How Do You Make Traditional Hrvatski Kolaci?

How Do You Make Traditional Hrvatski Kolaci?

A traditional "hrvatski kolaci" (or "Croatian cake") recipe is Stonska Torta, which has a dough crust made by gradually stirring a mixture of eggs, olive oil and apple cider vinegar into flour and salt. This is filled with layers of cooked pasta and sugar, almond meal, bread crumbs and cinnamon, along with beaten eggs, lemon zest and almond extract before baking.

Stonska Torta

This recipe yields one 8-inch cake.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 50 minutes

Ready in: 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp., apple cider vinegar
  • 1-3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 pound dried penne or ziti pasta
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 large eggs
  • Zest of half lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  1. Prepare dough and pasta
  2. Heat the oven to 350 F and arrange a rack in the center. Whisk together the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, olive oil and cider vinegar, and then slowly add to the flour, stirring with a spoon. Add water to bind the mixture and allow to rest under a damp tea towel. Cook pasta until al dente in unsalted boiling water according to package instructions.

  3. Prepare filling
  4. Combine the sugar, almond meal, breadcrumbs and cinnamon in a bowl. In another bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the lemon zest and almond extract.

  5. Assemble cake
  6. Grease an 8-inch springform cake pan with olive oil and dust with a little flour. Roll the dough into a 14-inch circle and press into pan, allowing the edges to drape over the sides. Place a layer of pasta onto the dough, followed by a layer of the almond meal mixture. Top with some of the egg mixture and a third of the butter. Repeat until the ingredients are used up, tapping the pan gently after each repetition to settle. Trim the excess dough away.

  7. Bake
  8. Place into the oven and bake until the crust has browned lightly, about 45 minutes. Transfer pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool. Release the sides of the pan and turn the cake out onto a serving platter. Garnish the crust with confectioners' sugar.