Rusks and a no-bake dessert for the celebration of the Dormition of Virgin Mary on August 15

The 15th of August is the celebration of the Dormition of Virgin Mary in Greece. Every year we prepare a chilled dessert that suits the ending of a meat feast. This year we will make our dessert together with Mrs. Christina!

In our new summer article we will learn the history of rusks, find various ideas for desserts with rusks and prepare together with Mrs. Christina a homemade no-bake dessert with soaked in syrup rusks, vanilla pudding and strawberry jelly with canned fruit for the celebration of the Dormition of Virgin Mary on August 15.

A delicious piece of Mrs. Christina’s summer sweet!

Η συνταγή της κυρίας Χριστίνας για το γλυκό με φρυγανιές, κρέμα και ζελέ, όπως και για το γλυκό με πτι-μπερ και κρέμα βανίλιας όταν τις πρωτοέφτιαχνε περιελάμβαναν κρέμα ΒΙΑΜΥΛ. Αναρωτηθήκαμε ποια ήταν αυτή η κρέμα και βρήκαμε μια ωραία, vintage διαφήμιση. Πρόκειται επομένως για δύο δοκιμασμένες στο χρόνο, vintage συνταγές!

Mrs. Christina’s recipe for the dessert with rusks, pudding and jelly, as well as for the no-bake dessert with petit-beurre biscuits and vanilla pudding was initially prepared with the Greek VIAMYL custard. We wondered what this custard was and found a nice, vintage ad. These are therefore two time-tested vintage recipes!

Vanilla cream VIAMYL, a taste from the past… (source)

The dessert that we will make this time will be based on rusks. The rusk is essentially a crispy slice of bread. As we have learned, the first recipe appeared in 1761 in the book De Volmaakte Hollandsche Keukenmeid, which means “the perfect Dutch waitress”. Rusk in Dutch is called “beskuit” and was commonly eaten on ships. The origin of the rusk, however, is from South Africa. There, in the Cape of Good Hope, which was a Dutch colony, many years before the recipe was published, women baked rusks and sold them to sailors and passengers of passing ships. On the page of a company that produces rusks, we read that rusks have been produced in South Africa since the 1690s, so that they can withstand long journeys.

The Dutch book De Volmaakte Hollandsche Keukenmeid, 1761 (source)
South African rusks with buttermilk, which are usually dipped in hot drinks (source)

Elsewhere we read that a kind of rusk has existed since the time of the ancient Egyptians. There, they burned slices of bread to make them last longer, so that the bread would not be wasted, but could be eaten. It was, therefore, an early way of preserving bread.

In Greece, in addition to rusks, we also have “paksimadia”, which belong to the same category of double-baked pastries. Similar items exist in many countries around the world. At Wikipedia we read that in some countries rusks are made with cake instead of bread.

Wheat rusks, rustic rusks, krispies with carob and traditional handmade paksimadia with Cretan tomato

How to make a soft paksimadi:

Apart from dipping them in tea and smearing them with butter and jam, the rusks, if syruped, can be used as a base for sweets, which will look a lot like syrupy sponge cake. As we have learned, these recipes come from the 1960s and 1970s, from the countryside, as in the cities they may have made them earlier. So let’s see some ideas for desserts based on syrupy rusks, before we make our own easy and delicious, on-bake dessert …

Local dessert “Frygania” (meaning rusk) from Zante with vanilla cream, whipped cream and cinnamon


No-bake dessert with rusks, vanilla cream, whipped cream and chocolate glaze


No-bake dessert with rusks, vanilla cream and caramelized almonds


No-bake dessert with rusks, chocolate cream, dulce de leche, whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles


No-bake dessert with rusks, nougat cream, whipped cream and cinnamon


No-bake dessert with rusks, orange cream and whipped cream


No-bake dessert with rusks, almond cream with orgeat syrup, orange cream, whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles


Fasting no-bake dessert with rusks and coconut milk cream


There are many ideas and if we let our creativity express itself there will be even more. Lets now take a look at the tested, traditional recipe of Mrs. Christina for a no-bake dessert with syrupy rusks, vanilla pudding and strawberry jelly with canned fruit!

Mrs. Christina’s second recipe for a homemade no-bake dessert


  • 10-12 wheat rusks or as many as fill your pan
  • 125 gr instant vanilla pudding powder
  • 700 ml full-fat milk
  • 200 gr strawberry jelly powder
  • Hot and cold water, as much as stated in the jelly instructions
  • Canned fruit + the syrup for soaking the rusks


Layer 1: syrupy rusks. Pour the syrup from the can into a bowl and dip the rusks one by one, for 1 second on each side. Then place them in your pan and fill the gaps with pieces of syrupy rusks. At the end empty the syrup that was left over the layer with the rusks.

Layer 2: instant vanilla pudding. Slowly pour the instant pudding powder into the milk and beat until it thickens. Then spread it over the layer with the rusks and even the surface with a spoon. Take care not to leave gaps, so that the jelly that you will add does not pass from below. Because the pudding we use is instant and prepared with cold milk, we do not need to wait for it to cool before adding the jelly. If you use pudding made with hot milk, you should wait for the cream to cool before adding the jelly.

Layer 3: strawberry jelly. Prepare the jelly according to the instructions, adding boiling water first and then cold water. Leave the jelly aside to cool. If you add it hot on top of the cream, it risks passing underneath, so it is good to be a little patient. Once your jelly is lukewarm, without having set, carefully pour it over the pudding and place the dessert in the refrigerator.

Layer 4: canned fruit. After waiting 1-2 hours for the jelly to set a little in the fridge, take it out to add the fruit. We want the jelly to be in a semi-liquid state, so that the fruit do not sink, but stand on the surface. Once you decorate our dessert with the fruit, put it in the fridge for several more hours.

After a few hours in the fridge, your refreshing dessert is ready to be cut and enjoyed! Happy sweet creations to all!

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