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Croatian Cooking: Čupavci Recipe
Čupavci are Croatian or better said, they are a European version of the famous Australian Lamingtons. Čupavci are a sponge cake dipped in chocolate sauce and covered with coconut. Simple.
One of my favorite desserts from my childhood especially when my grandma made them. Also, a big big plus is that I’m totally crazy about coconut in every shape and form.
Although the Lamingtons tend to have some filling in the middle, for example, some kind of jam or chocolate spread, in Croatia we skip the filling.
Despite that one missing step, čupavci are one of the most popular desserts at Christmas in Croatia. Across the whole of Croatia, you will find these little “furry” cakes. Unfortunately, they are not that popular in restaurants but I believe that if served in a modern way they could become a pretty representative and popular Croatian dessert.
Another cool thing is that it’s possible to freeze the cupavci, just cover them with foil and put them into the freezer and when you want to eat them take them out and leave them at room temperature for a few hours, and you have a ready to eat snack.
I haven’t already asked you if you know the story about how Australian Lamingtons were “invented”? It is rumored that Lamingtons were named after Lord Lamington when some unexpected guests arrived at his home and he ordered his chef, Armand Galland, to make a quick cake. As he did not have sufficient time to make something – so he quickly came up with something new, he used a piece of French vanilla biscuit cake, dipped it in melted chocolate and rolled it in grated coconut. Simple really.
Here is what you need to make Croatian čupavci at your house…
Čupavci Recipe: Ingredients
- 3 eggs
- 150 g sugar
- 1 dl oil
- 1 dl milk
- 130 g all purpose flour
- 10 g baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 250 g dark chocolate
- 250 g butter
- 2 dl milk
300 grams desiccated coconut
Čupavci Recipe: Method
- Separate egg yolks and whites and mix whites in a firm airy foam.
- Mix egg yolks and oil with the sugar and easily add flour and baking powder and so as the milk. Add a pinch of salt and gently stir in the egg whites using the spatula.
- Pour the mixture in a baking tray covered with parchment paper and bake in a heated oven (180°C) for 20 minutes.
- Let the sponge cake to rest for half hour to cool down and then cut it in the same size pieces. I have cut my cake in almost cubic shape but feel free to do rectangles as you like.
- Melt the chocolate with butter and milk to get a sauce.
- Quickly dip all sides of the squares into chocolate, then roll them in coconut. It gets a little messy, but the result is worth it.
- Store the “cupavci” covered in the refrigerator.