Try these Ukrainian desserts for something a little different from what you’re used to!
Although it’s over twice the size of the United Kingdom and the second-largest country in Europe, Ukraine isn’t as popular with tourists as most other European countries.
Unfortunately, that also means that people outside Europe don’t know a lot about the delights of Ukrainian cuisine, specifically Ukrainian desserts.
Hopefully, this list of 10 incredible Ukrainian desserts will be the first step in changing that for many people.
Trust me; once you try a couple of these, you’ll want to learn more about Ukrainian food.
Most of the recipes on this list are easy to make and require only everyday baking ingredients.
So while you may have trouble pronouncing them, you shouldn’t have trouble making them.
1. Ukrainian Old-Fashioned Honey Babka
Old-fashioned honey babka is like a honey cake with cream cheese icing, and yes, it’s just as rich and delicious as it sounds.
Despite its intensely rich flavor, physically, the cake is light, fluffy, and wonderfully moist.
It has a lovely golden brown color that makes it look appealing, as well, though it’s pretty simple.
Still, not all desserts need thick, all-over frosting and fancy decorations to look and taste great, and babka is a testament to that fact.
2. Yabluchnyk (Apple Cake)
The name of this phenomenal apple cake may sound like a sneeze, but I promise it tastes unbelievably good.
The ingredients are so simple that you probably already have all of them in your kitchen: flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, butter, eggs, cream, cinnamon, and apples.
The cake itself is somewhat plain, though tasty, but the cinnamon and brown sugar streusel topping sets off the apples perfectly.
It’s the ideal fall treat that you’ll want to eat year-round.
3. Syrnyk (Sweet Ukrainian Easter Cheese)
Although it’s much thinner and moister than pound cake, this four-ingredient sweet treat’s appearance and texture will remind you of it, nonetheless.
Its taste, though, is more like a cheesecake. Honestly, syrnyk is a complicated dessert to describe.
It’s moist, dense, and tangy, but there’s also an underlying sweetness.
If you like cheesecake, give it a try. Although the two aren’t precisely the same, they’re close enough that anyone who enjoys one should appreciate the other.
4. Makivnyk (Ukrainian Poppy Seed Roll)
The first thing people notice about a Ukrainian poppy seed roll is, of course, its shocking, intense colors.
The lovely orangy-brown of the crust is a stark contrast to the roll’s monochromatic insides.
The black swirl through the middle is gorgeous, and it gives these rolls a look you won’t soon forget. Fortunately, it also tastes as amazing as it looks.
It’s sweet, light, and wonderfully nutty. And don’t be scared of making it.
If you can construct a pumpkin roll or any other tube-shaped dessert, you’ll have this one covered, too.
5. Ukrainian Christmas Cake (Perekladanets)
Despite the “Christmas cake” moniker, perekladanets is a hugely popular Ukrainian dessert, and people make it for special occasions throughout the year.
It does take some time and effort, though, so it isn’t a traditional weeknight dessert.
It’s like an odd combination of the thousand-layer cake, baklava, and the poppy seed roll I just mentioned.
The dough is thin and crunchy (though nowhere near as crunchy as phyllo dough), and each layer brings something new to the dish: dates, walnuts, and poppy seeds specifically.
(Other recipes use different layers, such as apricot, cinnamon-sugar, etc.)
It’s a charming, multi-colored, multi-layered dessert that’s full of contrasting but complementary tastes and textures, and everyone I know who’s tried it loves it.
6. Ukrainian Cheesecake Tarts
These seven-ingredient (excluding fillings and toppings) tarts are cheesecakes with a twist.
Each one has the sweet and tangy cheesecake taste, served in a warm, buttery crust.
You can add jams, jellies, chocolate chips, berries, and whatever else you like for toppings and fillings.
For a dozen, they take about 20 minutes to prepare and another hour to cook.
7. Khrustyky (Ukrainian Fried Cookies)
Sometimes – usually in the fall – I get on this kick where all I want to eat is funnel cake.
And because funnel cakes are so easy and quick to cook, I make way too many of them.
Then, sooner rather than later, my friends and family get tired of funnel cakes and forbid me from making them for at least six months.
So I start making khrustyky instead.
They’re golden-brown, deep-fried cookies dusted in powdered sugar.
They’re 100% not funnel cakes or anything remotely like funnel cakes. *wink wink, nudge nudge* 🙂
8. Ukrainian Waffle Cake With Dulce de Leche
If you love Keebler’s Sugar Wafers, then making Ukrainian waffle cake is a no-brainer. You’ll absolutely adore it.
It’s basically one giant Sugar Wafer with a condensed milk, butter, and lemon juice filling.
It’s sweet with a bit of tartness, and it’s supremely crunchy as only sugar wafers can be.
It’s pure, heavenly delight, and once you try it, you’ll be hooked.
9. Ukrainian Cheesecake
Ukrainian cheesecake is one of the simplest cheesecakes you’ll ever make.
It requires only six ingredients – cottage cheese, eggs, sugar, flour, butter, and vanilla extract – and about 45 minutes.
It has the rich, decadent, tangy cheesecake flavor we all know and love, and that’s without adding the optional, sweetly tart cherries to the top!
Unless you’re allergic or have something against them, I highly recommend adding the cherries.
They bring a whole other depth of flavor that takes the cheesecake from tasty to insanely delicious.
10. Pampushky (Ukrainian Doughnuts)
As long as I’ve been experimenting with, enjoying, talking about, and writing about food, I’ve never found a country that didn’t have its own unique recipe for doughnuts.
Doughnuts may have originated from Dutch New Yorkers, but they’re pretty much a global phenomenon now.
Ukrainian doughnuts are shaped like a traditional doughnut – hollowed out ‘O’s. They have no filling and aren’t glazed. Instead, they’re light, airy, and dry.
That doesn’t mean they don’t have a great taste, though.
You’ll cover them in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar, and they are delectable.
Actually, they somewhat give off churro vibes. (These are much softer than churros, though.)
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