Polish Winter Wonderland: 5 Desserts to Cozy Up With


Polish desserts


Indulge in the sweet tradition of Polish winter’s desserts with these cozy and delicious treats. From traditional Polish desserts to festive holiday favorites, these five desserts will warm your heart and satisfy your sweet tooth.

Experience the joy of Polish holiday desserts and discover the sweet delights of Poland’s culinary heritage.

1- Polish Winter Wonderland: Piernik – A Cozy Treat for the Holidays

Polish gingerbread cake - piernik, with dried fruit.

One of the most beloved desserts in Polish winter’s desserts is piernik, a traditional gingerbread cake that is often enjoyed during the holiday season. Piernik is a delightful treat that embodies the warmth and coziness of Polish winter wonderland.

Made with a fragrant blend of spices including ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, this spiced cake is the perfect companion for a cup of hot tea or mulled wine on a cold winter day.

Piernik can be traced back to ancient times when it was considered a luxury reserved for special occasions. Over the years, it has become a staple dessert during the winter months, particularly around Christmas.

The cake is often decorated with icing or glaze, and its rich, dense texture is reminiscent of the comforting flavors of the season.

Recipe for Piernik:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves, and 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream together 1/2 cup of unsalted butter and 1 cup of brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add 1/2 cup of molasses and 2 eggs to the butter-sugar mixture and mix well.
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until well combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the greased baking pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Allow the cake to cool before decorating with icing or glaze, if desired.

Whether enjoyed as a homemade treat or purchased from a local bakery, piernik is a delightful addition to any Polish winter’s desserts spread. Its rich flavors and cozy aroma capture the essence of the season and bring a touch of joy to holiday celebrations.

2 cups all-purpose flour1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a baking pan.
1 teaspoon baking soda2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
1 teaspoon ground ginger3. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon4. Add the molasses and eggs to the butter-sugar mixture and mix well.
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves5. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until well combined.
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg6. Pour the batter into the greased baking pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened7. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
1 cup brown sugar8. Allow the cake to cool before decorating with icing or glaze, if desired.
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs

2- Makowiec: A Delicious Polish Winter Treat

Polish poppy seed cake - makowiec, on a table

If you’re looking for a traditional Polish dessert to warm your heart this winter, look no further than makowiec. Also known as a poppy seed roll, this indulgent treat is a beloved part of Polish cuisine, particularly during the holiday season.

Makowiec is a sweet yeast dough filled with a rich and flavorful poppy seed filling, often enhanced with honey, citrus zest, or nuts. Its log shape and decorative powdered sugar topping make it both visually appealing and incredibly delicious.

Like many traditional Polish desserts, makowiec has a deep-rooted history and is often enjoyed as a homemade treat passed down through generations. Its comforting flavors and unique combination of textures make it a favorite winter treat for many Polish families.

Recipe: Polish Makowiec

Ingredients Instructions
– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/4 cup granulated sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
– 1/2 cup milk
– 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
– 1/2 cup poppy seeds
– 1/2 cup honey
– 1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)
– 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
– Powdered sugar, for dusting
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
In a small saucepan, heat the milk until warm but not boiling. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk and let it sit for 5 minutes, or until foamy.
Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until a dough forms. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.In the meantime, prepare the poppy seed filling. In a small saucepan, combine the poppy seeds, honey, nuts (if using), and lemon zest.
Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture thickens.
Remove from heat and let it cool.
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Roll out the dough into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Spread the poppy seed filling evenly over the dough, leaving a small border around the edges.
Starting from one long side, tightly roll up the dough into a log shape. Place the roll seam-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the makowiec is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely.
Dust with powdered sugar before serving. Slice and enjoy!

Whether you choose to enjoy a slice of makowiec with a cup of hot tea, or share it with loved ones during the holiday season, this traditional Polish dessert is sure to impress.

Its rich flavors and delightful texture will transport you to the heart of Poland’s winter wonderland, offering a taste of the country’s culinary heritage.

3- Faworki: Delicate and Crispy Polish Winter Treats

Polish faworki - deep fried dough with powdered sugar.

When it comes to traditional Polish desserts, faworki, also known as Angel Wings, are a must-try winter treat. These delicate pastries are a popular choice during the carnival season, which often falls in the winter months.

Made from a fried dough, faworki are shaped into thin ribbons or twisted shapes, giving them a unique and intricate appearance.

What makes faworki truly special is their light and crispy texture. As you take a bite, you’ll experience a satisfying crunch that pairs perfectly with the dusting of powdered sugar on top.

Whether enjoyed on their own or accompanied by a warm cup of tea or hot chocolate, faworki are a delightful indulgence during the winter festivities.


