No-bake wafer cake (oblatne, oblande) is a MOUTH-WATERING dessert made with tort wafers filled with a combination of chocolate, walnuts, and ground biscuit cookies. Easy to make? Quick? Can you prepare it ahead? Yes, yes and absolutely yes!
What Is It
Today’s no-bake wafer cake is a beloved dessert in Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe. You’ll find it in Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Poland, Ukarine, Russia… Just name it!
In fact, you can’t pass a pastry shop without recognizing these delicious layered wafer cookies made by stuffing crispy wafers with a yummy filling.
In the Balkans, they call these tort wafers with a filling oblande or oblatne. Here, 99% of the time oblatne are stuffed with one of two fillings:
- The first one is the magical caramel (think of it like a Balkan version of dulce de leche for wafers);
- The second is a divine blend of chocolate, ground biscuit cookies and walnuts.
Today we’ll be making the second filling for our chocolate wafer cake.
Why This Recipe Works
- This no bake wafer dessert is incredibly EASY to make! You basically make the filling and spread it on the wafers. That’s right, no baking necessary!
- The filling is INCREDIBLY RICH - it might as well be from a recipe for an old fashioned European tort (which is just a fancy name for the good ol’ cake!).
- Layer upon layer of crispy wafer sheets slightly soften when they soak up all that filling DELICIOUSNESS.
- WARP SPEED! If you don’t count the wait time, this dessert takes 30 minutes: 10 to make the filling, 10 to cool it, and 10 to spread it on wafers. The wait time is longer of course, but that brings us to #5.
- This cake can be prepped 1-2 days ahead! BAM!
Ground biscuits: Tried and true brands are Plazma, Petit Beurre, or Graham Crackers.
Walnuts: Sub with hazelnuts. (Moreover, biscuits and walnuts can be used interchangeably. For a more expensive version of the dessert use 21 ounces of walnuts, and the other way around.)
Chocolate: Sub with dark chocolate or chocolate chips.
Vanilla extract: Sub with vanilla sugar, or rum.
Tort wafers: Use the long, rectangular kind. Always have at least 2 packs on hand as they’re fragile.
(Our lightning-fast instructions are here to give you an idea of how to make this dish. For more detailed information look at the recipe card below!)
- (Filling) Bring milk, sugar and vanilla to boil and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat.
- Add butter and chocolate. Stir until integrated.
- Add ground biscuits and walnuts. Stir until integrated. Cool.
- (Assembly) Place one tort sheet on a hard surface and distribute ¼ filling over it evenly. Repeat until you’re out of filling and sheets. Don’t spread the filling over top sheet.
- Wrap in saran wrap. Cover with something heavy. Leave to congeal in a cool place 6 hrs - overnight. Cut before serving. (Cutting directions are below.)
No bake wafer cake is usually cut into diamonds. Here's an easy way to do this:
- Cut the cake in half (lengthwise). Then cut each half in half to get quarters. Finally, cut each quarter in half to get eights.
- Take an eight strip and cut diagonal lines every 4-5 blocks. Repeat with all. (You'll get about 48-50 desserts this way, and serving size is 2-3.)
Serving, Storing, and Handling
- Timing: Preparing and cook time takes 30 minutes. However, the ingredients need time to congeal. (At least 6 hours, preferably overnight.)
- Serving: The dessert can be prepped 1-2 days ahead. If you’re cutting the dessert just before serving take it out ahead of time to allow it to adjust to room temperature.
- Storing: Wrap in saran wrap and store in a cool place or refrigerator for 4-5 days.
- Freezing: As wafers are fragile it’s best not to freeze this dessert.
- Equipment: A large tray or a pan, sized just a bit bigger than your wafer sheets. Likewise, you'll need a large, heavy object to place on top after you assemble it.
Packaging: About 9/10 times wafer sheets come in packs of 5. You’ll need just one of these packs. Nonetheless, wafers are fragile! Handle with care and always get 2-3 packages of wafers at the time. This way if some sheets break you'll have substitutes handy.
Best way to handle: Unwrap the package only after you’ve made your filling. Otherwise, wafers run the risk of being dry. Crisp, fresh wafers with a filling are delicious. Dry wafers with a filling are soggy.
How to make cookie crumbs: 1. Place cookies in a zip lock bag. 2. Zip the bag. 3. Run a rolling pin over it several times.
Long, thin, large wafers or wafer sheets are tort wafers used for desserts. (Take a look at the photograph above!) They come in different shapes, but for this recipe you’ll need long, rectangular ones.
Unfortunately, most US grocery stores still don’t carry wafer sheets. You have two choices: an ethnic/ international food store (particularly Balkan, Russian, or Polish), or Amazon. Your best bet is #1. This way you can choose the freshest, crispiest wafers.
Ground biscuits are basically cookies ground to the consistency of flour. So, cookie crumbs. Ground biscuits are very popular in European baking. They’re used for fillings and crusts. In UK they call these digestive biscuits. Some brands are Plazma and Petit Beure. Graham Crackers work too.
More Chocolate and Nuts Recipes
- No bake walnut pralines aka BAJADERA
- Mama’s Chocolate and Walnut Cake
- Walnut Marzipan Squares
- Choco Hazelnut Cake
Would You Do Me a Favor?
If you make today's No Bake Wafer Cake and like it, please consider leaving a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5-star) rating. This will help others find the recipe more easily!
You can also leave a comment, I read EVERY one! Finally, if IG is more your thing, consider tagging us @balkanlunchbox.
Prijatno and bon appetit!
