Paczki often includes plums.
In addition to its many indigenous savory foods, Poland has many indigenous desserts that can be baked at home, bought from a bakery or supermarket, or enjoyed in a restaurant or cafe. Some of these desserts are available year-round, while others are associated with certain holidays. Among the most popular Polish desserts are sernik, budyn and piernik. Popular Polish desserts, which are generally only enjoyed during certain holidays, include paczki, faworki, and makowiec.
Poppy seeds, which are used to make makowiec, a Polish cake.
Sernik, a type of cheesecake, is one of the most common everyday Polish desserts. Typically, this cake is made from a sweet-tasting curd cheese known as twarog. After being mixed with other ingredients to create a filling, this cheese is usually baked on top of a thin cake crust. Ingredients like chocolate, poppy seeds or fruit can be used to enhance the flavor of the cake.
Polish yeast donuts are usually filled with jam.
Budyn, or pudding, is also among the most popular everyday Polish desserts. Budyn is usually made with milk, a thickening agent like egg yolk, and sugar. In addition to this basic recipe, it is a kind of “blank slate” to which several different flavors, such as chocolate, cherry or toffee, can be added. Budyn is usually served hot.
Another common dessert in Poland is piernik, or gingerbread. Piernik usually takes the form of dark-colored, somewhat firm cookies that, due to the inclusion of sugar and honey, as well as a variety of spices, are both sweet and spicy. These cookies can be dipped in chocolate or filled with jam or marzipan.
Some of the best-known Polish desserts are only enjoyed during certain holidays. Among them are paczki, or sweet yeast donuts that are deep-fried and filled with a variety of different fillings, such as stewed plums, chocolate cream, jam, or sweet cheese. Traditionally, paczki are only eaten on the Thursday before the start of the Catholic season of Lent. In the past, it was believed that eating paczki on this day could bring good luck for the year to come.
Faworki is another Polish dessert that is usually eaten before Lent. This dessert is made with pastry dough that has been cut into extremely thin strips and then fried, making them light and crispy. Before serving, faworki is usually dusted with powdered sugar.
Lastly, many Poles, as well as those of Polish descent, are familiar with the dessert known as makowiec, or poppy seed cake. This dessert consists of a jelly-like yeast cake, filled with poppy seeds, nuts and dried fruit. It is usually frosty and is sometimes also covered in orange peel. Makowiec is usually associated with Christmas and Easter, although some people can eat it all year round.