If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try making faworki at home, here’s a simple recipe to get you started:

  • Ingredients:
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 3 large eggs, beaten
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    • Vegetable oil, for frying
    • Powdered sugar, for dusting
  • Instructions:
    1. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt.
    2. Add the beaten eggs and melted butter to the dry ingredients. Mix until a dough forms.
    3. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth.
    4. Roll out the dough until it’s about 1/8-inch thick.
    5. Using a sharp knife or a pastry cutter, cut the dough into ribbons or twist shapes.
    6. In a deep pot, heat vegetable oil to 375°F (190°C).
    7. Add a few faworki at a time to the hot oil and fry until golden brown and crispy, about 1-2 minutes per side.
    8. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.
    9. Dust the faworki with powdered sugar while they’re still warm.
    10. Allow them to cool completely before serving.

Enjoy these delightful Polish winter treats with family and friends, and savor the light and crispy goodness of faworki during the festive season.

4- Traditional Polish Cheesecake

Polish cheesecake - sernik, served on a plate.

When it comes to winter treats in Poland, one dessert that stands out is the traditional Polish cheesecake, known as sernik. This creamy and indulgent dessert is a favorite among locals, and it’s not hard to see why.

Made with a mixture of cream cheese, eggs, and sugar, sernik has a rich and velvety texture that melts in your mouth. It’s typically flavored with vanilla, lemon, or even chocolate, adding an extra layer of deliciousness.

What sets Polish cheesecake apart is its unique crust. Instead of the typical graham cracker crust, sernik features a base made from a combination of butter and a cake-like batter. This creates a soft and slightly crumbly crust that perfectly complements the smoothness of the cheesecake filling.

Polish cheesecake is a versatile dessert that can be enjoyed year-round, but it’s especially comforting during the winter season. Whether served chilled or at room temperature, this delectable treat is a must-try for any dessert lover.

So, the next time you’re looking for a cozy winter dessert, consider indulging in a slice of traditional Polish cheesecake.

Ingredients for Traditional Polish Cheesecake

2 cups all-purpose flour4 packages (32 ounces) cream cheese
1 cup unsalted butter, softened1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Zest of 1 lemon1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C) and grease a 9-inch springform pan.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon zest for the crust. Mix until a crumbly dough forms.
  • Press the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan to form the crust.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Stir in the flour, sour cream, and vanilla extract until well combined.
  • Pour the filling over the crust in the pan.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the center is set and the top is lightly golden.
  • Allow the cheesecake to cool completely before removing it from the pan.
  • Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight, before serving.

Enjoy a slice of this luscious Polish cheesecake, and savor the rich flavors and smooth texture that make it a beloved dessert in Poland.

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply treating yourself, this traditional Polish dessert is sure to delight your taste buds with its warmth and decadence.

5- Polish Apple Pie

Polish szarlotka - layered apple cake.

Polish apple pie, known as szarlotka, is a beloved winter dessert in Poland. This classic pie is made with a buttery and flaky crust, filled with a sweet and tart apple filling flavored with cinnamon and sometimes raisins.

The top of the pie is often decorated with a lattice pattern or streusel topping. Polish apple pie is a warm and comforting treat to enjoy during the winter season, especially when served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

To showcase the deliciousness of Polish apple pie, here is a table comparing the ingredients and steps of making this delightful dessert:

– Butter1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
– Flour2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt.
– Sugar3. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
– Salt4. In a separate bowl, mix the sliced apples with sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice.
– Sliced apples5. Press half of the dough into the bottom of a pie pan to form the crust.
– Cinnamon6. Pour the apple filling over the crust.
– Lemon juice7. Roll out the remaining dough and place it over the apple filling to form the top crust.
8. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

Why Polish Apple Pie is a Winter Treat

Polish apple pie is a perfect winter treat for several reasons. First, the combination of sweet apples and warming spices like cinnamon creates a comforting flavor profile that is perfect for the colder months.

The buttery crust adds a comforting richness to every bite. Second, the process of baking the pie fills the house with a wonderful aroma, instantly creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

Lastly, enjoying a slice of warm Polish apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream is a true indulgence that brings comfort and joy during the winter season.

So, if you’re looking to cozy up with a delicious dessert this winter, Polish apple pie is the perfect choice. Savor the flavors of sweet apples, warm spices, and buttery crust, and experience the joy of Polish winter’s desserts right in your own home.


As I wrap up this delicious journey through Polish winter’s desserts, I can’t help but feel a sense of warmth and satisfaction. The traditional Polish desserts showcased here are a testament to the rich culinary heritage of Poland, offering a delightful array of sweet treats that are perfect for the winter season.

With each bite, you’ll experience the comforting flavors and textures that have made these desserts beloved in Polish cuisine. Indulging in these sweet delights is not only a treat for your taste buds but also a way to connect with Polish culture and heritage.

So whether you’re looking to create a cozy atmosphere at home or impress your friends and family with a unique dessert, Polish winter’s desserts are the way to go.

From the festive holiday favorites to the traditional recipes that have been passed down through generations, these treats are sure to make any winter day a little brighter.

So go ahead, explore the sweet wonders of Poland’s winter wonderland and indulge in the magic of Polish winter’s desserts.


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