If you’re a tourist planning to visit Poland or simply looking for an international dessert dish at your own pace, Polish Desserts are the way to go!
Poland has a somewhat complicated, often chaotic, but rich historical past.
Despite this, Polish cuisine has always been a staple at every dinner table and has united families and communities for many centuries.
Poland’s popular desserts are mainly known to satisfy the cravings of every Pole’s sweet tooth.
These food items are not just popular as everyday snacks, but they are also linked to the religious and cultural traditions that Poland has kept up to this day.
Are you curious about their sweet desserts?
Well, buckle up as we’ll explore the various creamy pastries, luscious cakes and pies, crunchy candies, and drinks with sweet kicks that Poles love to eat!
There are many options to choose from, like Karpatka, Nalesniki, and Miodek Turecki; those would be an excellent place to start.
You might even want to look into #9 if you’re into cake decorating!
Here are 25 popular Polish Desserts that you should check out!
Pączki is a fried donut made from eggs, milk, and butter, sprinkled with sugar for extra sweetness and filled with classic blueberry, prune, apple, and other fruit jams, to chocolate or bavarian cream.
This food item is mainly associated with Fat Thursday, a religious event where Poles consume as many oil-based dishes as Lent.
In fact, it has become much of a staple that 100 million Pączkis are reportedly being consumed nationwide.
Another staple on “Fat Thursday,” Faworki is a fried bread strip powdered with sugar.
The sweet sensation brought by the latter ingredient complements the crunchy texture of the bread.
The name “Farowki” actually translates to “Angel Wings,” initially referring to the ribbons tied to Medieval Knights.
However, as finger food for special occasions, Farowki does look like an angel wing.
Biting one of these can make you feel like heaven, too, with the sugary taste melting in your mouth!
Kremówka is a famous sandwich cake with two puff pastry bread on opposite sides of the dish and creamy vanilla in the middle.
Sugar is then added to one of the pastry bread for added sweetness.
This dessert dish is now commonly associated with Saint John Paul II, who expressed his love for the Kremówka during his Papal visit to his hometown in Wadowice, Poland, in 1999.
Since then, bakers have produced the current iteration of the Kremówka, known as Kremówka Papieska, commemorating the late Pope.
Similar to the Kremówka, Karpatka is also a kind of sandwich cake with a creamy vanilla filling.
However, Karpatka uses choux pastry instead of puff pastry, which is an essential ingredient in the Kremówka.
The name Karpatka comes from the famed Carpathian Mountain Range that stretches within Central and Eastern European countries, including Poland.
This explains the rugged appearance of the Karpatka.
Yet, you should not easily judge it by its appearance, as its sweet, creamy taste could make you want more!
Popular during Easter, Babka is a sweet bread that is part cake and part loaf, depending on your preparation.
Either way, this dessert dish is often filled with raisins and walnuts, depending on your liking.
Babka varies from country to country in the European region, especially in places with significant Jewish populations.
In Poland’s case, there’s the Babka Wielkanocna, a sweet yeast bread with glazed sugar and syrup that Poles, and even everyone else, can enjoy!
Piernik is Poland’s version of gingerbread, except there’s no ginger, cinnamon, or similar ingredients in the mix.
Instead, there’s honey that contributes to the fragrant aroma of the cake.
However, the preparation for this dessert can take some time – even weeks.
This is why Piernik is more popular on special occasions, and that preparing one should start weeks in advance.
Nonetheless, the aroma of the Piernik could get your attention quickly, making you yearn for a piece of this gingerbread!
This Polish Honey Cake, also known as Miodownik, is a relatively tall one.
Structure-wise, it is designed as having two layers of Semolina cream sandwiched by three layers of honey cake.
Not only that but this cake is often topped with crunchy almond nuts!
On special occasions or even on regular days, Miodownik will always be a delight!
Apple pie lovers will definitely love this one!
Szarlotka is Poland’s version of Apple Pie.
