Kremšnita Torta, Croatian cake

Kremšnita Torta, Croatian cake

Eva 8 octubre, 2023
Este post también está disponible en Spanish

I’ve been trying to keep my recipes as simple as possible. Those that require little preparation time, but at the same time allow us to look like real hosts and Gods of the stoves of our home. Today we travel to Croatia and learn how to prepare a wonder worthy of being part of all weekend desserts, Kremšnita Torta, Croatian Cake.

A cake inspired by a pastry consisting of puff pastry, pastry cream mousse and whipped cream. An elaboration that can remind us, distantly, to the famous millefeuille or even the Costrada de Alcalá. In my case, and for those who have more time or desire, I show you how to make homemade puff pastry. But it is not essential, we can always use store-bought puff pastry and speed up the process incredibly. And it will look great too. On the other hand, the pastry cream mousse filling is very similar to the one I left you in the Jelly Roll Cream Cake.

The word “kremšnita” comes from the word “cremeschnitte” which means millefeuille in German. As I mentioned before, it is a pastry cream cake flavored with vanilla and whipped cream, very popular in several Central European countries. Throughout the world, you can find many regional variations with small details that make the difference, although all of them share these two elements; puff pastry and custard.

In Slovenia, it is called “kremna rezina“, in Slovakia it is called “kremes“, in Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro “krempita“, and of course, in Germany, you will find it as “cremeschnitte“.

Kremšnita Torta, Croatian cake

Samobor, the charming small town located a few kilometers from Zagreb.

The first thought that invades the minds of most Croatians when this city is mentioned to them is the taste of the incredible kremšnita or krempita from Samobor, a cake that today can be found in most traditional pastry shops and confectioneries.

During carnival, when most Croatian cities are transformed into a parade of colorful costumes and street parties, in mainland Croatia, along with fritters (buñuelos) it is also customary to taste kremšnita. It is believed that the best kremšnita, whose original recipe has been preserved all these years, can only be tasted in Samobor, where it originates from. It is said that many residents of Zagreb County travel to this Baroque town just to enjoy this little morsel.

Kremšnita Torta, Croatian cake

Kremšnita Torta origin.

The origin of this cake is not entirely clear. On the one hand, the word Crèmeschnittewas taken from German, a name that is still used today in Switzerland and Austria.

However, a similar mille-feuille cake appeared in French cuisine and was documented by the chef Vincent La Chapelle, cook to the British ambassador in The Hague (Netherlands), Philip Dormer Stanhope IV Earl of Chesterfield, between 1728 and 1731, who also published in 1733 The Modern cook, a work in three volumes. This work is one of the great classics of the 18th century and had a great influence on the cuisine practiced by the aristocracy of England.

La Chapelle is the first culinary writer who insisted on marking a break with the cuisine of the past and on describing his cuisine as modern.

Some authors claim that older conceptions of this recipe still exist in Hungary, where the Szegediner Torte still exists today.

It seems logical to assume that kremšnita, in its present form, was created in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Today, every country that was part of the Empire has its variant of this cake.

Kremšnita Torta, Croatian cake

Another possible origin.

On the other hand, the history of this cake is linked to the year 192, when its creator, Duro Lukačič, came to Samobor from Vienna and Budapest to work in the famous pastry shop of his brother, Mark Lukačič. For many years, Duro Lukačič combined various recipes drawing inspiration from the technique of neighboring countries and the slastičarna(pastry shops) of Zagreb. Finally, in 1950, he created the now famous and well-known “samoborska kremšnita” – the Samobor millefeuille, based on the classic Cremeschnitte.

“If you have a problem or conflict with someone, bring a ‘kremšnita’ and all will be forgiven!” popular saying of the inhabitants of Samobor.

