Samoborske kremšnite (custard pastry)

Samoborske kremšnite (custard pastry)

At the very mention of Samobor, the charming little town just twenty kilometres from Zagreb, the first thought which comes to most Croats is that of the tasty Samobor kremšnita or krempita, the cake with custard cream which today can be found in most traditional confectioneries and pastry shops.


During carnival time, when most Croatian towns turn into a parade of colourful costumes and street parties, in continental Croatia, alongside doughnuts also often eaten are kremšnita (custard cream slices), the original recipe of which has been preserved all these years. It is believed that the best kremšnita can only be tasted in Samobor, which is where this cake originates, and that this is why many residents of Zagreb County take the trip to this Baroque town just to enjoy it.


The kremšnita is famous for its light yellow custard cream which is made from eggs, milk, sugar and flour and is placed between two layers of crispy sheets of puff pastry, with a thin layer of whipped sweet cream hidden beneath the upper crust. Behind the original recipe which won over the people of Samobor is Đuro Lukačić, a confectioner who after returning from his studies in Vienna, Budapest and Zagreb, inspired by the influences from neighbouring countries, in the 1920s adapted a dessert known in the German as Cremeschnitte and created a cake which today is part of the identity of this Croatian town. The pastry sheets which are used at the bottom and the top of this cake are baked in advance, and the light custard cream is prepared from whipped egg whites blended with a mixture made from milk, sugar, vanilla sugar, egg yolks and a little flour.


Although it looks quite simple, the tasty yellow custard cream is in fact not easy to prepare because it requires a lot of attention, as well as care in order that all the ingredients fit together perfectly. Moreover, it is said that the preparation of this dessert needs two people because the yolks and whites must be prepared simultaneously in order that the result is a proper and delicious Samobor kremšnita.


Before serving the cake is sliced into large squares, and at the end, each square is sprinkled with icing sugar, which adds sweetness to this otherwise moderately sweet cake.