Home Desserts 30 Traditional Croatian Desserts (+ Easy Recipes)

30 Traditional Croatian Desserts (+ Easy Recipes)

Take your sweet tooth on a journey across Croatia with these delectable Croatian desserts!

If you’re looking to entice your tastebuds with something sweet, Croatia is the place to be. 

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Sweet Poppy Seed Roll with Cinnamon

This beautiful country is known for its unique cuisine, and desserts are an integral part of that. 

Whether you’re an experienced cook or an amateur, this Croatian collection will satisfy your sweet tooth for sure.

From traditional cakes and pastries to contemporary creations, today we’re going to take a closer look at 30 Croatian desserts. 

Tie on an apron and let’s get baking!

1. Madjarica – Croatian Layer Cake

Madjarica is a Croatian layer cake made with quick pastry dough baked until crisp. 

The pastries are layered together with a flavorful cream frosting. For this recipe, you’ll use chocolate.

Madjarica is typically enjoyed during special celebrations like weddings, birthdays, and holidays. 

It appears to be quite simple, but this dessert takes time and skill to prepare due to its intricate dough layers. 

But it’s definitely worth it.

Once baked to perfection, the results provide an addictive sweet treat that has become synonymous with Croatian culture. 

2. Hallmark Croatian Cheesecake

Hallmark Croatian cheesecake is a unique and extremely flavorful take on the classic dessert. 

This cheesecake is primarily made with cottage cheese, giving it that wonderful, curdled texture.

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Top your cheesecake with fresh blueberries or a dollop of whipped cream for an extra special dessert experience.

3. Croatian Kroštule (Sweet Pastry Knots)

Croatian Kroštule are sweet and delicious morsels with a crisp exterior. 

They are expertly crafted using a light dough made from flour, eggs, and butter. 

The dough is then twisted and shaped into sweet little pastry knots and fried in vegetable oil until golden and crisp. 

They’re often dusted with either powdered sugar or cinnamon, and enjoyed as a delightful afternoon treat.

4. Croatian Čupavci

Croatian Čupavci is a traditional cake similar to the Australian lamingtons. 

It’s made with buttery sponge cake that’s covered in chocolate and sprinkled with coconut flakes. 

It can be eaten either hot or cold, so it’s suitable for any time of day.

Čupavci is especially popular during Carnival season in Croatia, when people enjoy eating them as part of festive celebrations. 

5. Rožata

Rožata is Croatia’s very own version of custard or flan, and it’s guaranteed to delight your taste buds. 

Made with lots of egg yolks, milk, and sugar, this dessert is so smooth and silky that it melts in your mouth. 

Rožata can also sometimes contains a hint of rum, which pairs beautifully with the richness of the custard. 

6. Croatian Kuglof With Apples Recipe (Apple Bundt Cake)

If you’re looking for a unique apple-filled dessert, look no further than Croatian Kuglof. 

This Croatian apple bundt cake is sweet with a subtle tartness from the apples. The result is a perfect balance of flavors. 

The presentation of the cake is striking, as the top is dusted with powdered sugar.

The cake can be served on its own or enjoyed alongside coffee or tea. 

7. Hrapoćuša – Traditional Cake From Brač Island

Hrapoćuša is a traditional cake from the island of Brač in Croatia. 

The cake contains ground almonds, giving it a uniquely nutty texture and flavor.

It’s then finished with a crunchy walnut topping flavored with sugar, lemon juice, and nutmeg.

This unique dessert is a great way to experiment with different flavors and textures. 

Sweet yet nutty in taste, Hrapoćuša cake can be garnished with honey or brandy syrup or candied orange peel for a more exciting flavor.

8. Traditional Croatian Skoljkice Shell Cookies

Skoljkice are cookies made from a light and crisp, shell-shaped dough filled with sweet jam or marmalade. 

The cookies are then generously covered with powdered sugar for a simple yet sophisticated finish.

9. Kremsnita (Cream Slice, Cremeschnitte)

Kremsnita is popular for its layer of creamy custard and light, flaky crust. 

The traditional Croatian recipe calls for a combination of eggs and heavy cream to create the custard layer. 

The dessert can be made with different custard flavors like vanilla or chocolate, with vanilla being the more popular.

When served fresh out of the oven, it’s a perfect balance between sweet and creamy. Every bite melts in your mouth!

10. Carob Sponge Cake

Croatian carob sponge cake is incredibly moist and fluffy with notes of sweetness from the carob powder. 

Also known as St. John’s bread, carob is a tree native to the Croatian region and produces peculiarly sweet fruit.

It has a distinctively warm, slightly nutty flavor and a smooth texture that add depth to chocolate treats, such as this cake. 

11. Almond Lattice Cake

Imotska Torta is an almond lattice cake.

It has a crunchy, flaky crust filled with an almond filling infused with orange, lemon, cinnamon, and nutmeg. 

