Zserbó recipe



A decent holiday table for any Hungarian family, cannot be complete without this rich, nutty, fruity, chocolate covered cake. Thin layers of pastry, lots of apricot jam and ground nuts makes the perfect combination. Zserbó, following the pronunciation of the cake in Hungarian, was created by Gerbaud Emil, a Swiss-born pastry chef, who inherited the pattisserie from Kugler Henrik, today know as the “Gerbaud”, one of the most famous Coffee Houses in Budapest.

Thin layers of pastry, each covered with apricot jam, ground nuts and powder sugar, and chocolate on top, this makes zserbó.


For the dough:

 50 dkg all purpose flour

– 20 dkg butter

– 5 dkg powder sugar

– 1 dkg yeast

– 1,5 dl cold milk

– 1 egg yolk

The filling:

  • 800 g apricot jam
  • 350 g ground walnut
  • 200 g powder sugar

Chocolate top:

  • 5 tbs cocoa powder
  • 5 tbs powder sugar
  • 7-8 tbs hot water
  • 80 g butter


Blend the yeast in the cold milk. Add the powder sugar and the egg yolk. In a separate bowl crumble the butter with the flour, and then add the milk with the yeast mixture. Mix them together, and if necessary add more milk, kneed the dough until it is all smooth. Cover the dough with a foil and put it into the fridge for 40 minutes .

Divide the apricot jam, the ground walnut and the powder sugar into 3 parts.

Divide the pastry into 4 parts, and roll out one after the other one, until it has a rectangle shape. Distribute the filling on the first layer: first the apricot jam, then the ground walnut and sprinkle some powder sugar. Place the next layer of pastry on top and cover again with the same filling, and repeat with the third layer. The fourth layer is to cover the cake. Pierce the top with a fork, and let it rest for about 30 minutes. Then place the cake into the oven for 45 minutes on 160 degrees Celsius.

When the cake has a nice light brown-golden color, take it out and let it rest until it is cooled down.

Now prepare the chocolate: Place a glass bowl over boiling water. Put all the ingredients for the chocolate in it and melt them. When the consistency is good, not too thick or thin, pour it over the cake and evenly distribute all over the top.