Litá bublanina or simply bublanina is one of the must-haves of traditional Czech desserts. This dessert is reminiscent of French clafoutis. Bublanina can be prepared rather quickly and it does not require any special equipment.
How to make bublanina
The original recipe of bublanina is quite simple. It consists in a batter prepared with beaten eggs and mixed with flour (originally semolina), sugar, and milk, to which seasonal fruits are added.
The original Czech recipe often uses cherries or blueberries. These berries are commonly used for the making of this cake but any kind of fruit can be used. At the end of cooking, it is usual to sprinkle icing sugar on the cake.
Variations around the bublanina
Bublanina means “bubble cake” in Czech. Indeed, when baking the cake, the batter solidifies around the fruit by making small bubbles. When the cake is baked, the edges of the cake detach from the mold. You can easily find this traditional cake in the markets of Prague or in Czech bistros. It is even better when covered with streusel (sort of crumble).
The bublanina varies with the seasons. It can be prepared with plums, apples, currants and even peaches. If it is prepared with plums, it is called bublanina s blumami. Just be careful to use ripe plums. Indeed, during baking, the juice of the fruit spreads in the dough, which gives this rustic dessert its softness.
The cousins of bublanina in Europe
In France, cherry clafoutis from the Limousin region has been popular since 1850. Clafoutis is usually made with Montmorency cherries or black cherries that are found exclusively in Limousin. However, when it is prepared with apples or plums it takes the name of flognarde (or flaugnarde).
Some recipes even contain almond powder, which changes the texture of the cake and gives this rustic cake a more elaborate flavor. Another variant of the Czech bublanina can also be found in Brittany. However, prunes are used in place of the cherries traditionally used in clafoutis, and it then takes the name of far breton. The plain and fruitless version of bublanina is also reminiscent of the texture of the Parisian flan pâtissier.
In Germany, a type of clafoutis with plums very close to bublanina is called Zwetschgenkuchen pflaumenkuchen. However, the texture is slightly different as it includes yeast. It features the same elastic texture of the flan. The term Zwetschgendatschi is used in Bavaria to designate this cake and it etymologically means “plum cake”. Datschi comes from the word detschen or datschen which means “pinching” or “sinking”. The plums are indeed sinking into the dough.
In the region of Haut-Rhin, in Saarland and in Moselle, another variant of this cake, this time with Damson plums (quetsches) is called Quetschekuche. But it is customary to eat this cake after a pea soup in the Saarland (we talk about Bibbelschesbohnesupp a Quetschekuche).
This recipe is validated by our culinary expert in Czech cuisine, Kristyna Koutna. You can find Kristyna on her food blog CzechCookbook.com.
Bublanina is a delicious traditional Czech cake similar to French clafoutis that is prepared with plums, apples, gooseberries or peaches.
- 2-½ cup flour
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar (or 2 tablespoons sugar with ½ teaspoon vanilla extract)
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter , to grease the mold
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar
- ⅔ lb cherries and / or peaches or plums or raspberries
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
- Mix the flour with the baking powder.
- Separately, whisk eggs and sugar for 5 minutes.
Add the oil, milk, the vanilla sugar, and the mixture of flour and baking powder.
- Grease a square or rectangular pan with the butter and pour the dough. Arrange the fruits over the entire surface of the dough, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
- Let cool and sprinkle with icing sugar.