How To Make Hrapoćuša – Traditional Cake From Brač Island

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Post author Vedran

Written by our local expert Vedran

Vedran is a total food lover from Croatia. He creates recipes from his kitchen in Zagreb using fresh produce from his garden.

Although Brač island is famous for its “white stone,” known as Brački Kamen, there is that one village that was built with a totally different type of stone. It was constructed with hrapaćuša/hrapoćuša stone. It looks very coarse, even somehow awkward, and it was used for making houses, creating drywalls, and almost everything else that needed to be built. That place is Dol, which is hidden in the middle of Brač Island.

In honor of this life-giving stone, the ladies of Dol developed a cake that shares the same name and a lot of similarities in its appearance.


When we come to look for a recipe for hrapoćuša, it’s here we find a big problem – every house has its own secret way of making it. And, every woman jealously guards her recipe, and those secrets are passed to the younger generations through oral tradition, so it’s almost impossible to find two identical recipes for this dessert.

Different amounts of eggs are often the main difference; some add walnuts to the biscuit, and some add almonds…

Basically, this is a cake with two separate, very distinct layers. The bottom is a dense sponge made up of all the egg yolks, some of the whites, flour, and nuts.


Then, the top layer is walnuts, sugar, and the majority of the egg whites. When merged together, you’ll get a delicious dessert that is called Brač’s ‘sweet aphrodisiac.’

Croatia’s Ministry of Culture lists this cake as a protected intangible heritage, so it should be no surprise that an event is held that represents this cake. The event is called “Hrapoćuša Night,” It has taken place since 2010, held each year on August 16, as part of the Feast of St. Roch. This event should not be missed when planning summer events on the island of Brač.

Croatian Recipe_ To Make Hrapaćuša 32

Hrapoćuša Recipe (Traditional Cake From Brač Island)

Here is a traditional Hrapoćuša recipe from the island of Brač, in honor of a life-giving stone that the village of Dol was built in.


For The Biscuit

  • 12 egg yolks
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons water, cold
  • 150g white sugar (3/4 cup)
  • 60g almonds ground (2.1 oz)
  • 60g all-purpose flour (0.5 cup)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla sugar (or vanilla essence)
  • 1 lemon zest

For The Topping

  • 8 egg whites
  • 500g white sugar (2.5 cups)
  • 600g walnuts (6 cups)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Pinch of nutmeg


  1. In a medium-sized bowl separate the 8 eggs yolks, add 4 whole eggs, sugar, and vanilla sugar. Mix it with an electric mixer, until it's light and airy
  2. Add water, flour, baking powder, almonds, and lemon zest and mix once again so everything is well blended. (I chose to blanch and grind my own almonds for extra flavor)
  3. Pour the batter into the greased springform tin (size 23cm) and bake it in the preheated oven for 20 minutes on 180° Celcius
  4. While the batter is baking we will prepare the topping. Mix the egg whites with the electric mixer into a foamy consistency but not too firm. With a wooden spoon, fold in the walnuts and sugar and mix well
  5. Put the mixture into a medium saucepan, and cook over medium heat. Stir the mixture constantly so it does not stick or burn. It will take around 10 minutes to become thick, sticky and golden brown
  6. Pour in the lemon juice and keep stirring for a further 6-7 minutes. When you add the lemon juice and stir it in, you will see that the mixture becomes brighter in color. After those 6-7 minutes, it will become golden brown again - at this point turn off the heat and set aside
  7. When the bottom layer of the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 150° Celcius
  8. Using a spoon add the walnut mixture over the cake that just came out of the oven (leave it in the tin), starting from the edges and moving toward the middle of the cake, spread the mix it evenly, gently pressing the walnuts down
  9. Put the tin back into the oven and bake for a further 30 minutes until the top is light brown
  10. Allow the cake to cool completely in the tin before removing and slicing. It is best is to leave the cake overnight 


The cake will last up to seven days, (I don’t believe this has ever happened) if stored in a cool, dry place like the pantry, but not in the fridge.



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  1. Something seems to be off with the following two directions…both say 60g but this part is confusing. Is 60g = 2.1 0z or is 60g = .5 cup?
    60g almonds ground (2.1 oz)
    60g all-purpose flour (0.5 cup)
    And is that really enough flour to make the bottom cake?

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