This dessert dish has lots of mushy tart apples with a tangy lemon twist for added perfection!
Ingredients can vary with this dish, as some may add another layer of sweetness with raisins and merengue.
Like the Babka Wielkanocna, the Mazurek is also known as one of Poland’s staple Easter tarts.
Unlike typical cakes, including the Babka, the Mazurek is often flat in its appearance and often shaped like a square or rectangle.
Interestingly, these cakes come in various designs, depending on your desired toppings.
Such colorful arrangements are very appropriate for festive occasions!
Sernik is known as a highlight on every dining table during Christmas.
Unlike other cheesecakes, this one is distinctively Polish as it is often made with dry white cheese known by Poles as twaróg.
Tourists who wish to go to Poland for the holidays should list this as one of the must-try food items during your stay!
Makowiec is also known as a Polish Poppy Seed Roll.
One may mistake this for chocolate bread due to its appearance when the bread fillings are ground poppy seeds!
However, much like chocolate bread, its appearance is mouth-watery enough to capture you. Having a bite of this can make you want more of this delicious pastry!
Can’t get enough chocolate and cream cakes?
Wuzetka is there to satisfy your cravings further!
This sponge cake consists of two layers of fluffy chocolate that sandwich the creamy gelatin middle layer.
For lovers of chocolate and cakes, Wuzetka is a go-to dessert dish!
Nalesniki, known as Poland’s version of the crepe, should be a must-have for crepe lovers!
Similar to the Sernik, Poland’s very own crepe is distinctively polish with twaróg as one of the main ingredients.
However, you can still make your very own Nalesniki with Quark cheese, or even other fillings commonly used in crepes, such as fruit jams and chocolate.
Polish Crescents, known as Rogaliki, look very simple at first.
In fact, it looks like a decent croissant on the outside.
However, one bite of this amazing crescent bread and you’ll be mesmerized by the complementing taste of the crispy bread and its buttery filling.
Rogaliki is often compared to Russian Rugelachs, but the latter are more like cookies than pieces of bread.
Pancakes in the morning?
What about Racuchy z Jabłkami?
Pancakes in Poland are known as Racuchy.
One popular variant of this is Racuchy Z Jabłkami or, simply, Apple Pancakes.
Apple slices are dipped into the batter for frying in this dessert dish.
Indeed, making Racuchy z Jabłkami is that simple, and can be a way to sweeten up your mornings!
Any custard lovers out there?
Budyn, a famous Polish custard, has always been a sweet staple.
In fact, you can either make one for your own or buy a sachet of Budyn powder, which is consumable when mixed with milk.
Rogal Świętomarciński, also known as St. Martin’s Croissants, has been a significant dessert dish in Poznań, Poland, and has since spread all over the country.
As the English name suggests, this Polish croissant is often part of the Feast of St. Martin.
While walnuts and honey are often used to create this delicious bread, this wouldn’t be complete without white poppy seeds.
Kołacz Slaski is a popular variant of the Kołacz or Polish wheel cake.
In this case, one of the notable ingredients of this dessert is cheese, which is often situated inside the bread.
A must-try, particularly during Easter and Christmas, you can also try other variants of the Kołacz, including fruits like raspberries, poppy seeds, and more!
Have some extra plums in your fridge?
Why not use it in baking?
Ciasto ze Śliwkami, known as the Polish Plum Cake, is one of the many fruit cakes that you should try out.
In this case, slices of plums are being layered on top of the cake batter.
The result is a complementary mix of sweetness and tanginess that you will surely love!
Kajmak is the Poles’ answer to milk caramel cream and is a perfect ingredient for other sweet caramel pastries.
You can buy a can of ready-made Kajmak in supermarkets to consume.
However, if you’re interested in making your own and have the time and patience, you can stir sweetened condensed milk in a hot pot until it becomes caramelized.
Those who can’t get enough chocolate wafer treats will surely love the Andrut!
