Walking Through Lavender Fields
Vegan Prekmurska Gibanica photo 1
Desserts

Vegan Layered Strudel Cake (prekmurska gibanica)

Prekmurska gibanica is a national specialty of Slovenia and is a kind of layered strudel cake. It contains 4 different layers: poppy seed, cottage cheese, walnut and apple. The layers follow each other in this order and each layer is repeated twice. This is my favourite Slovenian dessert. I remember very clearly eating it in the past when I was still vegetarian and every bite was heaven to me. I had a big desire of successfully making a vegan version at home.

Tastewise the biggest challenge was the cottage cheese layer. I also had to figure out a lot of other little things so that everything came together perfectly in the end. In my opinion this Prekmurska gibanica is as good as the real thing. I’m also using my vegan cottage cheese to replace the traditional one.

Vegan Prekmurska Gibanica photo 4

Vegan Layered Strudel Cake (prekmurska gibanica)

Four layers (poppy seed, cottage cheese, walnut and apple) that are perfect together in this layered strudel cake. A delicious vegan take on the traditional recipe.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hr 50 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs 50 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 9
Calories 473 kcal

Ingredients
  

Dough:

  • 5 sheets phyllo dough (if your store has an option of a thin one and a little more thick one choose the thick one)

Poppy seed layer:

  • 100 g poppy seeds ground
  • 1/3 tsp vanilla powder
  • 30 g date sugar or maple sugar
  • 135 ml (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp) unsweetened soy milk divided
  • 2 tbsp vegan sour cream recipe below

Vegan cottage cheese layer:

  • 500 g vegan cottage cheese you will need 1.7x of this recipe
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 tsp vanilla powder
  • 36 g date sugar or maple sugar

Walnut layer:

  • 200 g walnuts ground
  • 1/3 tsp vanilla powder
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 40 g date sugar or maple sugar
  • 215 ml (3/4 cup + 2 tbsp + 1 tsp) unsweetened soy milk divided
  • 2 tbsp vegan sour cream recipe below

Apple layer:

  • 400 g your favourite apples peeled and grated
  • a drizzle of lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp ceylon cinnamon powder
  • 1/3 tsp vanilla powder
  • 20 g date sugar or maple sugar

Vegan sour cream for poppy seed and walnut layer:

Rest of ingredients:

  • 45 g melted vegan butter
  • vegan sour cream for the topping (recipe below)
  • 2/3 tsp powdered sugar to decorate

Vegan sour cream for the topping:

Instructions
 

  • Before you start making the cake you have to make vegan cottage cheese 24 hours in advance. The complete instructions on how to do that are here. You will need 1.7x of this recipe.
  • If you are making your own soy yogurt as I am, you have to make it 12 hours in advance. You can find the instructions for it here. You will need about 1/5 of the recipe for this cake.
  • If you're using maple sugar it might be better to put all of it into a food processor and grind it a little bit. Date sugar doesn't need this step.
  • Take phyllo dough out of your freezer.

Poppy seed layer:

  • Grind poppy seeds in a food processor. Transfer them to a bowl and mix in vanilla powder and date or maple sugar. Don't add soy milk and vegan sour cream yet (we want to add these a little bit later so that the mixture doesn't become too dry and difficult to spread).

Vegan cottage cheese layer:

  • Mix together all ingredients for this layer. Then divide this mixture into two equal parts.

Walnut layer:

  • Grind walnuts in a food processor. Walnuts can be quite easily transformed into butter if you're working with bigger batches and if you're using a strong food processor (I'm using Vitamix). So to make them more of a flour consistency I put them in a food processor in four 50 gram batches and grind them on lower speed.
  • When you have 200 grams of ground walnuts in your bowl add vanilla powder, lemon zest and date or maple sugar. Don't add soy milk and vegan sour cream yet (we want to add these a little bit later so that the mixture doesn't become too dry and difficult to spread).

