Rating: 4 stars
2 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0

This is a delicious orange sweet bread recipe that has been passed down in my family for several generations. It is a Greek tradition to serve this bread on New Year's morning. A coin is placed in the bread while baking, and when served, the person who finds the coin is said to have good luck for the year. It still makes a wonderful breakfast bread to be served anytime! The aroma that fills your home while baking this recipe is heavenly! It is an all-day process to make this bread, but it is worth it! For Greeks, this is a bread version of Vasilopita, not the dessert cake variety.

Recipe Summary test

30 mins
31 mins
4 hrs 45 mins
5 hrs 46 mins
2 loaves


Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Mix orange juice, water, and cinnamon in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave until the mixture registers 110 degrees F (43 degrees C) on an instant-read thermometer, 1 to 2 minutes.

  • Stir yeast into the orange juice mixture. Let stand until yeast is creamy and frothy, about 45 minutes.

  • Combine sugar and margarine in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until creamy. Add eggs; beat on high speed for 30 seconds. Mix in yeast mixture and orange zest until well combined.

  • Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together in a bowl. Add gradually to the mixture in the stand mixer, mixing with a bread hook until a soft, sticky dough forms, about 5 minutes.

  • Transfer dough to a large glass bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 2 to 4 hours.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 2 round cake pans.

  • Divide dough into 2 equal pieces. Put 1 wrapped coin in each piece; knead for 2 to 3 minutes and shape into a ball. Place 1 ball of dough in each cake pan. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise until puffy, 2 to 4 hours more.

  • Whisk egg white and vanilla together in a small bowl. Brush over the top of dough.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until a knife inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 30 to 55 minutes.

Cook's Notes:

If the mixture doesn't bubble in step 2, it is possible that your water was too hot. You'll have to start over.

Cover bread with aluminum foil in step 9 if it appears to be browning too quickly.

Nutrition Facts

303 calories; protein 3.2g; carbohydrates 36.1g; fat 16.6g; cholesterol 62mg; sodium 694.6mg. Full Nutrition

Reviews (2)

2 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
Delicious bread to share with your family New Years morning. Loved the hint of orange flavor. The coin is a wonderful Greek tradition to make it even more special! Read More
Rating: 3 stars
For some reason, my dough didn't rise, even though the yeast bubbled, so the bread was very dense. Not sure what I did wrong. Even if the texture had been OK, I found the bread too sweet for my taste, and a bit too orange-y. I will try a different recipe next time. Read More