Hungarian Zserbó (Gerbeaud Cake)


It was time for me to post another traditional and delicious Hungarian dessert! Truth is, it was my very very first time making this cake-bar whatever you call it. I've never been such a huge fan of it as I was never a fan of such layered desserts. Until now!
As I mentioned in my previous post, we are heading to a festival with friends and I needed something sweet to take with. Something that leaves you not looking a mess after eating it :) So my Mom suggested why not make some zserbó? Ummm...Because I've never made it and it looks incredibly difficult? But I took it as a challenge and started hunting for the perfect recipe! First, we were digging through our ancient cookbooks that brought us no luck. So it left me one option: internet! And I did find the most amazing recipe ever! Not mentioning how surprisingly easy it was to make! Okay, not the cookie making kind of easy but considering that it has 4 layers of dough, 3 layers of apricot jam and ground walnut filling and a chocolate top coat, it was easy-peasy! 
Plus, if you make this, you won't only feel like a badass to have been able to create something so amazing but you will utterly impress others with your skills!
It's most definitely a win-win situation so all I can say at last is GO and MAKE THIS :) You won't regret it! 
ps: it's a dense cake and makes for a whole lot of people, so I advise you to make this for some gatherings, or if you just fancy eating a few slices by yourself, then freeze the rest. It will come quite handy when unexpected guests appear on your doorstep :)

Hungarian Zserbó
recipe is from Andi konyhája - it's in Hungarian
using a 25X40 cm pan

850 gram all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
600 gram butter
125 gram sugar + 1 teaspoon
3 eggs
1 package of active dry yeast (7 gram)
2 dl milk + 2 tablespoons

for the filling
400 gram ground walnut
300 gram sugar
500 gram apricot jam or preserve - the denser the better

for the chocolate coat
220 gram chocolate
4 tablespoons oil

Dissolve the yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar in the 2 tablespoons of milk. Let it sit covered until it's foamy.
Combine the flour with the baking powder. Cut the butter in the flour. 
Mix the sugar with the eggs. Add the sugary egg mixture and yeast to the flour and mix it together. Add in the milk gradually, never add the whole thing, and work it together. 
Knead the dough until it won't stick to your fingers. Okay, it will to some extent but the dough won't be very sticky.
Divide the dough into 4 equal parts. 
Starting with one part of dough, roll it to the size of your pan and place it in the pan. If the dough broke, don't worry, just use your fingers to make it right.
Spread the dough with the apricot preserve lightly.

Then mix the sugar and ground walnut together and sprinkle it generously on the preserve.

And now repeat the process with the other 3 parts of the dough. Roll one out, try to make it on top of the filling and spread another layer of filling on it. Repeat and again repeat finishing the cake with the last layer of dough.
Let it sit for an hour and then bake it on 180C for 30 minutes.
When the cake is ready, let it chill before spreading the chocolate on top. It takes about an hour to let it cool down.
Now it's time to melt the chocolate with the oil! When you have a runny chocolate sauce, just pour it on the cake and make it even on the top and you're done!
It's best to have the cake rest overnight! Enjoy :)


  1. my mom loves this... do i really need 600 grams of butter to make it?

    1. i know it sounds a loooot but consider that the whole cake will feed an entire village :D that's why I said you can just freeze the rest that won't be consumed right away :)

  2. This looks delicious layer every layer. We would love to learn and enjoy more Hungarian recipes...

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    We look forward to seeing your wonderful pictures, as always.
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  3. This is gorgeous and the flavor of the walnuts with apricot and chocolate sounds marvelous. I'm drooling! I'm featuring this post in today's Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections and thanks for creating such amazing food…

    1. Yess it tasted totally über-delish! :) Thank you for featuring my recipe, yet again! :) Makes me very happy!

  4. What sort of oil did you use? I tried for the first time with olive oil but the oil is too strong of a flavour. Thanks :-)

    1. Yeah, olive oil doesn't really work in desserts... I also tried it and always hated that peculiar olive oil taste in sweets :) I usually use sunflower oil because it has no taste! And makes the perfect texture with the chocolate :)

    2. Thank you. I will try that next time. This is the first time I've made it and the first time my family (especially my Dad) has had it since my Grandmother passed away ten years ago. In spite of the olive oil taste, the all loved it. Thanks for sharing it with everyone.

    3. Aww I'm so glad you liked it! Despite the olive oil, of course :) Next time switch the oil and you'll see how much of a difference it makes! :)

  5. this recipe looks amazing... just one questions though...you make the dough, assemble it and then let it rise, only one rise total? can't wait to make this :0)

    1. Yes, only one rise! This dough is different than the normal yeast pastries, the yeast only makes it soft! Let me know how it went! :)

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