Sernik To Babka: 7 Polish Desserts That Define Sweet Elegance
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Polish sweets are a true pleasure for any foodie traveller with a particularly sweet tooth—rich, robust, and lovingly crafted. Traditional sweet treats are well-known throughout Central Europe. The cuisines of the area, including Polish food, are all incredibly popular with doughnuts and cakes.

When you combine honest, humble Polish home food with influences from Germany and Austria, culinary magic happens. Get ready for a decadent and enticing sensory experience with seven well-liked Polish sweets that will tickle your taste buds and satisfy your tummy.


Polish cheesecakes, known as sernik, have their roots in ancient Jewish and Christian customs. Eggs, sugar, and twaróg—a kind of curd cheese that has been used in sweets for hundreds of years—are the main ingredients. The recipe for sernik is thought to have been delivered by King Jan III Sobieski in the 17th century, following his victory over the Turks at the Battle of Vienna.

Sernik comes in numerous forms, some baked and others unbaked, but it's often prepared on top of a layer of crumbly cake. Sernik frequently has raisins, chocolate sauce, or fruits added to it. One of the most well-known versions of the delicacy is a sponge cake with fruit and jam layered on top.


Poland is the EU's top producer of apples, with 3 million metric tonnes cultivated annually. It is understandable why one of the most popular desserts in Poland is the apple pie, known as szarlotka or jabłecznik. Apple filling with spices and sweet crust pastry combine to make the popular szarlotka. Meringue, crumble, or a coating of powdered sugar can be used as toppings. It is typically served hot in cafés and restaurants, along with whipped cream and, frequently, a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


Piernik is a classic Polish honey-spice cake that is mostly eaten as a favourite Christmas delicacy, despite being regarded as gingerbread. Though there are many variations, it typically consists of wheat or rye flour, honey, and generous amounts of spices, including ginger, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

Usually cooked in loaf pans, it is sometimes topped with layers of thick plum jam or enhanced with dried fruits and nuts. Every time Piernik is made, it is done long in advance, allowing the cake's flavours to develop and the dough to mature.


The pinnacle of Polish desserts is paczki. Pączki, or yeast cake doughnuts, are a staple in any Polish cukiernia (confectionery store). Pączki features a jam-filled centre and is fried. Traditionally, powidło, a plum jam, is made and flavoured with wild roses to provide even more richness.

These days, the traditional plum jam fillings for pączki are becoming less and less common; chocolate, raspberry, and lemon have all gained popularity as fillings recently. Pączki are aesthetically pleasing because of their topping of either royal icing or powdered sugar. On Tłusty Czwartek, a feast marking the start of the Roman Catholic season of Lent—a time when fasting is customarily observed—pączki is frequently enjoyed.


Polish crepes, known as nazeleśniki, are a staple of nearly every Polish restaurant's menu. Unlike its French cousins, naležniki is rolled thinly and offered in the shape of cigars. They are frequently packed with a range of sweet jams or sugar-sweetened farmer's cheese. After that, they are pan-fried with a generous amount of butter until browned.

Despite being a dessert, naleśniki are occasionally enjoyed as a dinner dish in restaurants all around the nation. It is noteworthy that maple syrup, which is still quite pricey in Poland, is a little-known luxury in Europe. That's why this beloved topping for North American pancakes hasn't made an appearance on a plate full of naleśniki yet. On naleśniki, however, you'll find fresh fruit, whipped cream, fruit coulis, or chocolate sauce.


In Poland, this sweet speciality is known as rurki or rurki z kremem. It is a kind of cream roll made of thin pastry that is usually filled with pastry cream or whipped cream. Due to its distinctive shape, it is sometimes referred to as the "torpedo dessert," and aside from Poland, other nations have a lengthy history of making this delicacy.

The roots of rurki are frequently linked to Turkey and Bulgaria, where the dessert is referred to as funiiki s krem and torpil tatlısı, respectively. This delicious treat comes in a variety of forms, depending on the type of cream used to fill the pastry, the ingredients used to prepare it, and the look, feel, and taste of the rolls.


Babka is a sweetened, bread-like dessert that is typically served on Easter Sunday. It comes in a range of flavours. It was created in the 19th century by Polish Jewish communities and has been compared to brioche, panettone, and Bundt cake.

Though some versions of the Polish treat manage without it, the classic recipe frequently calls for making it with yeast-risen dough, which is why it's sometimes referred to as "yeast cake."

The original Polish form uses candied or dried fruits as toppings, making it one of the most adaptable and delectable Polish sweets you can try. More contemporary versions typically drizzle it with vanilla or chocolate frosting or even sprinkle it with powdered sugar.