In Croatia there are two popular variants of this cake:

  • Samoborska kremšnita, made with two layers of puff pastry and a central filling consisting of pastry cream and a thin layer of whipped cream. The top layer of puff pastry is sprinkled with powdered sugar. There are some versions that instead of sprinkling with powdered sugar, cover the top puff pastry with a coffee or caramel pastry fondant.
  • Zagrebačka kremšnita, traditional from the capital, Zagreb. Its appearance is identical to the previous one, only that the top cover of puff pastry, instead of sprinkling it with powdered sugar, is decorated with a thin layer of chocolate.

Different versions.

In Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro, “krempita” is usually prepared as a “kremšnita“. However, there is another variant that is made with Italian meringue instead of whipped cream, using only egg whites. This variant is called “sampita“.

In Slovenia, “kremna rezina” is especially associated with the city of Bled, a small town in the northwest of the country, and in Slovakia it is called Krémeš.

In Poland it is known as Napoleon (I left you the recipe some time ago, somewhat versioned) or kremowka, in Romania cremșnit, cremeșor crempita, in Hungary it is known as kremes, and in Budapest it can be found as France Kremes, or French cream cake.

The recipe for kremšnita came to Slovenia in 1953 from Istvan Kovačevič, a pastry chef at the famous Park Bled Hotel. It seems that as of December 2009, 12 million kremna rezina have been prepared since 1953. I find it mind-blowing.

In my case I leave you a version of this cake in its tart format. As a variant, I decided to introduce an interspersed sheet of puff pastry in the cake to achieve a more cake-like appearance. It looks spectacular, but an important detail. Until the puff pastry is well moistened, the step of cutting the tart is somewhat laborious. You can place it or omit it, I leave it to your choice

Recipe Kremšnita Torta, Croatian cake

Ingredients for a 18 cm diameter removable mold


  • 230 g cake/pastry flour, cold + 20 g for sprinkle
  • 230 g unsalted butter, cold
  • 100 g very cold water, from the fridge
  • 5 g sugar
  • 4 g salt

If you choose to make it with store-bought puff pastry, you will need approximately 450 g (2 packages).


  • 500 g whole milk
  • 3 large yolks + 3 large egg whites, separated
  • 70 g sugar + 70 g sugar, separated
  • 20 g cornstarch
  • 50 g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 y 1/2 gelatin sheets (8,5 g)
  • 2 tsp natural vanilla extract


  • mascarpone cream (210 g fat cream, cold + 120 g mascarpone cheese, cold + 40 g powdered sugar)
  • powdered sugar