There’s no single way how to do Andrut.
Besides, it is, in essence, a flat wafer snack.
You can experiment with various ingredients, toppings, and flavors that add sweetness to the crunchy wafer.
Either way, Andrut will capture the hearts and palates of children and the young at heart!
Ptasie Moloko, which literally translates to “bird milk,” is a chocolate candy bar with a soft, creamy, and white-colored meringue filling.
Oddly enough, Ptasie Mleczko is a brand of a chocolate bar under E. Wedel, the same brand that produces Torcik Wedlowski.
However, the expiration of the original patent in the 1950s and the subsequent introduction of the recipe in the Soviet Union led to the existence of similar kinds of chocolate snacks.
Yet, these items do not bear the original name Ptasie Mleczko.
Halloween candies, anyone?
If so, you should be in for a treat with this Polish Halloween candy known as Miodek Turecki!
Technically, this candy is mainly served during All Saints’ Day (November 1) and All Souls’ Day (November 2).
During these times, people pay respects to Catholic saints and come to visit loved ones in cemeteries.
Miodek Turecki is very easy to prepare too!
Just caramelize sugar on a hot pan, mix it with baking soda, honey, walnuts, and, voila!
This one is best served as finger food, so prepare for sticky fingers as you consume this delightfully sweet snack!
Kogel Mogel is a Polish version of the well-beloved eggnog.
In this case, this dessert item is just as creamy and delicious as the eggnog we’re familiar with.
Traditionally, preparing Kogel Mogel involves whisking egg yolks and honey until it becomes creamy.
However, you can spice this up by adding other ingredients, such as nuts, chocolate, or rhum.
Polish thirst quenchers are a treat for Poles and tourists alike, just like this sweet beverage known as Kompot Z Suszu.
Interestingly, this fruit juice mix is often made by storing dried fruits (apples, raspberries, cranberries, and similar fruits) in water overnight after being boiled.
Sidebar: If you have lots of fruits but don’t know what to do with them, you can use them to make Kompot Z Suszu!
The bottom line
Polish desserts are a reflection of its rich past, as well as its European influences.
There’s no denying that these desserts have bonded together families and communities, even in the worst of times.
Interestingly, as some of these dessert items use fruits, you can use stored fruits to make something interesting out of it.
These desserts are best shared with your family, friends, and acquaintances. Smacznego!
P.S Unlock 21 best Polish recipes!
- Pączki (Polish Donut)
- Faworki (Angel Wings)
- Kremówka (Polish Papal Cake)
- Karpatka (Polish Carpathian Cream Cake)
- Babka Wielkanocna (Yeast-Based Bundt Cake)
- Piernik (Honey Bread)
- Miodownik Cake
- Szarlotka (Polish Apple Pie)
- Mazurek (Polish Easter Tart)
- Sernik (Polish Cheesecake)
- Makowiec (Polish Poppy Seed Roll)
- Wuzetka (Polish WZ Cake)
- Nalesniki (Polish Crepes)
- Rogaliki (Polish Crescents)
- Racuchy Z Jabłkami (Polish Apple Pancakes)
- Budyn (Polish Pudding)
- Rogal Świętomarciński (St. Martin’s Croissants)
- Kołacz Slaski (Sweet Cheese Bread)
- Ciasto Ze Śliwkami (Polish Plum Cake)
- Kajmak (Polish Milk Caramel Cream)
- Andrut (Polish Wafer Snack)
- Ptasie Moloko (Bird's Milk)
- Miodek Turecki (Polish Halloween Candy)
- Kogel Mogel (Polish Eggnog)
- Kompot Z Suszu (Polish Dried Fruit Juice)
- Take a look at the variety of ingredients from each recipe in our Polish Desserts list.
- Choose the ingredients you like the most.
- Create a new favorite recipe you can enjoy!
- Have fun and tell us what you think on our Facebook page.