Croatian Island of Brač-Style Cake

This cake is definitely for dessert aficionados; the combination of a nutty cake layer with the coffee icing is fantastic! The cake may also be served plain, topped with powdered sugar.


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For the cake layer
8 eggs
1 cup plus 5 tbs granulated sugar
2 tbs vanilla sugar (or substitute equal parts vanilla and sugar)
1 lemon, grate rind and juice
1 orange, grate rind and juice
½ tsp allspice
2 tbs Maraschino liqueur
2 tbs rum
3 tbs bread crumbs
2 cups finely ground walnuts
2 cups finely ground almonds

For the filling
1 package (6 ounces) vanilla pudding mix (not instant)
cup granulated sugar
2 cups strong coffee, cold
½ cup whipping cream
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter


Preheat oven to 325° C.

Making the cake layer

1. Beat 4 egg whites with 5 tablespoons of sugar until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, beat 8 yolks and 4 egg whites with 1 cup sugar and the vanilla sugar for about 15 minutes.

3. While the eggs are beating, mix the rinds and juices together with the allspice, liqueur and rum in a small bowl and set aside.

4. Grease and flour two 10 round cake pans.

5. Fold the beaten egg whites into the yolk mixture alternately with the rind and juice mixture. Do this gently so that the batter remains airy and light; remember there is no shortening.

6. Fold the bread crumbs and the ground walnuts and almonds.

7. Pour batter into baking pans and bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans and then turn onto rack or serving dish.

Making the Filling

1. Combine the pudding, sugar, and ½ cup of the coffee. Stir until smooth.

2. Heat the remaining coffee in a saucepan over medium heat with the whipping cream to boiling, stir in the pudding mixture and bring temperature, stirring occasionally.

3. Cream the butter, and add the cooled pudding mixture a tablespoon at a time (it is important for the butter and pudding to be at the same temperature to prevent curdling). Proceed to fill and frost the cake.