This Amish Friendship Bread variation of the Greek New Year's Cake, vasilopita, has a coin tucked inside to yield good luck and blessings in the coming year.
Preheat oven to 350° F (177° C) and place rack in center of oven.
Grease two 8" round cake pans.
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture.
In a medium mixing bowl, cream the starter, butter, sugar, orange and lemon zests, then add the beaten eggs and orange juice. Mix well.
Slowly add wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Be careful not to overmix!
Carefully add batter into prepared cake pans and smooth the top with a spatula. If not glazing afterwards, top with almonds.
Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool for five minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack. Once you are able to handle the cake, cut a small slit at the bottom and tuck a clean coin into each cake (if you prefer, you can wrap the coin in aluminum foil).
If glazing, drizzle glaze over cakes while still warm, or wait until cake cools and top with a dusting of confectioners' sugar.
The host should slice the cake, with a slice for each member of the household.
If you only have all-purpose flour on hand, decrease the amount of flour from 2½ cups cake flour to 2¼ cups all-purpose flour. Be careful not to overmix.
You can top with slivered almonds, or use a simple vanilla or lemon glaze. If you're doing the grown-up version (21 years and older), add ¼ cup brandy to the recipe and reduce the orange juice to ½ cup. Instead of the regular glaze, combine 1 cup confectioners' sugar with just enough Grand Marnier to achieve a good drizzle consistency, about 2 to 3 tablespoons.
Don't bake the coin directly into the cake. Clean your coins easily by adding a tablespoon of salt to a small bowl and just enough white vinegar to make a paste. Rub the coin in the paste and then let it sit (you can also add a little more vinegar and let it soak). Rinse well with warm water and dry. While the finished cake is cooling, cut a slit into the bottom of the cake and insert a clean coin before glazing and serving. Wrap in aluminum foil if preferred.