It’s topped with layers of dough hand woven into beautifully intricate patterns.

Baked with just the right amount of sweetness, this dessert is sure to be a crowd favorite. 

12. Croatian Biscuits: Medenjaci

Medenjaci, Croatian for ‘honey cakes’, are a type of biscuit made with honey and flavored with lemon juice or vanilla. 

They’re light yet crunchy and pleasantly sweet from the honey.

Traditionally eaten during Croatian Christmas, Medenjaci are perfect enjoyed with a cup of coffee or as a dessert. 

13. Croatian Paprenjaci (Black Pepper Cookies)

Paprenjaci cookies have an exceptionally unique combination of rich honey and walnuts with black pepper.

These crunchy little treats pack an intense flavor and heat, leaning heavily on the rich taste of ground black pepper. 

The perfect balance between sweet and spicy makes them irresistible to almost anyone who gives them a try.

14. Breskvice: Croatian Peach Cookies

Breskvice are Croatia’s iconic cookies that look and taste like peaches. 

The cookies consist of a light and fluffy dough filled with peach jam that’s typically infused with rum. 

Despite the simplicity of the ingredients, the cookies’ texture and flavor are instantly recognizable to Croatians all around the world. 

Often served at special occasions, particularly weddings and christenings, breskvice are both a cultural and culinary delight.

15. Zlevanka

Zlevanka, or Croatian cornbread, is a beloved staple at special occasions like weddings and family moments. 

Its primary ingredient is cornmeal, which gives the bread heavy notes of sweet corn and earthy undertones. 

It has certain similarities to cornbread we’re familiar with here in the US, but its special ingredients make it one-of-a-kind!

Zlevanka is traditionally served cold, with sour cream on top, to complement its sweetness. 

16. Bijela Pita Recipe (White Slice)

Bijela pita, or white slice, is an irresistible cake that just about any sweet tooth will appreciate. 

It consists of pastry layers made of flour, eggs, white sugar, filled with white cream or buttercream. 

This cake is light and fluffy with a subtle sweetness.

It has a similar texture to madjarica and is often enjoyed with coffee or tea as an afternoon snack.

17. Croatian-styled Dumplings Stuffed with Plums

Croatian plum-filled dumplings, or knedle s sljivama, are a traditional Croatian dish beloved by many.

The dumplings, made from flour and boiled potatoes, are stuffed with sweet plums, cinnamon, and sugar and then boiled in water. 

The combination creates a mouthwatering savory-sweet dish. 

The dumplings are often served with sour cream or ice cream for an even more indulgent experience. 

18. Medjimurska Gibanica/Medjimurijan Layer Cake 

The Medjimurska Gibanica is a layer cake beloved in Croatia and parts of Hungary. 

This scrumptious dessert consists of sheets of phyllo dough filled with poppy seed, fresh cheese, nuts, and apples.

These four different fillings give the cake a unique flavor and texture profile. 

The sweetness of the poppy seeds contrast against the creamy cheese. 

The nuts add a flavorful crunch while the apples provide sweetness and just a hint of tartness.

Each layer comes together to form an exotic flavor experience that’ll leave you wanting more.

19. Croatian Cooking: Makovnjača – Poppy Seed Roll

Makovnjača is popular not just in Croatia, but also numerous countries like Slovakia, Slovenia, and Serbia. 

Made with sweet cake rolled and filled with a poached poppy seed mixture, this cake roll provides a unique flavor and texture.

Makovnjača has been sold as a specialty food during Christmas and Easter since the 19th century.

While this traditional roll is usually eaten plain, it can also be filled with jam or cheese for a tastier treat. 

20. Croatian Palačinke Crepes

Palacinke crepes are an Eastern European delicacy, made from a thicker batter than traditional crepes yet thinner than pancakes. 

Palacinkes are usually enjoyed with a cheese, meat, or fruit filling.

However, you can get creative and stuff them with just about anything you like.

21. Croatian Fritule

Another standout dessert in the Croatian cuisine is the fritule.

A type of Croatian donut, Fritule are made in a free-form fashion, unlike traditional round donuts.

They may not look exactly alike, but when it comes to flavor and texture, fritule are just as addictive.

As with all Croatian dishes, Fritule makes use of traditional spices.

In this case, cinnamon gives them a bit of warmth and a lot of flavor.

22. Croatian Jelly Doughnuts

Krafne is Croatia’s iteration of the classic jelly donuts.

This lightly sweetened pastry is made with yeast dough shaped into a bun and filled with jam.

A dusting of powdered sugar provides a beautiful finishing touch.

Krafne can be eaten on its own like a traditional donut or dipped into cream, yogurt, or custard for an extra something special.

23. Trogirski Rafioli

Trogirski rafioli, also known as almond crescents, are a traditional almond-filled pastry from the coastal town of Trogir in Croatia. 

The almond filling is flavored with orange, maraschino, and lemon for a unique taste combination.

