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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.
4.88 from 8 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.


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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