Hrapoćuša Cake: “Brač’s Sweet Aphrodisiac”

Total Croatia News

Bell Tower in Dol.jpg
Danijela Matulić

Learn a little more about Brač’s sweet aphrodisiac, a desert so special, it is even listed by Croatia’s Ministry of Culture as protected intangible heritage. 

When it comes to food, my motto is “dessert first”. I have a special crush on traditional Croatian desserts prepared according to traditional recipes kept by the islands’ Nonnas (grandmother).

Bell Tower in Dol.jpg

Bell tower in Dol, island Brac

This time I decided to show you the queen of Croatian desserts- “Torta Hrapoćuša”, originally from the island of Brač, from a small mountain village Dol, located in cannons surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, settled in 14th century.

Stone houses in Dol.jpg

Old stone houses of Dol, island Brac

The island of Brač is gastronomically famous for this delicious cake coveted by the locals and tourists alike. Hrapoćuša cake was named after the rough yellow stone Hrapoćuša that can be seen all around the village Dol – all over the landscape and most of the old houses.

Brač stone.jpg

The name of this fragrant gorgeous cake is not easy to pronounce even for Croatians (you can call it The Cake from Brač, since it has become the symbol of the island Brač).  

Stone house in Dol.jpg

Since my father is from Dol, the island of Brač, I can tell you that almost every family has its own version of the recipe. Each family gives this amazing cake its own personal touch that makes each cake unique and special (and very tasty). Each family cares about their recipe as if it were a treasure.

Every August 16th for Saint Rocco day, locals organize “Hrapoćuša Day” or “Night of Hrapoćuša”. During this lovely manifestation, all ladies from Dol compete in preparing the best version of this unique caloric bomb. This is an opportunity to enjoy in the “scent of freshly baked cakes” spreading through “kalete” (small, narrow and curving streets) while chatting with the locals, listening to “klapa” (form of traditional a cappella singing in Dalmatia) and sipping a glass or two of fig brandy, rakija or liqueur. With every bite of this sticky high-calorie cake, you will fall more and more in love with this tiny village rich in history and cuisine, with extremely friendly people. Hrapoćuša cake is considered so special, it is even listed by Croatia’s Ministry of Culture as protected intangible heritage.

Hrapoćuša Cake.png

Here is the recipe (one of the recipes, in my opinion, the best):

Hrapoćuša Torta or cake is made of two separate layers- cake layer (sponge bottom) and the sticky walnut topping.

Cake layer ingredients:

  • 12 egg yolks
  • 4 egg whites
  • 12 tbs
  • 12 tbs all-purpose flour
  • 4 tbs warm water
  • Lemon zest
  • 1or 2 tbs rum
  • Vanilla- optional

Topping ingredients:

  • 8 egg whites
  • ½ kg sugar
  • ¾ kg walnuts, cut in half
  • Lemon juice- optional


  • In a large bowl mix together egg yolks, egg whites and sugar until you get a creamy mixture
  • Add 4tbs of warm water, continue with mixing
  • Slowly add flour, mix again
  • Add lemon zest, rum, vanilla (optional), again mix it all together
  • Place the creamy mixture in a springform pan and bake it in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, at a temperature of 180’C. Bake it until it becomes light brown (check it with a fork)
  • Take it out of the oven and cool it
  • In a large pot place egg whites, sugar and walnuts and simmer on a medium fire, until it becomes gold
  • Spread the sticky nutty mixture (nougat) on top of the cake (already baked and chilled)
  • Put the mixture back in the heated baking oven at 150’C for about 15 minutes. Bake it until the topping is completely dry and brown (check again with a fork)

Hrapoćuša tastes better after few days, but do not keep it in the refrigerator.

Serve it with a glass of fig brandy or rakija. This rustic crunchy cake is very high in calories, especially served with alcohol. But you live only once and why then miss the chance to enjoy this sugar paradise.

Enjoy and Bon appetite. 


All photos courtesy of and copyright to Danijela Matulić


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