New This Month



This delicious gubana recipe is courtesy of Gina DePalma.

  • Servings: 12

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, November Fall 2007


For The Dough

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, plus more for bowl and pan
  • 3 3/4 cups unbleached flour, plus more for kneading
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup plus pinch of sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup whole milk, room temperature

For The Filling

  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/2 cup sliced blanched almonds
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Freshly grated zest of 1 orange
  • 3 tablespoons grappa
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


  1. Make the dough: Cut butter into small pieces and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle 1/4 cup flour over butter and, using your fingers, work butter and flour together until mixture is well combined. Shape mixture into a 4-inch square, wrap with plastic wrap, and set aside in a cool place; do not refrigerate.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together yeast and warm water to dissolve the yeast. Add a pinch of sugar and let mixture sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.

  3. Place 2 cups flour and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; stir to combine. Add yeast mixture, remaining 1/3 cup sugar, egg, and milk; beat together until smooth.

  4. Replace paddle attachment with dough hook attachment and knead in remaining 1 1/2 cups flour until dough is smooth and elastic, 3 to 5 minutes. Butter a large bowl and add dough to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel; let stand 30 to 45 minutes.

  5. Turn dough out onto a well-floured work surface and roll into a large 16-by-16-inch square. Sprinkle work surface with flour and place square of butter and flour in the center of the dough square. Fold left and right sides over middle, then fold top and bottom sides over that to enclose.

  6. Generously sprinkle work surface, top of dough, and rolling pin with flour. Roll dough from middle toward top and bottom, making a long rectangle, maintaining the width but increasing the length. Fold the bottom third of dough up toward the center, then fold the top third of dough over the bottom third, making a letter fold. Turn dough counterclockwise so that the top fold faces right. Flour work surface, dough, and rolling pin and repeat rolling and folding process. Wrap dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

  7. Remove dough from refrigerator. Let come to room temperature before rolling out. This may take up to 1 hour if dough was refrigerated overnight.

  8. Make filling: Place raisins, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, orange zest, and grappa in the bowl of a food processor. Process until nuts are chopped and mixture is thoroughly combined.

  9. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough into an 18-by-8-inch rectangle. Brush surface of rectangle with some of the melted butter and spread filling mixture over dough, leaving a 2-inch border around the edges. Starting from the bottom, roll dough upwards like a jelly roll into a long rope. Butter a 10-inch round springform pan. Coil the dough rope like a snail and place in prepared pan. Brush top of dough with remaining melted butter. Cover dough with a towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

  10. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack set in center of oven.

  11. Transfer gubana to oven and bake until golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Let gubana cool in pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes before carefully removing sides of pan; let cool completely.

  12. To serve, slice gubana into wedges. Gubana will keep wrapped in plastic up to 2 days.

Reviews Add a comment

  • vickiecarol
    22 FEB, 2008
    I just made this cake today. Had to watch the video and read the recipe to understand the direction. Did not have any grappa, so I used chocolate eau de vie. came out very flaky and buttery. Delicious.
  • jjeanniespets1
    4 FEB, 2008
    Very good recipe. Very flakey. Maybe alittle to much butter. But it's delicious.
  • Ponceleon
    6 JAN, 2008
    I made this cake yesterday. Added lemon and orange zest to the dough. Stored ithe dough overnight in the refrigerator and in the morning also added sliced Apples to the filling. All came out absolutely delicious! The crust was flaky and wonderfull, the best yeast dough I ever made and I made many before. Thanks for the tip of preparation, like folding in the butterdough and letting it rest.
  • ZTAKPsi
    16 DEC, 2007
    The next dough, because I had to do it over b/c of the yeast issue, I used 2 packages and the yeast foamed up properly. Also, according to the TV/video, you fold up the butter into the dough and let it proof for 4 hrs. According to the directions you roll the butter into the dough and then let it proof. My dough is rising as I type, so I'm going to follow the video and let my butter proof in the dough and then roll it out. This recipe should really be corrected from these errors. Thanks.
  • ZTAKPsi
    16 DEC, 2007
    The recipe doesn't match the directions and the directions don't match what they showed on TV. The recipe calls for 3 1/4 C of flour and according to the directions there is 3 3/4 C of flour. (1/4 C for the butter, 2 C to start with, 1 1/2 C to add in). I ended up using the extra 1/2 C to make the dough ball up. Also, it calls for 1 T of dry yeast and equals that to 2 packages of dry yeast. My 1st dough I tried with 1 package, which equaled 1 T and the yeast didn't foam and didn't rise.
  • xina
    12 DEC, 2007
    You could use any eau de vie, which is a spirit distilled with fruit essences, such as pear-scented Poire William or plum-scented Mirabelle or Slivovitz. Note that eaux de vie, the family to which grappa belongs, are not sweet. As a last resort, you could use white rum.
  • manusch
    5 DEC, 2007
    If grappa is not available, what could you use as a substitute?
  • Trident
    4 DEC, 2007
    Grappa is an Italian brandy distilled from the pulpy mass of skins, pits, stalks left in the wine press after the juice of the grapes have been extracted. Young grappa is fairly fiery, but mellows with age.
  • Aydensmommy
    4 DEC, 2007
    I think Grappa is a liquor, maybe from the mediterranian?
  • judy-judy-judy
    3 DEC, 2007
    What is grappa?