Desserts in Poland play a major role in holiday celebrations, especially Christmas and Easter. In this post, we will help you list some of the delicious desserts in Poland that you must try during your trip to this beautiful nation.
Delicious Desserts in Poland
Sernik is a cheesecake from Poland, stemming from old Christian and Jewish traditions. It is made with eggs, sugar, and twaróg – a type of curd cheese that has been used in desserts for hundreds of years. It is believed that sernik originated in the 17th century when King Jan III Sobieski brought the recipe with him after his victory against the Turks at the Battle of Vienna.
Today, there are many varieties of sernik, some baked, some unbaked, but it is usually made on a layer of crumbly cake. Often times raisins, chocolate sauce, or fruits are also added to sernik, and one of the most popular varieties of the dessert has a sponge cake as its base and is covered with jelly and fruit on top.
One of the delicious desserts in Poland is kremowka. A cream pie made of two thin layers of puff pastry filled with vanilla custard cream and often topped with powdered sugar. One of our favorite Polish treats, kremówka was popularised across PL by the late Pope John Paul II, who made the mistake of offhandedly commenting about eating cream cakes once in his hometown of Wadowice, thus creating a cottage industry in the small town 50km southwest of Kraków almost overnight.
Polish gingerbread, or pierniki, comes in many varieties, but the most famous is Toruński Piernik, which has been produced in the northern town of Toruń since the Middle Ages. Slightly soft, chewy, and flavored with honey, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, anise, and lavender, these small gingerbread cookies can be glazed with sugar, covered in chocolate, or filled with marmalade.
Pączki is the epitome of Polish desserts. Pączki are yeast cake donuts, and they are a central fixture in a Polish cukiernia (confectionary shop). Pączki are fried and have a jam-filled center. Traditionally, this jam is usually a plum jam called powidło, which is flavored with wild roses for extra complexity.
Nowadays, pączki are veering further and further away from their traditional plum jam fillings; raspberry, lemon, and even chocolate have become popular fillings in recent years.
Pączki has either powdered sugar or royal icing topping, which adds to their visual appeal.
Babka is a sweet, rich bread that is traditionally served on Easter Sunday in Poland and other Central and Eastern European countries. The cake usually contains raisins and rum for flavoring, and it is glazed with fruit-based icing. The name of the cake comes from the Polish word for grandmother, referring to the method of baking the dish in a Bundt mold, so when it is served, it is reminiscent of a grandmother’s wide, fluted skirt.
Some believe that babka’s round shape is a symbol of fertility, and while most people believe it originated in Slavic regions around Easter, some food historians claim that it came from Italy to Poland, where it was developed into a version of the classic Italian panettone.
Poppies are a popular ingredient in Polish desserts. This is due to the fact that, historically, poppy seeds were an easily accessible ingredient in this part of Europe.
Makowiec is a perfect celebration of this sweet fixture in Polish desserts. It is a roll cake made with a sweet yeast cake base. The roll is filled with poppy seeds, which are often accompanied by raisins, chopped nuts, and candied orange peel.
Often you can find a royal icing topping, which is sprinkled with more chopped nuts or candied orange peel on top.
Although poppy seeds are by far the most popular filling, makowiec is sometimes filled with a paste made of chestnuts or walnuts.
Makowiec is one of Poland’s iconic desserts, and it has variations across Central and Eastern Europe.
Naleśniki, or Polish crepes, are a fixture on almost every Polish restaurant menu. Naleśniki is rolled thinly in the shape of cigars instead of being served flat like their French counterparts. They are often filled with a variety of sweet jams or farmer’s style cheese that has been sweetened with sugar.
They are then browned in a pan with a hearty serving of butter. Although naleśniki are a dessert, they are sometimes ordered as a dinner item at restaurants across the country!
It is worth noting that maple syrup is a little-known luxury in Europe, and is still extremely expensive in Poland.