Croatian Gibanica Cake

Several different layers make the traditional Croatian Gibanica cake really rich, but it is not complicated to prepare at all.
By Tamara Novacoviç

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Gibanica, also called Medimurje gibanica is a traditional Croatian cake baked for special occasions. I would say it’s a cake that has contains of the dearest ingredients from traditional Croatian cakes, all combined into one. Several different layers make it really rich, but it is not complicated to prepare at all.

In the past, gibanica used to be baked in clay dishes, but today it is simply baked in large rectangular pans. It is equally good warm and cold, but I recommend serving it warm.

Gibanica - Traditional Croatian Cake
 
Author:
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: Croatian
Ingredients
  • 10 phyllo sheets
  • 5.2 oz (150 g) butter, melted
  • 7 oz (200 g) sour cream
  • powdered sugar
For the first filling
  • 10.5 oz (300 g) ground poppy seeds
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 0.8 cups (200 ml) milk
  • some grated lemon zest
For the second filling
  • 17.6 oz (500 g) cottage cheese
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
For the third filling
  • 10.5 oz (300 g) walnuts
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • ⅕ cup (50 ml) rum
  • 0.8 cups (200 ml) milk
For the fourth filling
  • 35.2 oz (1000 g) apples
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Take baking pan dimensions 13.6 x 11.7 inch (35 x 30 cm) and line it with parchment paper. Take two phyllo sheets and brush with melted butter in between, place them into a baking pan.
  2. For the first filling, combine ground poppy seeds with boiling milk, sugar and lemon zest and brush evenly over phyllo sheets. Top with two more sheets brushed with melted butter in between.
  3. For the second filling, mix cheese with sugar, eggs and vanilla and spread evenly over the phyllo sheets. Cover with two more sheets brushed with melted butter in between.
  4. For the third filling, combine ground walnuts with rum, boiling milk and sugar and spread evenly over phyllo sheets. Cover with tho more sheets brushed with melted butter in between.
  5. For the final filling, combine peeled and grated apples with sugar and cinnamon and spread evenly over the phyllo sheets. Top with 2 final sheets brushed with melted butter in between.
  6. Brush the top sheet with melted butter.
  7. Preheat oven to 356 F (180 C). Bake for 20 minutes, then pour sour cream over it and return to oven. Bake for another 35-40 minutes.
  8. Let cool slightly. Cut into squares, dust with powdered sugar and serve.


Tamara Novakoviç

Tamara Novakovic is a passionate self-taught cook, food blogger, freelance food writer and photographer behind bite-my-cake.blogspot.com. Her life journey has led her through Faculty of Humanities in Zagreb, Croatia to discovering passion for making cakes. She is currently a weekly food columnist for Croatian newspaper V magazine and food magazine Repete.

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