Balkan No Bake Wafer Cake (Oblatne, Oblande)
- 10.5 ounces milk
- 10.5 ounces white sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or one 10g bag vanilla sugar
- 10.5 ounces Petit Beurre ground biscuits or Graham Crackers, ground
- 10.5 ounces walnuts ground
- 9 ounces of butter room temperature
- 7 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
- 1 package tort wafers 5-6 sheets in total, sized approximately 16x13 inches*
- Filling: In a large pot combine milk, sugar and vanilla sugar. Bring to boil over medium, stirring frequently to help the sugar dissolve. Remove from heat.
- Add butter and chocolate into the pot. Stir well until the mass integrates.
- Add ground biscuit and stir until integrated. Add walnuts and stir until well integrated. Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Assembly: Carefully unwrap your tort wafer sheets. Set the best looking sheet on the side (this will be your top sheet). Take another sheet and place it on a hard surface.* Pour roughly ¼ or ⅕ of the filling in the middle of this sheet. Evenly distribute it to all sides with a knife or a spoon. Place the following wafer sheet on top of the filling and align the sides. Repeat with the filling and sheets until you are out of material. Top everything with the sheet you set aside to be the top sheet.
- Wrap dessert in saran wrap. Then place a heavy object on top of it, covering the dessert as much as possible.* (a book, pan, cutting board, etc.). Leave to congeal in a cool place (or fridge) at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
- Cutting: Cut the wafer cake just before serving. Use a very sharp knife (or an exacto knife). (If you want it in shape of diamonds) Cut the cake in half (lengthwise). Then cut each half in half to get quarters. Finally, cut each quarter in half to get eights. Take an eight strip and cut diagonal lines every 4-5 blocks. Repeat with all strips.* Keep leftover cake in saran wrap in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
This was a huge hit at a dinner party I hosted this weekend. What made it even better was the fact that it had to be prepared the night before, so it was all ready to go the next night. (I love things that I can make ahead of time, I find it really helps keep stress levels to a minimum!) I kept it in the fridge because I wasn't sure if it would have been ok to leave out. I found the tort wafers on Amazon, but they were only 9 x 12 so I made 3/4 of the recipe and it turned out great. One question I've been meaning to ask - when you say dark chocolate, do you mean unsweetened baking chocolate or a regular dark chocolate bar that you eat (like Hersheys, etc)? I used 1/2 of each when I made this, but it's just something I've wanted to ask you for a while and keep forgetting to 🙂
Marwah, that's a great point! In the Balkans the chocolate usually used for cooking is called exactly that: "chocolate for cooking." So I am guessing this would be closest to unsweetened baking chocolate. Although I've used chocolate chips and regular dark hershey's before for some recipes in the US, and it worked. Glad oblatne turned out well, and good for you for finding the wafers on amazon. I know exactly what you mean about prepping stuff the night before. It's so much easier. 🙂
ari nikic says
Can i substitute chocolate for caramel? To make grilijas oblatne?
I haven't made them with caramel and I don't like giving advice on recipes I haven't done myself. I don't want to steer you in the wrong direction.
However, how is your Bosnian/ Serbian/ Croatian? You had mentioned you knew some... There is a website called coolinarika with a lot of Balkan recipes that has a few similar ones with caramel:
Ari sure you can, in fact I used to make it years ago while I lived in Romania. First the sugar must be caramelized, make sure doesn't burn, then add the milk and bring it to boil. I never used chocolate for this recipe but the cake was delicious, chocolate overtake the heavenly test of caramel and walnuts.
Carmela Efstathiou says
Do you put this in the fridge to firm up or on the counter?
Just saw this comment, hopefully it isn't too late. You can leave it in the fridge, or on the counter if your kitchen is cold. (Or in a cold place.)
Can I put all the walnuts only instead of busicuits? I mean 10.5 oz wallnuts instead of busicuits plus 10 oz walnuts, which is total 20.5 oz walnuts. I want to make it buscuits free.
I haven't tried it that way so I don't know how to advise you. If you do it let us know how it turned out.
My Mother used to make a similar cake. It did not have biscuits in it - just sugar, milk, chocolate and walnuts. The cake was whole and, when set, covered in chocolate mirror icing. It tasted best when kept for a few days. We had it at Easter and Christmas.
Mmm sounds yummy!
How many packages or how much vanilla sugar did you use
1 package, about 7-10 grams
Another wonderful recipe. Svaka cast! I made some, and everyone loves these.
Milka (what a fantastic name!),
Thank you for the comment! Glad that you and your family enjoyed them.
Irene Nicola says
I need your help. I made this today but I did use a different filling. One I made with nutella. I layered it just like you say, then wrapped it and set it aside for 6 hours.
For some reason the wafers are not crispy. What did I do wrong? Should I have put the whole thing in the refrigerator? I was so disappointed. Delicious but no crunch.
Putting it in the fridge vs leaving it outside in a cool place doesn't make much difference in the crispness factor.
It could either be the filling (it's best when it's lukewarm), however in most cases when they come out soggy or not crispy the problem is usually the wafers themselves. Were they near their expiration date? Sometimes they've been sitting on a shelf in a store forever or the brand isn't good. Try a different brand next time. Let us know how it goes.
Irene Nicola says
Thanks for the reply. Yes, I agree with you the wafers must have been past their expiration date. I'll order a fresh batch and try again.
Let us know how it goes the next time! Best of luck!
Prva liga, to je taj recept koji se godinama trazi 🙂
I'm Bosnian and I know what is this but I like to thank you for mesurements in US standards and altso NUTRITION info witch I newer knew!
glad you find it helpful! Happy cooking and a Happy New Year too!
mine get soggy each time
what do i do wrong ?
You can try three things:
1. Try cooking the filling a few minutes longer until it's thicker,
2. Let it cool down even more before spreading it over the wafer sheets,
3. Finally, try using a different type of wafer sheets. Most of the time the problem is in the sheets being too old, or just not being a good quality. Once you find a good type, stick to them.