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Prepare puff pastry.
  1. If you opt for a simple puff pastry that is called blitz puff pastry. You can watch how to make it in the video recipe Carbayones from Oviedo. If you want to make a traditional puff pastry, you can watch how to do it in the video recipe of palmiers.
  2. Once we have made the last fold, we can keep the puff pastry refrigerated until the next day or let it rest in the refrigerator for 45 minutes before proceeding to make the cake.
  3. In case of making it with store-bought puff pastry, we will omit this step.
  4. NOTE: If you decide to make it with store-bought puff pastry, you will need about 450 g (2 packages).
Stretch and cut puff pastry.
  1. With the help of a rolling pin, stretch puff pastry to a thickness of about 0.3 mm. You may have to divide the dough into two pieces to work with it more comfortably.
  2. With the help of a round cutter or a 20 cm diameter dessert plate, cut 4 circles. Place the plate on the puff pastry and, with the help of a knife, cut the circles. Try to make a clean cut, whenever possible. Puff pastry, after baking, shrinks a little. For this reason we must cut circles with a slightly larger diameter.
  3. Place 3 circles of puff pastry on a perforated tray lined with baking paper.
  4. Prick the surface with a fork to prevent overgrowth.
  5. Keep the excess puff pastry wrapped in plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out and refrigerate so it does not lose temperature or freeze for another occasion. The excess can be used for pie bases or other recipes made with puff pastry. Here you can see several options.
Bake puff pastry.
  1. Preheat oven to 390ºF/200ºC, heat up and down.
  2. Place the tray in the oven at medium height and bake for 18 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. To bake the upper disc, we will carry out another process.
  5. Before baking, cut the puff pastry circle into 8 equal portions. Follow the process I show you in the video to do it in a simple way.
  6. Place on a perforated tray lined with baking paper. Prick the surface and place a sheet of baking paper over the puff pastry. Next, place another tray on top of the puff pastry. This step will help the puff pastry to rise evenly and be perfect for decoration.
  7. Bake for 17 minutes. By having a tray placed on it, we will reduce one minute to avoid over roasting.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
    Kremšnita Torta, Croatian cake
Prepare pastry cream.
  1. Hydrate the gelatine 20 minutes before use. Place in a bowl and cover with very cold water, from the refrigerator. Set aside.
  2. Pour the milk and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat and let it reach a soft boil.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat egg yolks with the sugar (70 g) and cornstarch, previously sifted, until completely homogenized.
  4. Once the milk has come to the boil, pour a little of it over the yolk mixture.
  5. Whisk quickly with the whisks to temper the yolks and prevent the yolks from curdling into lumps.
  6. Add the rest of the milk little by little and mixing very well each time.
  7. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and place over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. You will notice that the texture will become thicker, but it will take a while. Patience.
  8. Once the cream has a creamy texture, as shown in the video, remove from the heat.
  9. Incorporate the butter and mix until homogeneized.
  10. Then, add gelatin, previously drained, and stir with the whisk until completely integrated.
  11. Pour into a tray/tupper/bowl (the larger the better because it will cool faster).
  12. Cover with cling film to prevent it from drying out, and let it cool completely at room temperature.
Whip egg whites.
  1. Once pastry cream has cooled completely, whip the egg whites to make a French meringue.
  2. Start beating at medium speed, once they start to foam, add 1/3 of the sugar (total 70 g).
  3. Wait a few seconds and add another part. Repeat the same process until all the sugar is added.
  4. Whip at medium-high speed until the meringue is firm, but not extremely whipped. This would leave a very dry meringue and, therefore, porous.
Integrate meringue with pastry cream.
  1. With the help of a whisk, beat the pastry cream to soften the texture.
  2. Pour into a large bowl and begin to integrate the French meringue. We will do it little by little, mixing with the whisk with enveloping movements to integrate both elements. We will obtain a pastry cream mousse.
Prepare the mold to assemble the cake.
  1. Place on the base of the mold baking paper or a non-slip with a disc for cakes, thus facilitating the process of unmolding.
  2. Cover the sides with acetate. If we do not have it, we can use baking paper or Teflon instead. Lightly grease the inside of the acetate with a little olive oil. This step will prevent the cream mousse from sticking and, therefore, from breaking when unmolding. Set aside.
Assemble the cake.
  1. Spread some cream on the tart disc and place the first puff pastry disc.
  2. Pour half of the filling into the mold and smooth the surface.
  3. Place another puff pastry disc and press gently.
  4. Add the other half of the cream and smooth the surface as much as possible.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent the surface from drying out and refrigerate for 12 hours or until the next day.


Prepare mascarpone cream.
  • The cream must be at least 24 hours in the cold.
  • The bowl in which we whip the cream must be cold. I recommend using an aluminum bowl and placing it in the freezer for 20 minutes before whipping the cream.
  1. Pour the cream together with the mascarpone in the cold bowl and begin to whip with the whisk on speed 1.
  2. Once it begins to firm up, add the sugar little by little and without stopping beating. Increase the speed gradually, but never reach the maximum speed. The ideal is a medium speed.
  3. We will beat until we obtain a full-bodied cream. But be careful not to overbeat it or we will make butter.
Decorate the cake.
  1. Cover the sides of the cake and the top with a thin layer of mascarpone cream. Smooth with the help of a pastry spatula or edge smoother.
  2. Put in a piping bag with the chosen nozzle, in my case the BS118 nozzle, refrigerate until the time to decorate the cake.
  3. Grind one of the puff pastry discs and cover the sides of the cake with these crumbs.
  4. With the help of a knife, mark on the top the lines that correspond to each portion. These are the same as the size of the puff pastry triangles that we will use for the final decoration.
  5. Pipe mascarpone cream on each half and part of the outer edge of each triangle.
    Sprinkle the puff pastry triangles with powdered sugar and place on the tart. Rest the triangle on one of the cut lines and let it rest on the piped cream.
  6. In case you have removed some of the powdered sugar by mistake, once all the triangles are in place, sprinkle them again with powdered sugar.
  7. Serve.
    Kremšnita Torta, Croatian cake


