Serbian Cupavci – the perfect size sweet


You never know what treasure you’ll find at the bottom of the freezer. Like a small well-packed pack of Serbian cupavci. That sure beats a small not-so-well packed unidentifiable freezer-burned foiled object. 

Cupavci are one of my family’s favorites and having one last taste of the Christmas season was well worth nearly crawling into the little chest freezer to dig it out.  We’re a two-freezer family. Actually one and a half as the chest freezer is the small “extra” freezer – the first one Hubby and I bought. And the one that I’m trying very hard to clear out and unplug until late next fall.  Next fall. Sniff, when my firstborn who turned 18 last week will be leaving the nest for college. BIG sniff. Now back to cupavci.

Serbian cupavci

Never heard of them? You might know them as Lamingtons, or maybe not that either. Well, let me say, you must try them. Cupavci are the perfect portion control sweet. If you can eat just one, or two.  Serbian cupavci are made by cutting a deliciously moist hot milk sponge cake into small squares or rectangles, dipping each individual morsel in a layer of chocolate glaze (you decide the thickness) and then cover it in sweet desiccated coconut. Mmmm, mmm. It was one last taste of Christmas just as we’re quickly approaching the start of Great Lent.

cupavci cut in half

We’re still very much in the throws of winter here in Wisconsin, though it’s so nice to have teeny weeny signs of change becoming increasingly more noticeable. Small signs like driving my Beauty to jazz band in daylight and driving home from work in daylight. Even the somewhat annoying reminder that I heard much of the afternoon today: the loud dripping sound of melting snow from the gutter outside my home office window. Ahhh! Spring is on the horizon but I’m not going to let myself get spring fever quite yet. There are still weeks of winter ahead, especially if that hairy Punxsutawney groundhog called it right. 

By the way, cupavci is slang for cupav: hairy, unkept.  Perhaps it’s the messy coconut that drove the naming convention or the fact that the squares and be cut in varying shapes so I suppose they can look a bit haphazard on a plate. I really don’t know. But I do now I struck gold in my freezer dig today.

Prijatno, friends!

Serbian Cupavci - the perfect size sweet
  • Hot Milk Cake:
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 can 2% evaporated milk plus enough 1% milk to equal 1¼ Cups of milk combined
  • 10 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • Chocolate Glaze ingredients:
  • 2 cups powder sugar
  • ⅓ cup cocoa
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 bag desiccated coconut, available at most import stores
  1. Grease a jelly roll pan with spray,
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs for 5 minutes until thick and lemon-colored
  3. Gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy
  4. Add vanilla
  5. Combine flour and baking powder and gradually mix into batter
  6. Pour into greased jelly roll pan and bake 20-25 minutes or until cake tests done.
  7. Cool completely. Cut into small squares or rectangles and refrigerate in an airtight container for 2-3 hours..
  8. Prepare glaze by mixing all ingredients in a double boiler.
  9. Quickly dip cake square into glaze, coating on all sides, and then roll in coconut.
  10. Store in container in a cool spot until ready to serve. These also freeze well.