There is one thing we are sure you will enjoy while traveling to Romania and that is the Romanian traditional dessert. If you want to have a memorable culinary experience while traveling to Romania, you must save room for sweet treats.
Either you are a connoisseur or a beginner of gastronomy, your taste sense will be impressed by the Romanian traditional desserts.
For many years, the Romanian culinary culture has been influenced by the neighbors. We embraced culinary influences from the Hungarians, Austrians, Russians, Turks and that made our food even more delicious.
Moreover, we recommend you to read this article about Romanian traditional food to have an overview of Romanian cuisine and what you shouldn’t miss!
There are many ways to taste Romanian cuisine but we think the best one is during a tour led by a friendly tour guide that can come with a local sense and help you discover not only traditional food but also enchanting places along the journey.
Have a look at our tours and prepare to get inspired!
Now, let’s take a moment to discover the most delicious Romanian desserts by region!
Top 5 Transylvania’s traditional desserts
The Land of Transylvania is well-known for its medieval cities, Saxon villages and fortified churches, or amazing countryside landscapes. But we all want to learn more about the people and their culture while visiting a new country and a good way to do that is to try traditional food.
Another thing the Transylvania region is famous for is the people’s hospitality, the food is a very serious matter for them. Actually, it says that you cannot leave a house with only half belly full, even more, they are getting offended if you don’t taste each dish they have prepared for your coming. This is the way they express their welcoming attitude towards their guests. Having this in mind, we can assure you that Transylvania can exceed your expectations and would offer you an authentic culinary experience.
First things, first! Let’s begin with a shortlist of the most delicious and popular Transylvanian desserts you must try:
1. Papanasi – the most popular dessert in Romania
This is something almost everyone will recommend you to taste when coming to Romania. The good news is that you can find it in almost all the restaurants. Papanasi is basically doughnuts served with sour cream and blueberry sauce. You can find them fried in oil or boiled, depending on the restaurant recipe. One thing to keep in mind is that the portion contains 2 pieces and they are quite big, so the best idea is to share it with your travel companion.
2. Kürtős kalács – a Hungarian dessert loved by everyone
Sweet pastry, rolled in sugar, with cinnamon, cocoa, walnut, almond, or other similar flavors, this dessert is what they call, rainbow on the plate. Specifical for the Hungarians from Transylvania (those who live in the Szekely Land, Romania), it became very popular in both Romania and Hungary. The sweet dough is rolled on a spit, then rolled in sugar, and brushed with melted butter. During the baking process, the sugar is caramelized and it forms a crispy crust that can be topped with the different flavors mentioned above. Our favorite and the most popular is with walnut and cinnamon. While this dessert is not served in restaurants, you can easily find it on the roads, at festival events, in the parks. Give it a try and you will surely thank us for this blessing!
3. Plum dumplings or Plum dumplings
Originally from Germany, it became very popular in Eastern European countries too. The dough is made with mashed potatoes, the plums are inserted inside the dumplings and the composition will take the shape of a ball. After the boiling process, they are rolled in a mixture of sugar, walnut, and cinnamon. This dessert can be found in the Transylvania region, in almost every traditional Romanian restaurant.
Besides, it is very easy to cook them, find here the recipe for this delicious dessert.
4. Hencles or Saxon Lychee with plums
This traditional dessert was brought by our Saxon community and it tastes heavenly! Not only did they enriched our heritage with the medieval touch on the small Saxon villages and the gorgeous fortified churches, but they also had a major impact on Romanian gastronomy. One of the tastiest Transylvanian desserts is Hencles or Saxon Lychee with plums.
Made in Sibiu, Transylvania, it is a fluffy sweet dough, very similar to the one from cozonac (sweet bread made with walnut, cocoa, or Turkish delight “rahat”), the dumpling is made of sour cream, semolina, eggs, vanilla flavor and is filled with plums, cherries, or raisins depending on the recipe used.
Usually, this Transylvanian sweet treat can be found at the traditional markets in Sibiu, Brasov, Cluj, Targu Mures. In each city, in the large square, you can find traditional souvenirs, food products, sweet Romanian treats, and many interesting or delicious things. Don’t miss strolling around these markets and taste some fine products.
An easy way to explore the traditional markets and food products is by taking a guided tour to Transylvania.
Check our tour to discover charming Transylvania!
Vargabéles is a delicious Transylvanian dessert, its home is in Cluj Napoca. It is made of a special pasta, named in the Hungarian language vermicelli and it is very similar to the noodles. The dumpling is a mixture of sweet cottage, eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, and raisins.
You can find it in typical Romanian restaurants in Transylvania, don’t forget to ask for it while you are traveling.
Take a closer look at this video to have an idea about how it’s made!
These are the most important traditional desserts in Transylvania. Don’t forget to add them to your travel list when planning your trip to Romania.
Top 3 Bucovina’s traditional desserts
Bucovina kept intact their culinary identity together with the famous painted monasteries, which by the way you should really visit. Voronet is well known as the Sixteen Chapel of the Orient and it became famous worldwide for its blue coloring “Voronet blue”, part of the Unesco World Heritage list.
Besides these incredible attractions and amazing landscapes, there is one thing you should not miss during your trip and that is tasting the traditional desserts of Bucovina.
Our 3 days tour includes the major attractions in the area and a friendly tour guide which will make sure you will taste the culture of this region.
Check our tour to Bucovina!
Now, let’s go through a list of the most delicious desserts in this region:
1 Pasca – Romanian sweet bread with cheese filling
Called Post, this sweet dough is filled with creamy cheese, made from fresh farmer cheese, lots of raisins, and flavored with vanilla, lemon zest, and rum. When you first taste it, you would consider it similar to a cheesecake, it is just incredibly delicious! This dessert is part of the Romanian Easter feast, you can find it along with other traditional Romanian food like lamb, red eggs, and usually wine.
Definitely, your taste sense will be impressed by the Bucovinean desserts.
2. Poale-n brau or branzoaica – similar to a sweet brioche
The name is very hard to translate in English or any other language. It comes from the technique of folding the dough. Originally from Bucovina, this dessert became very popular among the country for being amazingly delicious. One can compare it to a brioche filled with sweet cheese and raisins. The dough is filled with a mixture of sweet cheese and raisins, then from the square form of the dough, all the edges are folded one over another to lock the cheese filling and bake for 30 minutes in the oven.
Even if the name is heavy to pronounce, at least it is so easy to bake it. Have a look at the recipe.
3. Mucenici – sweet bread with honey and walnut
This Romanian dessert is prepared on 9th March for the celebration of the Christian holiday, the 40 Martyrs of Sebaste. The story of the group of 40 roman soldiers who were sentenced to death for not willing to give up on their Christianity religion. It says that they were kept for 8 days in very bad conditions and their strong belief kept them alive.
For this reason, our dessert is in the shape of the number eight. They are basically sweet bread, flavored with orange zest, and topped with honey and walnut. Perfect for a sweet breakfast along with hot milk!
Here’s a great recipe so you can enjoy this delicious Romanian dessert in the comfort of your own kitchen.
How to have an authentic culinary experience in Romania?
Being a very important part of the Romanian culture, tasting traditional food will enrich your travel experience. Romania has a lot to offer, from amazing landscapes, medieval cities, and impressive castles to mouth-watering traditional food.
If you want to experience both visiting and tasting, let us help you plan your activities, including a friendly tour guide who can make your stay more enjoyable!
We’d love to help you with more information or assistance. Just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +40 735 525 710.