Slovenia’s Lake Bled, snuggled against the Julian Alps, is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. Visitors leave with countless photos of the scenic castle, church, and of course, the idyllic lake. But some snapshots will feature the turquoise water as a mere backdrop. The subject of these photos? A delightfully fluffy square of Bled’s signature cream cake.
Almost every cafe along the lake offers the cream cake known as kremna rezina, but the bakery that started it all is located inside Hotel Park. After chef Ištvan Lukačević came to work at the hotel following World War II, he developed a new cream cake recipe and debuted it to the public in 1953. Each cake, served in a perfect square, contains a puff pastry that’s been folded seven times, egg custard, a lightly sweetened layer of whipped cream, another layer of puff pastry, and a dusting of powdered sugar. The bakery has churned out more than 12 million pieces since its debut, and they use the original recipe to this day.
This style of cream cake dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries, during the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Most countries once under the Hapsburgs’ reign each have a version, but Slovenian kremna rezina has a bit of extra fanfare surrounding it. Lake Bled’s version enjoys protected designation of origin status, an annual festival in its honor, and a special cake drive-through attached to the hotel.