Palačinke Recipe: Mushroom and Cheese Crepe from Croatia

Palacinke is a crepe-pancake hybrid originating from Croatia. They are a blank canvas to whatever sweet or savoury filling your heart desires. We made our palacinke recipe with creamy mushrooms, caramelised onions, rosemary and plenty of cheese.

Overview of Croatia

Writing about Croatia is slightly painful for me. I can’t help but reflect on the time I spent sailing on the turquoise waters of the Adriatic, spending each day basking in the sun, exploring a new, quaint coastal town or eating my bodyweight in gelato. The pang of longing that hits me as I reminisce on these memories IS SO REAL.

Croatia lies at the crossroads of central and southeast Europe, and is blessed to have a very long and beautiful coastline. It’s no wonder that it has become one of the world’s top 20 tourist destinations, with its economy heavily relying on the tourism sector. Sailing through Croatia has become a very popular holiday choice with young adults, and unfortunately for Croatia, this has meant an influx of rowdy Aussies and Kiwis storming their quaint towns (I apologise on behalf of my nation for this).

History of Croatian Cuisine

Every region of Croatia has its own distinct culinary traditions, many of which root back to ancient times. Food on the mainland tends to draws off the influence of Hungarian and Turkish cuisine and tends to be heavy, meat-based and strong in flavour. On the other hand, in the coastal regions, influences of Greek, Roman and Mediterranean cuisine are more prevalent. The cuisine is lighter than that of the mainland, and includes a lot of olive oil, seafood, and a wide range of herbs and spices.

Popular Croatian Dishes

  • Fuži s tartufom– Fuzi is a quill-shaped homemade pasta typical to the region of Istria. This dish is served with black truffles or sometimes the rare and expensive white truffle.
  • Soparnik– A savoury pie filled with swiss chard, cooked in large rounds over a woodfired oven.
  • Palacinke– A thin, crepe-like variation of a pancake that can be served with sweet or savoury fillings.
  • Vanjkusi– Baked pastry rolls filled with egg, cornmeal and cottage cheese, a speciality of Moslavina.
  • Ćoravi gulaš– A peasant stew that includes potatoes, onions, carrots, tomatoes, parsley and peas, which is flavoured with paprika and garlic.
  • Madjarica– This impressive Croatian layered cake consists of thin layers of cake sandwiched between chocolate buttercream.
  • Orehnjača- This walnut roll is a true symbol of family life, and tends to be eaten as a festive dessert around Christmas or Easter.

Making Crepes with Creamy Mushrooms and Cheese (Palacinke)

It was surprisingly difficult to choose which dish we’d make for Croatia as there were quite a few good vegetarian options (and sweet treats) to choose from. In the end, we settled for making palacinke, Croatia’s crepe-pancake hybrid snack. We love a good crepe, so were curious to see how these differed from the OG. Like most crepe batters, palacinke is made with flour and eggs. However, the thickness of the batter is in between that of a crepe and pancake.

The recipe we found called for the use of soda water to create a light and airy batter, which was another interesting addition. To be perfectly honest, in the end we didn’t feel they turned out very differently from regular crepes, besides being a fraction thicker. But, they were delicious all the same.

Typical fillings of palacinke include jam, fruit and cheese. However, they are really are a blank canvas where you can sub out for any sweet or savoury filling that your heart desires. We are absolute suckers for a combination of creamy mushrooms, caramelised onion and cheese, so we couldn’t resist stuffing our palacinke with this decadent filling.

How to make Palacinke

These crepes are super simple to make. They don’t require much time to make, but the batter does need 30 minutes to sit. Make sure you give yourself a little extra time to prepare the batter in advance. If you are making our creamy mushroom filling, you can do this while the batter sits.

  1. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and soda water. Slowly add in the flour and salt, whisking until most lumps are gone.
  2. Leave to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Use this time to prepare the filling.
  3. Heat 1 teaspoon of butter in a crepe pan or small frying pan. Add 1/4 cup of batter to pan, swirling around to cover. Fry for 2-3 minutes, until starting to brown, then flip over a brown other side. Set aside on plate.
  4. Heat another teaspoon of butter and repeat process until all batter is used up.
  5. Stuff crepes with mushroom filling and enjoy!

Ingredient notes for this Palacinke recipe

  • Soda water- This helps to make the crepes lighter and airier. If you don’t have soda water, just sub for more milk.
  • Mushrooms– For the filling, white, brown or portobello mushrooms will work, or a combination of a few
  • Cheese– We opted for grated aged cheddar for our filling, however, you could use any cheese you like! Mozzarella, blue cheese or even feta would all work well with the flavour profile

Serving suggestions for this Palacinke recipe

If you don’t wish to have your palacinke with our delicious creamy mushroom filling (which we’d highly recommend, but realise mushrooms aren’t for everyone), here are a couple of our favourite ways to have crepes:

  • Nutella and sliced banana
  • Lemon juice and icing sugar
  • Strawberries and mascarpone
  • Goats cheese, leek & herbs

Palačinke Recipe: Mushroom and Cheese from Croatia

Palačinke Recipe: Mushroom and Cheese from Croatia

Yield: 3
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Resting Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Palačinke is a crepe-pancake hybrid originating from Croatia. This savoury rendition is filled with creamy mushrooms, caramelized onions, rosemary and plenty of cheese.

Ingredients

Crepe batter:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup soda water
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter, for cooking

Creamy mushroom filling:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 tbsp rosemary, chopped
  • 1 cup of cheese, grated

Instructions

To makes crepes:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and soda water. Slowly add in the flour and salt, whisking until most lumps are gone.
  2. Leave to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, if making the creamy mushroom filling, make it now.
  3. Heat 1 teaspoon of butter in a crepe pan or small frying pan. Add 1/4 cup of batter to pan, swirling around to cover. Fry for 2-3 minutes, until starting to brown, then flip over a brown other side. Set aside on plate.
  4. Heat another teaspoon of butter and repeat process until all batter is used up.
  5. Stuff crepes with desired filling and enjoy!

To make creamy mushroom filling:

  1. In a frying pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add in red onion, mushrooms and crushed garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes until onion and mushrooms start to soften. Add in brown sugar and balsamic vinegar, and cook for 5-7 minutes until onions and mushrooms have caramelised.
  2. Stir in cream and rosemary and cook for a few more minutes. Set to a very low heat to keep warm whilst cooking the crepes.

Notes

Palacinke recipe inspired by The Spruce Eats

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a comment & review above or share a photo on Instagram tagging @polkadotpassport so I can reshare your creations!

Other European recipes to try:

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Hey, I'm Nicola!

I am a travel + food blogger on a mission to discover the best destinations & dishes in the world. Thanks for joining the adventure!

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