  • To make quick/blitz puff pastry, ideally, all ingredients should be cold. With the mixing the temperature rises and we want to keep the dough cold, as much as possible.
  • Butter brings a lot of flavor, I recommend you to use a good one quality.
  • Do not overmix the ingredients more than I detail in the process and show you in the video.
  • Respect all the rest times to achieve a good result.
  • In case you do not want to make the puff pastry, you can buy it ready-made and speed up the process. In this case, you will need two packages or 450 g approximately.
  • If you buy puff pastry, I advise you to stretch it a little with the help of a rolling pin to refine it and have enough puff pastry to obtain 4 discs.
  • The puff pastry shrinks after baking, so we must cut circles of 20 cm instead of 18 cm, which is the size of the mold.
  • Placing a puff pastry disc in the central part is optional. It can be omitted if you wish. As a fact tell you that until this is not well moistened, the step of cutting the cake is not easy .... It is a little difficult to do. If you do not want to complicate it, do not use it.
  • Do not forget to temper the yolks to prevent them from curdling and forming lumps.
    Kremšnita Torta, Croatian cake
  • Be patient when you are making pastry cream, it takes a little while to set and gain consistency. Do not be tempted to increase the heat because you run the risk of burning some part of the base and passing the flavor to the cream.
  • When we have to integrate meringue with cream, I advise you to do it with a manual whisk. The result is exceptional, as long as it is done with smooth and enveloping movements. Much better than working it with a silicone spatula.
  • Many recipes on internet uses store-bought custard instead of making a homemade pastry cream. For that reason I add gelatin, to achieve the final consistency that the filling should have.
  • In my case I used a mascarpone cream, but you can use whipped cream or Chantilly (whipped cream with vanilla). I don't like to use cream hardeners, I don't like the final texture.
  • Cutting the top puff pastry before baking, favors that the cuts are clean and the pieces are perfect. In addition, by placing a tray over it before baking, it leaves a uniform and impeccable growth.
  • The decoration of the sides of the cake is optional, but in this way we achieve a more elegant appearance.
  • It can be kept for 3-4 days refrigerated and in an airtight container. It does not keep longer because of the addition of uncooked egg white. If you wish, you can make an Italian meringue instead of French meringue, which could extend the shelf life even more. Although in this case, it would not be that way either since the pastry cream should be consumed in 2-4 days maximum.
    Kremšnita Torta, Croatian cake

Another cake to keep in mind when looking for an easy dessert is this Croatian cake, Kremšnita Torta. It is true that if we make homemade puff pastry it is not exactly easy or fast... But in the case of using store-bought puff pastry, it is a cake that we can prepare in a very short time. It also allows us to leave it prepared in advance, which also greatly improves the final result.

It is a tart with a delicate, soft and light flavor. With a silky and creamy texture, accompanied by a puff pastry that, far from being crunchy on the inside, adds an interesting texture. On the other hand, the top puff pastry does remain crispy since it barely touches part of the top cream.

I look forward to hearing what you think of this wonderful cake based on the traditional Croatian pastry.

I remind you that you can watch all my videos on my YouTube channel. If you subscribe and activate the little bell, I will be eternally grateful to you!

Lots of love,

Fuentes:World Food Story, Croatia.

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