Apple layer:

  • Peel and grate apples on the smallest adjustment of your grater*. Put a strainer on top of a bowl and transfer grated apples onto it. Drain the excessive liquid from the apples with a spoon (but leave a little bit inside so that apples are still spreadable). Put the apples that stayed on the top of the strainer into another bowl and weigh them. If you have 400 grams of apples at that point, you don't need more. If you don't then you need to grate some more apples and again drain the excessive liquid then add them to the bowl with the rest of the grated apples. Use the liquid from the apples that you won't need in this recipe for other recipes that call for apple juice.
  • Mix into the apples other ingredients for the apple layer. Then divide this mixture into two equal parts.

Vegan sour cream:

  • In one bowl prepare sour cream for the poppy seed and walnuts layer, in another one prepare sour cream for the topping by simply mixing all the ingredients together.

The dough:

  • Take 5 sheets of defrosted phyllo dough and stack them in one line. In one corner of the dough place the baking dish in which you will bake the cake (I used 20×20 cm with a removable bottom) on top of the dough sheets. Take a sharp knife and cut into all 5 sheets at once, cutting around the edges of a baking dish. Place the baking dish on top of the phyllo dough in the other corner and repeat the process. This is how you get 10 sheets of phyllo dough in a shape of a baking dish. Don't throw away the little pieces of cut dough just yet. You may perhaps still need them later on if any of the sheets gets torn when putting them over layers.

Assemble:

  • Melt vegan butter over low heat. Use it a little bit for greasing the bottom and sides of a baking dish.
  • Now you can pour half of a soy milk (67 ml) over the first half of the poppy seed layer as well as the same for the walnut layer (107 ml soy milk).
  • Place one sheet of the phyllo dough on the bottom of the greased baking dish. Lightly grease the top of this dough with vegan butter. Then put another sheet of dough over it and again lightly grease it with vegan butter.
  • Transfer half of the poppy seed layer (the wet mixture) on this sheet and spread it equally over the whole surface with a spoon. Drizzle on top 1 tbsp of vegan sour cream and spread it around with a spoon.
  • Put one sheet of the dough over that layer and lightly grease it with vegan butter.
  • Spread half of vegan cottage cheese layer on top of that.
  • Put one sheet of the dough over that layer and lightly grease it with vegan butter.
  • Spread half of the walnut layer on top of that. Drizzle on top 1 tbsp of vegan sour cream and spread it around with a spoon.
  • Put one sheet of the dough over that layer and lightly grease it with vegan butter.
  • Spread half of the apple layer over it.
  • Put one sheet of the dough over that layer and lightly grease it with vegan butter.
  • Now you can pour the second half of a soy milk (67 ml) over the second half of the poppy seed layer as well as the same for the walnut layer (107 ml soy milk).
  • Now repeat everything again starting from spreading half a poppy seed layer.
  • The last sheet of the dough lightly spread with vegan butter then drizzle vegan sour cream on top and spread it around so it covers the whole top.
  • Bake at 160 °C for 1 hour.
  • Leave it for 1 hour to cool down.
  • Sprinkle powdered sugar on top.
  • Cut it into 9 equal cubes.

Notes

*If you prefer you can grate apples on bigger holes, that’s how many other recipes for prekmurska gibanica prescribe it. Personally I don’t like the look and the crunchiness of the apples when they are grated like that. Another option is also that you don’t strain the liquid from the apples when you grate them on the smallest holes. The reason I do this is because I found out through many tries of this recipe that straining the liquid from the apples makes the prekmurska gibanica more stable. The layers don’t sink and the dessert keeps its height and looks better. The apples I used in this recipe were of Gala variety. Many other recipes call for Granny Smith apples but I don’t like their sourness. You may need to sweeten the apple layer more if you are using Granny Smith apples.
*I found tips how to make sour cream with yogurt here and here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 473kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 15gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 15gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gSodium: 285mgPotassium: 371mgFiber: 6gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 25IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 268mgIron: 3mg
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