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Top 9 Must-Try Polish Cakes: Bake and Enjoy!

Polish cakes are something special in Poland’s dessert scene! I’ll introduce you to classics like Babka and Makowiec, as well as hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

If you like baking, you’ll find some amazing Polish cake recipes to add to your repertoire.

Polish Cakes featured image | Girl Meets Food

 Let’s give these delicious cakes a proper introduction!

9 Traditional Polish Cakes

I’m craving a crumbly cake or some vanilla-flavored pastry cream. What about you? I hope you find it on this list!

Sernik Polish Cheesecake on a plate | Girl Meets Food
Sernik (Polish Cheesecake)
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Polish cheesecake, or sernik, is made with twaróg (fresh farmer’s cheese), sugar, eggs, and occasionally sour cream or heavy cream.

This type of cake can be made with or without a crust. The crust is usually shortcrust pastry or cookie crumbs.

Sernik can be flavored with vanilla, citrus, or raisins and served with fruit preserves or sour cream.

I really enjoyed this Polish recipe and I hope you do too!

A plate with Karpatka cake | Girl Meets Food
Karpatka (Polish Cream Cake)
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Karpatka is a Polish dessert from the Carpathian mountain region. It’s made of two layers of choux pastry filled with luscious vanilla cream.

I love the look and taste of this cake. It’s so good sprinkled with powdered sugar on top.

It’s also surprisingly easy to make, with the choux pastry baking up light and airy.

A plate with Polish honey cake | Girl Meets Food
Miodownik (Polish Honey Cake)
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If you like honey and sponge cake, they come together in this popular dessert called miodownik.

Honey cakes often have buttercream frosting between their sponge layers, and a chocolate icing or ganache on top.

In this recipe, it takes a bit of a turn and gets served as a moist and crumbly bundt cake. Sounds fantastic to me! 

It’s even better if you make it with dark honey for a richer flavor.

A pan with Chocolate Pumpkin Babka | Girl Meets Food
Chocolate Pumpkin Babka
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Unique to chocolate pumpkin babka are the autumnal tastes of pumpkin and rich chocolate.

A maple brown sugar frosting tops off this sweet treat, making it the star of any show.

Although babka is more sweet bread than a cake, I couldn’t resist including it here. In any case, cakes were initially bread variations.

So go ahead and serve it for your special occasions!

Polish Lemon Babka on a plate | Girl Meets Food
Polish Lemon Babka
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This yeast-enriched, no-knead lemon babka is a Polish Easter staple. Its lemon zest and vanilla taste create a delicate, fluffy pastry with the proper sweetness and acidity.

I love the lovely lemon icing on this lemon babka! It really gives it a cake-like flavor, although you can always opt for a simple sprinkle of powdered sugar.

Sliced Nutella babka on the table. There is a plate with babka slices and a jar of Nutella next to it | Girl Meets Food
Nutella Babka
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Spreading Nutella over buttery brioche dough creates a delicious sweet-nutty taste. 

After baking to a golden crisp, Nutella Babka is best served sliced to show the chocolate pattern.

I think it’s an amazing alternative to regular chocolate cake. Plus, who can resist Nutella?

Polish apple pie (szarlotka) | Girl Meets Food
Szarlotka (Polish Apple Cake)
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I absolutely love making apple pie. In this Polish recipe, the apple filling is seasoned with brown sugar and cinnamon to top a buttery, flaky crust.

A cookie-like dough that’s woven into a lattice gives it a very pie-like appearance. But you can assemble it any way you like.

For example, you can put your apple filling between two layers of dough for a more traditional cake-like look.

Warm szarlotka topped with vanilla ice cream is my favorite way to serve this dessert.

Sękacz (Polish Tree Cake)

Three pieces of Sekach (Polish cake) on a table. There are two forks and two cups next to them | Girl Meets Food

Sekacz, or “Tree Cake,” is a beautiful Polish version of spit cake. Thin layers of batter are placed on a rotary spit and cooked briefly before adding more layers.

When sliced, the cake resembles tree rings, hence the name.

Spit cakes vary across Europe. You can learn more about Czech Trdelník and Romanian Kürtőskalács in my collection of renowned Czech desserts and traditional cakes from Romania.

Makowiec (Poppy Seed Cake)

Sliced Makowiec (Poppy Seed Cake) on a stone chopping board | Girl Meets Food

Add Polish culture to your events with makowiec, a poppy seed cake. It’s a beautiful Polish cake with poppy seeds, honey, sugar, and sometimes almonds or raisins.

When you slice it, you’ll see a beautiful braided or swirl pattern in the filling. 

Makowiec is popular year-round, but the holidays make it even more special.

Have you ever tried any of these Polish cake recipes? Leave a comment with your story!

Interested in Polish foods? Discover the best Polish cookie recipe with my guide to kolaczki and enjoy other finger foods from Poland.

A plate with Karpatka cake | Girl Meets Food

Top 9 Must-Try Polish Cake: Bake and Enjoy!

Bake and enjoy the flavors of Polish cakes in your own kitchen. From classic babka to creamy sernik, taste the charm!


  • Sernik (Polish Cheesecake)
  • Karpatka (Polish Cream Cake)
  • Miodownik (Polish Honey Cake)
  • Chocolate Pumpkin Babka
  • Polish Lemon Babka
  • Nutella Babka
  • Szarlotka (Polish Apple Cake)
  • Sękacz (Polish Tree Cake)
  • Makowiec (Poppy Seed Cake)
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