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Zlevanka – Traditional Croatian Cornmeal Cake

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zlevanka croatian cornmeal cake

Zlevanka is a simple but delicious cornmeal cake that is traditionally made in northern parts of Croatia. It also happens to be one of my favourite childhood sweets.

Even though it might look like a typical sponge cake at the first sight, Croatian zlevanka (or zlevka) is in fact a super rich and juicy treat that can sometimes even be enjoyed as a nutritious breakfast.

zlevanka croatian cornmeal cake

It may look like a really humble cake, but please don’t judge before you try it! I am sure that it will leave you pleasantly surprised with its richness.

Zlevanka is traditionally made with coarse cornmeal, yoghurt and cheese – a combination that is responsible for its perfect texture and consistency.

Not to loose any of those tasty features, I decided to use a good quality, thick soy yoghurt and tofu for a plant-based version of the cake.

Soy yoghurt will keep the moisture and prevent the cake from drying out in the oven, as corn tends to absorb a lot of liquid. Tofu will not only enrich the texture, but also provide some more nutrition because of its high protein content.

zlevanka croatian cornmeal cake

This is a vegan version of zlevanka corn cake that tastes just like the “real thing” and it might become one of my go-to cakes again.

You can easily make variations on this juicy thing by adding some poppy seeds, lemon zest, fresh berries, home-made jam or something else that you like. It can also be made in a savoury version, such as this one.

zlevanka croatian cornmeal cake
Yield: 20 cm × 20 cm size cake mould

Zlevanka - Traditional Croatian Cornmeal Cake

Zlevanka - Traditional Croatian Cornmeal Cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 1/2 cup soy yogurt
  • 150 g semi-firm tofu (around 2/3 cup cubed)
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal or polenta
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour T630
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 pinch Himalayan salt


  1. Mix the polenta, spelt flour, soda and salt in a bowl.
  2. Blend all the other ingredients in a blender or mix them with a mixer.
  3. This time you don't need to get a perfectly smooth mixture; just mix until everything is combined.
  4. Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl with dry ingredients and mix with a whisk to combine.
  5. Pour the batter into a mould and bake on 180 °C for 45-50 minutes, or until the surface of the cake gets a nice golden colour.

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