These delectable treats can be enjoyed both during holidays and any day of the week. 

24. Perfect Cream Puffs

Croatian cream puffs, or princess doughnuts, are a traditional Croatian pastry that’s become popular around the world. 

These treats are beloved for their unique flavor and texture, made with crisp and light pate a choux filled with light whipped cream. 

25. Croatian Lazy Apple Pie (Lijena Pita s Jabukama)

Lijena pita s jabukama translates to “spreading apple pie.”

This traditional Croatian dessert is made from a rich and savory strudel dough filled with cinnamon-infused apples.

The delightful scent of apples roasting in the oven will fill your home with a captivating aroma.

Every Croatian family has their own variation of this dessert but all are equally delicious. 

The main difference between versions comes down to how thin the dough is rolled out and how much sugar and cinnamon are added. 

No matter which way you prepare it, this Croatian classic makes for a satisfying treat.

26. Dalmatian Fresh Fig Tart Recipe (Dalmatinski Kolac od Smokvi)

The Dalmatian fig tart is a unique and delicious dessert originating on the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia. 

Unlike its namesake, this dessert has nothing to do with the dog breed.

Rather, it features a sweet pastry shell filled with fresh figs, nuts, cinnamon, and other warm spices.

The combination of buttery pastry with the sweet tanginess of the figs produces a dessert sure to delight. 

27. Croatian Kiflice (Jam Filled Crescent Cookies)

Croatian kiflice is a traditional Croatian dessert made of filled croissant-like crescents.

It’s filled with plum jam or your choice of jam or preserves, making it easy to customize the flavor.

With its flaky and buttery texture combined with just the right sweetness, it’s no surprise that Croatian Kiflice are so popular. 

28. Klara’s Traditional Croatian Apple Strudel Recipe – Strudel od Jakuba 

Strudel od Jakuba is a renowned apple strudel recipe created by Klara Cvitanovich, the co-owner of Drago’s Restaurants in New Orleans. 

This recipe has become famous for its intricate layers of flaky, buttery goodness and just the right amount of tart apple filling. 

With its popularity spanning multiple generations, Strudel od Jakuba has become a family tradition that many cherish. 

29. Croatian Salenjaci Recipe (Croissants With Character)

Salenjaci, a pastry delight from Serbia, will have you salivating for more! 

The pastry is wonderfully flaky and is filled with a delicious surprise: a combo of jam and walnuts 

It’s then rolled up like a croissant and baked until golden brown, resulting in a delectable treat perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dessert

30. Croatian Nut Roll Povitica

This warming, comfort-food dessert is made with layers of buttery dough spiraling around a scrumptious filling of walnuts and honey. 

The most important part of making the perfect povitica starts with kneading and developing the right texture.

This takes time, skill, and patience to ensure that it’s just right! 

Baking is also key, as each layer has to be fluffy and nutty without drying out or becoming greasy. 

It can be served warm or frozen, adding further versatility to this amazing Croatian culinary masterpiece.

30 Traditional Croatian Desserts (+ Easy Recipes)

These authentic Croatian desserts are worthy of celebrating! From layer cake to cheesecake to cookies and crepes, get a sweet taste of Croatia with these recipes.

Ingredients

  • Madjarica – Croatian Layer Cake

  • Hallmark Croatian Cheesecake

  • Croatian Kroštule (Sweet Pastry Knots)

  • Croatian Čupavci

  • Rožata

  • Croatian Kuglof With Apples Recipe (Apple Bundt Cake)

  • Hrapoćuša – Traditional Cake From Brač Island

  • Traditional Croatian Skoljkice Shell Cookies

  • Kremsnita (Cream Slice, Cremeschnitte)

  • Carob Sponge Cake

  • Almond Lattice Cake

  • Croatian Biscuits: Medenjaci

  • Croatian Paprenjaci (Black Pepper Cookies)

  • Breskvice: Croatian Peach Cookies

  • Zlevanka

  • Bijela Pita Recipe (White Slice)

  • Croatian-styled Dumplings Stuffed with Plums

  • Medjimurska Gibanica/Medjimurijan Layer Cake

  • Croatian Cooking: Makovnjača – Poppy Seed Roll

  • Croatian Palačinke Crepes

  • Croatian Fritule

  • Croatian Jelly Doughnuts

  • Trogirski Rafioli

  • Perfect Cream Puffs

  • Croatian Lazy Apple Pie (Lijena Pita s Jabukama)

  • Dalmatian Fresh Fig Tart Recipe (Dalmatinski Kolac od Smokvi)

  • Croatian Kiflice (Jam Filled Crescent Cookies)

  • Klara’s Traditional Croatian Apple Strudel Recipe – Strudel od Jakuba

  • Croatian Salenjaci Recipe (Croissants With Character)

  • Croatian Nut Roll Povitica

Directions

  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a Croatian dessert in 30 minutes or less!
Croatian Desserts

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INSANELYGOOD

Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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