This beautifully creamy, melt-in-your-mouth vegan kremšnita, aka vanilla & custard cream cake, will quickly win you over. You’ll be wondering where its been all your life!I must admit, this would have to be one of my favourite desserts of all time. Growing up in Slovenia, this dish is known as kremna rezina, which gained its popularity at one of the country’s well-known tourist attraction called Lake Bled.
Lake Bled is a beautiful picturesque town that has a gorgeous little island in the middle of the lake with a church. People travel from all over to try this decadent and fluffy dessert, while sitting and enjoying the most spectacular views.
As well as Slovenia, this custard slice is well known and where it originated from, Croatia. A little town just outside Zagreb called Samobor is where it was created in 1923 by Đuro Lukačič.
Other places where this wonderful dessert can be found, with their own variations is in Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia where it’s called krempita (only the custard layer), Slovakia where it’s named krémes, in Austria and Germany where it’s known as crèmeschnitte.
Serbia has another similar dessert, which is called Šampita. This is essentially only the cream/meringue part of the layer you see in this dessert. It’s an Italian meringue between two sheets of puff pastry.
With so many different variations out there, I decided to veganise the one that was closest to my heart and the way that I have enjoyed this custard slice growing up.
When Michael, my husband and I were on our way to Slovenia back in 2015, I turned to him and said: “There is one thing that I will eat while we’re in Slovenia and this is the only thing that I will knowingly eat that’s not vegan, ever.” If you want to hear the whole story, you can tune in on our podcast episode The Vegan Trade-Off – Episode 024.
Now that we have all the history and personal stories out of the way, let me share with you the amazing reasons you should make this delicious dessert.
Kitchen tools needed to make this vegan vanilla custard slice
The tools that you’ll need to craft this dairy-free kremšnita are the following:
- Springform square tin or square baking dish. Mine was the size of the puff pastry at approximately 22cm (8.66in)
- 1-2 large sheet pans or flat baking trays
- Hand help electric whisk or stand mixer with a whisk attachment
- Silicone spatula
- Medium saucepan
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 2x Medium bowl (for whipping coconut cream & whipping aquafaba)
- Large bowl
Tips for making this vegan kremšnita
Please read the below tips and tricks before you begin making this dessert.
- Since this cake is not baked and needs time to set in the fridge, it’s important to use a dish that has depth. With it being vegan and quiet a tall slice, it needs the walls to help keep it together while it sets. If you don’t have anything like this, just use less custard in a shallower dish and first refrigerate the whipped cream, so it firms up before spreading onto the custard layer.
- When the custard mix is on the stove, please be careful not to burn it. It can burn within seconds if you’re not careful. Trust me, I know! It’s happened to me when I wasn’t paying enough attention.
- Make sure to cook the custard long enough, if it’s not, it won’t set properly and will be tricky to cut.
- It’s important to let the custard cool completely before adding the coconut whipped cream layer to the slice. Otherwise, the cream will melt, and you will have a bit of a sloppy mess on your hands.
- Don’t skip on pre-slicing the puff pastry before baking it for the top layer; it will make it SO much easier to slice when you’re ready to serve.
- This slice is best left overnight in the fridge to set, with a minimum of 4-5 hours. I have never left it that short of time, but you can check and see if it’s set enough to slice at that hour.
- Don’t swap the corn starch for arrowroot or tapioca starch in this recipe. The custard will not turn out as well as it does with corn starch.
- If you don’t want to use aquafaba in the custard layer to make it that extra bit fluffier and creamier, you can skip this. But please trust me when I say that you won’t taste the chickpea water flavour at all. The custard will be more traditional that way as you would typically fold in whisked egg whites for a traditional recipe.
- Prepare the aquafaba only once the custard has cooled enough for you to whisk it in. If you pre-whisk it and leave it, it will slowly go back to liquid.
- If you have access to a vegan whipped cream, you can use that instead of the coconut whipped cream. I can’t guarantee the same great taste, but it could be an alternative if you can’t get really good quality thickened coconut cream, or if you’re pressed for time.
The layers in this slice
In this slice, you have three different layers:
PUFF PASTRY – Most puff pastry that you’ll find in the supermarkets is vegan as using butter is not so common. I would, however, always check the ingredients before buying. The top and bottom layers of puff pastry ensure that the custard slice has a wonderfully flakey and melt in your mouth sandwich for the cloud-like filling.
FLUFFY CUSTARD – This layer is bigger in volume and not as dense as a custard you’d normally find in a vanilla custard slice. This is because there is whipped aquafaba folded into it to give it height, flavour and a lighter custard. This is typically done with whipped eggs whites that are folded into an egg custard. We’re creating that same result with some great vegan alternatives 😉
WHIPPED CREAM – This is traditionally done using dairy whipping cream – heavy or normal. You can also make it with meringue. I’ve decided to make this layer using my coconut whipped cream. It adds freshness and is a cream that most people no matter where they are can make. Alternatively, if you have access to products like soy whip, you can use that instead (as mentioned in the tips above).
With those three separate components combined, you get a rich, velvety, creamy dessert.
You’ll love this recipe because it’s:
- Easy to eat
Besides the fact that this slice tastes like heaven in your mouth, it’s very easy to prepare and requires no baking (besides the puff pastry). All you need is to bake the puff pastry for ten minutes, make the custard and whipped cream, assemble it and let it set in the fridge.
Some other sweet recipes you’ll love:
- 3-Ingredient Chestnut Puree With Whipped Coconut Cream (Kesten Pire)
- Baked Apples with Dates and Nuts (Tufahije)
- Vegan Trifle Cups with Berries
- Easy Vegan Carrot Cake
- Raw Vegan Zesty Lemon Slice