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Vintage Zserbo Szelet a Hungarian cake recipe cut into to bars a traditional Hungarian holiday dessert recipe

Zserbo Szelet Recipe A Hungarian Dessert

Arlene Mobley - Flour On My Face
I found this old-fashioned Zserbo Szelet Recipe in one of the vintage recipe binders I own. This traditional Hungarian holiday dessert recipe is also known as Gerbeaud cake.
4.94 from 15 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Hungarian
Servings 36 pieces
Calories 109 kcal



  • 1 ½ cups walnuts
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Apricot jam or any jam of your choosing Apricot jam is the traditional filling for Zserbo Szelet


  • ¼ cup warm milk
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter softened and cut into little pieces plus 1 tablespoon to grease the baking pan.
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 12 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
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  • Grind 1 ½ cup of walnuts in a food processor until they have the consistency of a nut meal.
  • Put the walnut nut meal into a bowl and mix with ½ a cup sugar, set aside for the filling.
  • In a small bowl mix the warmed milk and yeast. Stir and set aside until needed.
  • In a separate large bowl sift the all purpose flour, ¼ cup of sugar, baking soda and salt together.
  • Stir the softened butter pieces into the flour mixture. Use your hands or a pastry cutter to work the softened butter into the dry ingredients until small crumbs have formed.
  • Pour the yeast and warm milk into the bowl with the flour crumbs. Add the ¼ cup of sour cream to the bowl mixing with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together and you can form a ball.
  • Turn the dough ball out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth.
  •  Separate the dough into 3 equal sized pieces by cutting it into thirds.
  • Butter the bottom of an 8 ½ by 13-inch baking sheet pan with one tablespoon of butter.
  • Roll out one piece of dough at a time until the piece of dough is large enough to fit into the bottom of your sheet pan.
  • Stretching and adjusting the dough as needed so it completely covers the bottom.
  • Spread a generous layer of Apricot jam all over the top of the first layer of the dough.
  • Sprinkle half the walnut and sugar mixture over the jam. Use a spatula or back of a spoon to spread the filling into all corners with the pan.
  • Roll out the second piece of dough and repeat step by layering the fillings over the top of the dough piece.
  • Roll out the third piece of dough and carefully lay it on top of the second filling layer.
  • Stretch the dough if needed so it covers the second layer completely.
  • Cover the pan with a clean dish towel and let it rise for one hour in a warm spot. After 30 minutes preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees then increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake for 10 minutes or until the top is golden.
  • Remove the baking pan from the oven and immediately scatter the 12-ounce bag of bittersweet chocolate chips over the hot top.
  • Once the chocolate chips begin to melt after about 8 minutes use a spatula to spread the chocolate over the top.
  • Allow to cool completely and for the chocolate to harden before cutting into squares with a sharp knife. You can refrigerate to speed up the cooling process.

Recipe Expert Tips

Makes about 36 one and a half inch pieces.


Calories: 109kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 51mg | Potassium: 40mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 99IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg
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