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Croatian Apple Cake

This Croatian cake is perfect for any occassion

This is a classic Croatian cake (or kolač as we say) and can be prepared for any occasion — as a dessert after Sunday lunch, or to have along with a cup of steaming Turkish coffee and a gossip session with your friends. You don’t have to stick to the apple filling either; other popular variations include maraska sour (morello) cherries or walnuts. This cake is prepared in all parts of Croatia and I have to say I really do love it, no matter what the occasion. The sweet and sour flavour of the apple and the crumbly texture of the pastry work their delicious magic on the taste buds. It also keeps well for a number of days. Cut the cake up into squares and serve with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream, or serve it on its own just sprinkled with sugar. — Ino Kuvačić, author of Dalmatia


For the apple filling:

  • 1 Pound 11 ounces Granny Smith (or similar) apples, grated
  • 8 Ounces (superfine) sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons dark rum
  • 1/2 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 Cups plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 5 1/2 Ounces butter
  • 5 1/2 Ounces caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons dark rum
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, whisked (egg wash)
  • 2 Tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar, to sprinkle


For the apple filling:

To make the apple filling, sauté the apple and sugar in a saucepan over high heat for 5 minutes.

Add the lemon juice, rum, and ground cinnamon.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until pale.

Add the egg and lemon zest and beat on high until the mixture is pale and fluffy in texture.

Fold in the flour, baking powder, rum, and salt.

Work the mixture into a dough but do not work it for too long. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Divide the dough in half, sprinkle with flour and roll out each half to fit a 6-by-8-inch baking dish or tray. Line the dish with baking paper.

The dough should be 1/2–3/4 inches thick.

Put one layer of dough in the dish and bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven, spread the filling over the top and cover with the remaining dough.

Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with caster sugar.

Prick the top of the dough with a fork and bake until golden brown.

Serve hot or cold, cut into squares.

Recipe excerpted with permission from Dalmatia by Ino Kuvačić (Hardie Grant Books, May 2017)


Nutritional Facts
Calories Per Serving692
Total Fat23g35%
Vitamin A201µg22%
Vitamin B120.2µg2.9%
Vitamin C10mg17%
Vitamin D0.7µg0.2%
Vitamin E0.8mg4.2%
Vitamin K2µg3%
Folate (food)23µgN/A
Folate equivalent (total)23µg6%
Niacin (B3)0.7mg3.5%
Riboflavin (B2)0.1mg6.7%
Sugars, added68gN/A