From the moment I sank my teeth into the soft doughnut, oozing with creamy cheese and adorned with a vibrant jam, I knew that Romanian desserts were more than just sweets.
I invite you to share in my curiosity for Romanian dessert recipes—to experience delightful tastes and textures with a sprinkle of culture.
Romanian food is vibrant and delicious so prepare your taste buds for a Romanian version of flavor explosion!
17 Traditional Romanian Desserts
These traditional treats are easy to make and are sure to add a bit of sweetness to any occasion. #2 and #10 are my favorite recipes!
Sweet bread with a festive flavor, cozonac is a beloved delicacy in Romania. Warm and fragrant, this loaf is a holiday staple thanks to its abundance of walnuts, chocolate, and spices.
Carefully braiding or rolling the dough creates a wonderful swirl of flavors.
Cozonac, served in thick slices, warmly symbolizes the history and hospitality of Romanian festivals.
Delicious papanasi, also known as Romanian Cheese Donuts, have a one-of-a-kind texture and flavor combination that will blow your mind.
The fried doughnuts have a light and airy inside with a sweetened cottage cheese or ricotta filling that goes well with them.
I love how sweet and sour tastes come together in this amazing dessert, especially when topped with sour cream and fruit preserves.
I tried this recipe at home and now I hope to make it to Bucharest for a second taste!
Romanian pancakes, or clătite, are popular thin pancakes that resemble crepes. These delicate treats might have a variety of fillings like chocolate, jam, nuts, or sweet cheese.
Clătite are a great sweet street food alternative or a simple dessert to share with family or friends.
One of the most popular types of street food in Romania, gogoși are doughnuts that are both simple and decadent.
These doughnuts are shaped into a flattened sphere and deep-fried till they are golden and deliciously sweet.
You can find gogoși coated in powdered sugar and filled with chocolate or fruit preserves; they are the ideal portable dessert for when you’re on the run and want something sweet.
Romanian apple pie, or plăcintă cu mere, is a delicious dish that captures the warm, fuzzy feelings of home.
Warm plăcintă with mere, dusted with powdered sugar, is a national favorite that never goes out of style.
Layers of ladyfingers or sponge cake sandwiched between layers of silky custard make up this delicacy.
I love how beautiful it looks topped with whipped cream and fruits. In Romania, it’s also known as Tort Diplomat.
Noodle Latkes are a creative example of a fusion delicacy that combines Jewish and Romanian culinary traditions. These delicious treat are traditionally served on Hanukkah, but can be enjoyed any time of the year.
Sweet versions include a mixture of noodles, butter, egg, sugar, and oftentimes raisin, fried until golden brown and crispy.
They can be dusted with cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar upon serving.
Albinita (Romanian Honey Cake)
Romanian honey cake is a rich dessert made with layers of honey-infused sponge cake and cream. It also often features a layer of jam like plum or raspberry.
The word “albină” means “bee” in Romanian, which speaks to the honey-based character of this sweet treat.
Kürtőskalács (Transylvanian Chimney Cake)
Kürtőskalács is a spit cake popular in Transylvania and Szeklerland, the Hungarian-speaking region of Romania.
A truncated cone-shaped baking spit is used to wrap a strip of sweet yeast dough, which is then rolled in granulated sugar. It is cooked to a golden-brown color by roasting it over charcoal and basting it with melted butter.
It’s virtually the same as Trdelnik, one of the popular Czech treats which I tried on my trip to Prague this year.
For those who can’t get enough chocolate, try Prajitura Boema, a traditional Romanian triple chocolate cake.
Rich chocolate sponge, soft chocolate cream, and shiny chocolate ganache make up this layered cake.
The mere sight of the word “chocolate” three times in one sentence makes my mouth water!
For a quirky and colorful treat that will liven up any celebration, try the Romanian Harlequin Cake.
This show-stopping cake is made of layers of vibrantly colored sponge cake, often sandwiched together by layers of tangy jams or creams.
This Romanian cake is perfect for parties that need a rainbow of flavors and colors.
A unique place in Romanian dessert tradition belongs to cremeschnitte, a delicious pastry with Austrian roots.
Cremeschnitte is a textural delight, with layers of puff pastry alternating with custard or whipped cream.
This delicious cake is usually dusted with powdered sugar, and it’s a must-try for anyone who likes non-pretentious ingredients, me included!
Romanian pastries that feature cottage cheese are called branzoaice or poale-n brau (sweet cheese pies).
The filling for these bread pockets typically consists of fresh cheese, sugar, and, on sometimes, raisins or vanilla.
Branzoaice, when baked to a golden perfection, provide a beautiful harmony between the sugary and slightly sour flavors of the cheese.
A beloved no-bake dessert from Romania, Salam de Biscuiti tastes like a sugary “sausage.” Crushed tea biscuits, cocoa, butter, and occasionally nuts or dried fruits are mixed together to make this simple recipe.
The mixture is then formed into a sausage and placed in the fridge to firm up.
For those in need of an easy-peasy sweet treat, this is a go-to option because it slices beautifully, tastes deliciously chocolatey, and has a satisfyingly crunchy texture.
We have a similar sweet treat in Ukraine, and you can check it out on my list of popular Ukrainian desserts.
Traditional Romanian desserts like muceniki, which are twists of sweet dough, have cultural importance and are commonly savored during a religious holiday on the 9th of March.
Delicately sweetened and shaped into elaborate twists or knots in the shape of the number 8, these pastries can be flavored with vanilla or citrus zest.
A beautiful and light dessert that embodies the zesty aromas of lemon, Snow White is a traditional Romanian treat.
Between layers of lemon-flavored cream is a light sponge cake that has been infused with lemon zest and lemon juice.
It’s a popular dessert for holiday season, and I want to whip it up for my loved ones this Christmas.
Pasca, a joyful sweet bread that is commonly savored during the spring holiday, is a classic Romanian cheese-based treat.
Cottage cheese, eggs, sugar, and raisins make up the usual filling for this traditional dessert with a cozonac-based soft dough.
In Ukraine, we call the bread that is baked for Easter “paska” which is a bit different than the Romanian pasca. They’re both associated with Easter but are distinct in their respective culinary traditions.
You can check out other traditional foods served on Ukrainian Easter here.
I hope these Romanian recipes have satisfied your sweet tooth and inspired you to try something new!
17 Traditional Romanian Desserts (#2 is my fave!)
- Papanasi (Romanian Cheese Donuts)
- Clătite (Romanian Pancakes)
- Plăcintă cu mere (Apple Pie)
- Șarlotă (Charlotte Cake)
- Noodle Latkes
- Albinita (Romanian Honey Cake)
- Kürtőskalács (Transylvanian Chimney Cake)
- Prajitura Boema (Romanian Chocolate Cake)
- Romanian Harlequin Cake
- Branzoaice (Poale-n Brau)
- Salam de Biscuiti (Biscuit Salami)
- Snow White (Romanian Lemon Cake)