26 August 2010 Published in Friuli Venezia Giulia Recipes
Gubana Gubana image (CC-BY-3.0).

Cividale del Friuli is a great place for finding a quaint local restaurant. If you are ask, you may also find yourself also tucking into a 'gubana', a dessert speciality of the town.

It is typical for both the Christmas and Easter periods, but is now enjoyed all year round and all around Friuli and beyond. We also also know it was served in the 15th century at a banquet for Pope Gregory XII when he visited Cividale.

Its name probably derives from the Slovenian word 'guba' meaning 'folded' or 'bent' and is so similar to the Italian word 'gobbo' (hunchback), that it surely cannot be a coincidence. If you have been to Venice you may have also seen the Gobbo of Rialto.

Do not confuse gubana with the presnitz from Trieste whose shape is that of a horseshow but is made of a lighter pasta sfoglia. So, here's how to make it your dolce gubana. 


70g sultanas, 350g butter, 125g broken nuts, 60g pine nuts, 75g candied fruit, 30g almonds, spoonful of bread crumbs, 3 eggs, caster sugar, lemon, orange, 'Malaga' wine, 350g white flour, 2 spoonfuls of Aquavite.

making it

Mix a third of the flour and butter together.

Mix the remaining flour with the Acquavite and an egg to make a second lot of dough. Leave both to rest on one side.

Place the sultanas in the wine to soften them up.

Boil the nuts in hot water and chop them finely along with the candied fruit. Throw them all into a bowl and add the pine nuts and grated rind from the lemon and orange, together with the sultanas and the bread crumbs.

Mix well and fold in the yolk of an egg and the white of the egg which has been beaten previously.

The two pastries should be now rolled and layed together to form a light 'pasta sfogliata'.

Place all the mixture from the bowl onto the pastry and fold over to hide the mixture.

Take the two ends of the pastry and form a spiral bun shape.

Flour the dough and baste with another egg yolk. Sprinkle on the sugar and place in a hot oven for around 45 mins.

The Gubana should be served tepid or cold.

Additional Info

  • Conversion Table: 1 lb (16oz) = 450 gr; 1/2 lb (8oz) = 225gr 1oz = 25gr; 1kg = 2lb 3oz; 500gr = 1lb 3oz; 250gr = 9oz; 100gr = 3.5oz; 1 teaspoon = 0.33 fl oz; 1 cup = 0.5 pints (8fl oz); 1 litre = 35 fl oz
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