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October 14, 2011

Žemlovka with blueberries

One recent day in Dolny Kubin we were pleasantly surprised to be treated to cake for lunch, apparently a common dish for a midday meal in Slovakia.  Žemlovka is the Slovak version of  french toast, baked into a cake. It’s not too sweet and can be assembled and baked well ahead of serving time.   You can serve it hot right out of the oven or cold the next day.  The cake can be filled with a variety of fruits such as apple, blueberries or plums.  My kids would love it with chocolate instead of fruit, drizzled with warm maple syrup on Christmas morning.


  • 4-5 6 inch day old European style white buns
  • 4 cups milk or mixture of milk and half and half
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups soft Slovak tvorah cheese, or farmer’s cheese in North America (grudgingly, ricotta might do in a pinch)
  • 2 cups fruit or jam
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup powdered vanilla sugar
  1. Preheat the over to 350 degrees
  2. Grease a deep, large rectangular cake pan
  3. Break up the bread into 1 to 2 inch chunks and place in a large bowl
  4. Heat the milk on the stove until hot
  5. Cool the milk for a few minutes, then beat in 2 egg yolks
  6. Pour the milk mixture over the bread chunks (no need to soak them)
  7. Lay half the bread in the pan
  8. Mix the sugar with the cheese
  9. Spread the bread with 1/2 the cheese mixture
  10. Spread most of the fruit over the cheese – peeled and sliced apples or a fruit jam
  11. Place on the second layer of bread
  12. Bake for about 40 minutes until it starts to turn golden
  13. While baking, whip the egg whites to a stiff peak with a bit of sugar
  14. Remove the cake from the over and spread the whipped egg whites (meringue) on top
  15. Return to the oven for another 15 -20 minutes until the meringue on top is golden
To serve, sprinkle the cake with sifted powdered vanilla flavored sugar and drizzle each piece with about 2 tbsp heated berry jam.
3 Comments leave one →
  1. Kamila permalink
    June 27, 2012 4:03 pm

    I just visited this blog for a first time and i am very impress! Love the history, pictures and recipes! Great Job. As a Slovak living in USA, I will come to this site more often and recommend to my friends! Thank you for such a great blog.
    Zemlovka recipe is what I remember from back home.

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