Delicious Gibanica Recipe from Croatia - The Ultimate Guide


Delicious Gibanica Recipe from Croatia - The Ultimate Guide
Region / culture: Croatia | Preparation time: 2 hours | Cooking time: 1 hour | Servings: 12



Gibanica is a traditional Serbian pastry that is made with layers of thin dough filled with a sweet and nutty mixture. This delicious dessert is perfect for special occasions or as a treat for your family and friends.


Gibanica has been a popular dish in Serbia for centuries, with its origins dating back to the Ottoman Empire. The name "gibanica" comes from the Serbian word "gibati," which means to fold or sway, referring to the layers of dough that are folded together to create this delectable pastry.




How to prepare


  1. Dissolve yeast in approximately 2 tsp of sugar and 0.5 cup of warm water; let it stand until it bubbles.
  2. Sift flour into a large bowl and add salt and 0.5 cup of sugar.
  3. In another bowl, beat 3 egg yolks, 1 tsp of vanilla, and sour cream; add the yeast mixture.
  4. Add scalded milk and sweet butter to the yeast mixture, which was previously added to the milk and cooled.
  5. Add this mixture to the flour bowl and knead until it forms a soft, silky dough that is not sticky.
  6. Let the dough rise in a greased bowl until it doubles in size.
  7. Ensure that the dough is soft as it needs to be stretchable.
  8. On a floured cloth, roll the dough to a thickness of about 0.25 to 0.5 inches; stretch it gently to prevent it from breaking.
  9. Stretch the dough into an oblong shape, approximately 30 x 20 inches (use a rolling pin if necessary), and fill it with the following filling.


  1. Scald milk with butter.
  2. In a bowl, add ground nuts, honey, vanilla, sugar, and a scant amount of salt; then add the scalded milk with butter.
  3. Mix well, then add stiffly beaten egg whites.
  4. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more milk.
  5. Spread the filling on the dough, similar to how you would for a nut roll, and roll it up like a jelly roll (adjust sweetness to taste).
  6. Grease a roasting pan that is 4 to 6 inches in depth and fill the pan; start at one edge of the pan and make a "u" shape.
  7. Do not cut if the roll is longer; turn it again.
  8. Brush the top with milk and prick it with a knife to release air bubbles.
  9. Let it stand for 1 hour.
  10. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 1 hour.
  11. Remove from the oven and brush with butter.
  12. Allow it to cool, then transfer it onto a cloth and place it on a rack to cool further.


  • You can add raisins or dried fruit to the filling for a different flavor profile.
  • Try using different nuts such as walnuts or almonds for a unique twist.
  • Experiment with different spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg for added warmth.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to knead the dough until it is soft and stretchable to ensure that it is easy to work with.

- When rolling out the dough, be gentle to prevent it from tearing.

- Adjust the sweetness of the filling to suit your taste preferences.

- Brushing the top of the gibanica with milk before baking helps to create a golden crust.

- Pricking the top of the gibanica with a knife before baking helps to release any air bubbles.

Serving Suggestions

Gibanica is best served warm with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Cooking Techniques

Kneading the dough until it is soft and stretchable is key to a successful gibanica.

- Rolling out the dough gently and evenly will ensure that the layers are uniform.

- Baking the gibanica at a moderate temperature for a longer period of time helps to cook it evenly.

Ingredient Substitutions

You can use store-bought puff pastry or phyllo dough instead of making your own dough.

- If you are allergic to nuts, you can use a mixture of dried fruit and seeds as a filling.

Make Ahead Tips

Gibanica can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Simply reheat in the oven before serving.

Presentation Ideas

Serve gibanica on a decorative platter garnished with powdered sugar and fresh berries for a beautiful presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Gibanica pairs well with a cup of strong coffee or a glass of sweet dessert wine.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover gibanica in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven at 350°F (177°C) for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of gibanica contains approximately 400 calories.


Each serving of gibanica contains approximately 45 grams of carbohydrates.


Each serving of gibanica contains approximately 20 grams of fats.


Each serving of gibanica contains approximately 10 grams of proteins.

Vitamins and minerals

Gibanica is a good source of vitamin E, magnesium, and phosphorus.


Gibanica contains nuts, dairy, and eggs.


Gibanica is a rich and indulgent dessert that is high in carbohydrates and fats. It is best enjoyed in moderation as a special treat.


Gibanica is a delicious Serbian pastry that is perfect for special occasions or as a sweet treat. With layers of thin dough filled with a sweet and nutty mixture, this dessert is sure to impress your family and friends. Enjoy!

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I was immediately hooked. It was a sunny afternoon in the village where I grew up, and my dear neighbor, Mrs. Jelena, invited me over for a cup of tea. As we sat in her cozy kitchen, she brought out a plate of the most delicious-looking pastry I had ever seen. It was called Gibanica, a traditional Serbian dish made with layers of thin dough and a filling of cheese, eggs, and butter. Mrs. Jelena had learned the recipe from her own grandmother, who had passed it down through generations.

I watched in awe as she carefully rolled out the dough, spread the cheese mixture, and folded the layers into a perfect spiral. The aroma that filled the kitchen was intoxicating, and I knew I had to learn how to make it myself. Mrs. Jelena noticed my interest and offered to teach me the secret of her family recipe.

Over the next few weeks, I spent countless hours in Mrs. Jelena's kitchen, practicing the art of making Gibanica. She taught me how to make the dough from scratch, how to mix the filling just right, and most importantly, how to layer the pastry so that it baked to golden perfection. It was a labor of love, but with each batch I made, I could feel myself getting closer to mastering the art of Gibanica.

As the years went by, I continued to make Gibanica for my family and friends, always using Mrs. Jelena's recipe as my guide. Each time I baked a fresh batch, the memories of those days spent in her kitchen came flooding back, and I felt grateful for the knowledge she had passed on to me. Gibanica became a staple in our household, a dish that brought us together and reminded us of our heritage.

As I grew older, I began to experiment with the recipe, adding my own twist to the traditional dish. I tried different types of cheese, added herbs and spices, and even tried baking it in different shapes and sizes. Each variation was a hit with my loved ones, and I felt proud to be able to put my own spin on a classic recipe.

One day, my daughter-in-law asked me to teach her how to make Gibanica. I was overjoyed to pass on the knowledge that had been given to me by Mrs. Jelena so many years ago. As we stood side by side in the kitchen, rolling out dough and spreading the cheese mixture, I could see the same spark of excitement in her eyes that I had felt all those years ago.

As we sat down to enjoy the fruits of our labor, I watched as my family savored each bite of the Gibanica. It was a moment of pure joy, knowing that the recipe had been passed down yet again, from one generation to the next. I knew that Mrs. Jelena would have been proud to see how her legacy had continued to live on through me and now through my daughter-in-law.

And so, as I sit here now, reflecting on the journey that led me to this moment, I am filled with a sense of gratitude for the gift of cooking and the joy of sharing good food with those I love. Gibanica will always hold a special place in my heart, a reminder of the bonds that are formed through the simple act of cooking and the beauty of passing on traditions from one generation to the next.


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