Bucnica Croatian cheese and pumpkin strudel

Rolled pastry filled with cheese and grated pumpkin, called Bučnica, is a speciality which is still prepared in the homes of northern Croatia, Zagorje. This traditional Croatian strudel is made with thin dough, filled with a combination of grated pumpkin, salt, cottage cheese, butter and eggs. In Croatia it’s made with green pumpkin called Buča, but you can use any other kind of pumpkin / squash.

In Croatia, Bučnica is made with thin homemade dough which is very similar to phyllo pastry and you can buy in every store. So if you don’t have time to make dough at home, feel free to use one from the store.



  • 800 g pumpkin (grated, salted and strained)
  • 500 g cottage cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. salt

Strudel dough:

  • 500 g flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 5 tbsp of neutral oil (vegetable or sunflower oil)
  • 300 ml lukewarm water (approximately)
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • Butter for coating


1. FILLING: Remove the seeds from the pumpkin and cut it into smaller pieces.

2. Peel off the skin.

3. Grate the pumpkin, add salt and set aside. Let it stand for an hour, squeeze out the water that the pumpkin has released and add the other ingredients and mix well.

4. DOUGH: Mix all ingredients and knead a smooth dough. Coat it with a spoonful of oil and wrap it in transparent foil and let it rest for at least half an hour. After that, place a cotton tablecloth on the table and sprinkle it with flour.

5. Gently roll out the dough with a rolling pin and then spread it with your hands little by little over the entire table until it becomes transparent.

6. Sprinkle it with filling.

7. Lift the tablecloth on one side and roll the dough towards the middle. Do the same on the other side.

8. When both parts meet in the middle, take a small plate and using its sides, cut the strudel into pieces 4 inches long / or 10 cm. It immediately sticks back together the dough and the filling doesn’t come pouring out.

9. Preheat the oven to 190 °C and put the strudel pieces in the baking sheet one next to each other. Coat with butter and bake 35 – 40 minutes. Serve warm with sour creme.