How to Bake Zemlovka

How to Bake Zemlovka

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 20 mins

Cooking time: 40 mins

Ingredients needed to make Zemlovka:

  • ½ large bread loaf
  • 3 apples
  • 3 ½ fl oz cold tea
  • 14 fl oz ful-fat milk
  • 2 ½ oz raisins
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ oz soft brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar crystals
  • 1 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Freshly squeezed out lemon juice, as required
  • 4 ½ oz unsalted butter, plus more for greasing

Cooking instructions for Zemlovka:

  • Pour the cold tea in a small bowl and throw in the raisins; soak them for about half an hour.
  • Meanwhile, peel off the skin from the apples, core and slice them finely.
  • Place the apple slices in a bowl and soak them in a splash of fresh lemon juice.
  • Grease the sides and base of a baking dish with a small knob of butter and warm up your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Fill a saucepan with milk and add a dollop of butter into it.
  • Heat the mixture until the butter melts and the milk heats up; make a point to prevent the milk from boiling.
  • Remove from heat and set aside until the milk cools down a bit.
  • Crack the eggs in a separate bowl and whisk them thoroughly, along with sugar, a dash each of spices and a splash of vanilla extract, until they blend properly.
  • Drizzle it into the lukewarm, buttery milk, and whisk them all together until well combined.
  • Rip the bread into coarse chunks and scatter them across the buttered baking dish.
  • Drain the raisins out and spread them across the bread layer and top it up with apple slices.
  • Smother them fruits with a lashing of the egg-milk mixture and finish it off with a sprinkling of brown sugar crystals.
  • Place the dish in the oven and bake for about half an hour or until the surface sets and turn golden brown in colour.
  • Set aside until cool enough to handle.
  • Slice and serve alongside a dollop of ice cream or sour cream.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


  1. Here in the Czech Republic Zemlovka is considered to be national. Its name Zemlovka comes from zemle, which means a bun in English. Its preparation is a little bit different though. Namely, we soak chunks of bread in the milk mixture before laying them into the baking dish, and we pour the rest of milk mixture over when we finish its preparation. You can make several layers of bread and apples, but the last layer must be bread. Its a kind of sweet bread pudding and it’s really popular. There are lots of recipes, and in many of them you can find layers of cream cheese, too (bread, apples, sweetened cream cheese). We love it also with apricots. 🙂

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