Traditionally in Bulgaria on Christmas Eve people eat a meal that consists of only plant-based foods, no dairy, no meat. Tikvenik is a staple food that is served along side the other dishes, it is a cozy, not overly sweet dessert, that resembles the texture of an apple strudel, but the filling is like pumpkin pie. I have swapped some of the traditional ingredients out for ones that I prefer (I will mention them in the recipe). I hope you enjoy this recipe, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to make, but tastes amazing.
Bulgarian Vegan Pumpkin Strudel "Tikvenik"
Yield 12 slices
- 2 cups (500g) Pure Pumpkin Puree
- 1/2 cup (100g) Light Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 cup (60g) raw Pumpkin Seeds, shelled
- 1/2 cup (75g) finely crushed Crispy Cookies (graham crackers, gingersnap cookies, vanilla wafers, digestive biscuits, etc.)
- 1/4 cup (60g) Coconut Oil, melted
- 8 sheets of Phyllo Dough
Tools: medium bowl, silicon spatula, baking tray, small sharp knife
- Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC) with the fan on, or 425ºF (218ºC) with the fan off. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl combine the pumpkin puree, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and pumpkin seeds; mix until everything is really well-combined with a spatula. Set aside.
- Lay a sheet of phyllo dough out, brush the surface with coconut oil (about 1-2tsp), then stack another sheet on top of that, again brush coconut oil, repeat this twice more, in the end you will have 4 sheets stacked on top of each other. Make sure you brush the final layer with coconut oil as well, then sprinkle half of the surface lengthwise with half of the cookie crumbs. Spread half of the pumpkin mixture on 1/2 of the surface lengthwise, then roll it into a log lengthwise. Place on top of the baking tray, and make one more strudel with the rest of the dough and filling.
- Once you have placed both logs of strudel on the tray, cut them with a knife into 6 equal pieces each (I cut of the edges to make it look better) leaving the pieces together, you will have 12 sections total. It is good to cut it before you bake them, because the top layer gets really crispy after baking and if you cut it after it will crumble apart.
- Place your tray in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the strudels are a dark golden brown color. Remove them from the oven, allow to cool completely or until barely warm before eating. You can dust the top with powdered sugar if you like.
Courses Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Serving Size 1 slice
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 7.8 g
Saturated Fat 4.5 g
Sodium 85 mg
Total Carbohydrates 21.3 g
Dietary Fiber 1.7 g
Sugars 8.7 g
Protein 3.3 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.