What is 'Prekmurska Gibanica' cake and what makes it so special?

by Maša Butara

The first dilemma is its name. Is it better to say layered strudel, cake or a pie? Actually, it doesn’t matter so much. It is an interesting combination of cake and pastry, and we can say it is one of the most famous and popular Slovenian desserts.

Various textures in one cake

Rich, tender with a full taste – Prekmurska Gibanica is not a light dessert. We could also say that Prekmurska Gibanica is a cake with the most layers possible. There is a pastry (filo or strudel) and it has layers of poppy seeds, apple filling, cottage cheese filling, walnut filling, and an optional topping such as sour cream. Some recipes include raisins in the apple layer, but if you deviate too far from the original recipe it can’t keep the same name as the name and ingredients are protected by law. After joining the European Union the Prekmurian layer cake was protected on a European level with the label ‘Traditional Speciality Guaranteed’.

Prekmurska Gibanica origin

Originally it hails from the easternmost province, Prekmurje. The oldest written source reaches as far back as the year 1828 when the priest, Jožef Kosič, compiled a text, which mentions the Gibanica as a special Prekmurian dish; which is a must at wedding festivities and is also served to workers after finishing a big project.

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Where can I try it?

If you are visiting Ljubljana you have some options to choose from. Unfortunately, you can’t get it in every restaurant in and around Ljubljana, but we picked some venues that will offer you Prekmurska Gibanica on a daily basis.

Slovenska hiša renovated a well-known Slovenian restaurant, Figovec, and they serve Prekmurska Gibanica every day. As stated in the menu, which consist of finely selected Slovenian dishes; they offer Prekmurska Gibanica by Kodila. Kodila is a Slovenian brand selling traditional dry meat products as well as other typical Prekmurian food; you can visit them at Plečnik's market halls shop and purchase Prekmurian Gibanica to take away.

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If you are strolling through the city centre you will come across Güjžina, a small restaurant offering traditional dishes of Prekmurje, and they also prepare their own Gibanica. It can be served as a delicious end to a Prekmurje style dinner, or just as a snack or a dessert.

Interesting fact: Prekmurska Gibanica was declared one of the fifty national ‘birthday cakes’ for the European Union's 50th birthday celebrations in 2006 (Café Europe). Cool, isn’t it?

Maša Butara

A perfectionist who enjoys delicious things in life – food, culture, traveling and eating out. Also a social butterfly with above average cooking skills.

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