The Ukrainian ethnic cuisine is famous for a lot of special desserts in different forms and varieties. Most of the Ukrainian sweets are very unique, popular across the land, and known since ancient times. Etnocook offers you top-15 of the most delicious Ukrainian traditional desserts that represent the tastiest chapter of the Ukrainian national culinary.
- Varenyky (Pyrohy) z vushnyamy (Dumplings with cherries filling)
- Syrnyky (Cottage Cheese Pancakes)
- Mlyntsi Nalysnyky (Crepe)
- Pampuhy (Doughnuts)
- Makivnyk (Poppy seeds Roll)
- Medovi Tsukerky (Honey Candies)
- Varenyky (Pierogies, Pyrohy) z makom (Dumplings with poppy seed filling)
- Oladky (Pancakes)
- Yabchanka Apple Sauce Dessert
- Kysil (Kissel, Holodnyk)
- Ukrainian Honey Cake Medivnyk
Additionally, check the Etnocook foodblog website for the Ukrainian dessert recipes and don’t miss these Top 15 Most famous Ukrainian Dishes
Varenyky (Pyrohy) z vushnyamy (Dumplings with cherries filling)
What is the Ukrainian dumpling Varenyk with cherries?
The Ukrainian Cherry Varenyky (Pyrohy, sometimes Pierogi) are sweet dessert dumplings. Varenyk is made by wrapping little round pieces of the unleavened dough around a couple of cherries without pits. Traditionally Varenyky are cooked in boiling water. It is a very popular sweet seasonal Ukrainian pastry that became famous all over the world.
History of the Cherry Varenyky
The Ukrainian Dumplings Varenyky take their root from the ancient times when in the territory of modern Ukraine was situated a great country Kyivska Rus’ (Kievan Rus VII-XIII). Both words “Varenyk” and “Pyrih” have Proto-Slavic roots.
Varenyky were usually cooked for weekends, holidays, and special occasions. They have a very symbolic meaning and different types were made for different purposes. The Ukrainian dumplings with filling have a crescent shape as the young moon and were cooked all year round. However, Cherry Varenyky were made only in summer with the fresh cherry filling.
Cherries were grown and cultivated in Ukrainian lands since ancient times. The Ukrainian word “vyshnya”(eng.” cherry”) is derived from the Proto-Slavic word *višьnja. This word is in other Slavic languages, for example, Czech. višně (fruit) and višeň (“cherry tree”), Slovak. višňa, Serbian. ви̏шња / višnja, Croatian.višnja, Slovenian. vîšnja. There is a similar word in Turkish – vişne, however, it is explained by borrowing from modern Greek, in which the words βισινιά (“cherry tree”), βίσινο (“fruit”), βύσσινον (“cherry”) are considered to be Slavic.
When to eat the Ukrainian dumplingsVarenyky with sour cherries filling
It’s obvious that the Ukrainian Cherry dumplings are eaten as a sweet dessert. Usually, they are made in summer with fresh cherries, however nowadays also frozen berries can be used.
The authentic Ukrainian dish Varenyky with Cherry filling is served hot, often with sour cream mixed with cherry juice. Additionally, Cherry Varenyky can be topped with honey.
How do the Ukrainian Cherries Pyrohy taste?
The Ukrainian ethnic dish Varenyky with Cherries filling (Cherry Dumplings) taste very soft because of the texture of the boiled dough. Cherries inside the cooked sweet Ukrainian pastry have a light sour taste that combines with sour cream very well. The average portion is around ten Varenyky, everything depends on their size. As a rule, an additional amount will be needed as the Ukrainian Cherries Dumplings are very delicious.
Read more about the history of Varenyky, how to make the dough, and different types of them on the Etnocok website: https://etnocook.com/category/side-dishes/varenyky-and-vushka-dumplings/
Syrnyky (Cottage Cheese Pancakes)
What is the traditional Ukrainian dish Syrnyky?
Syrnyky (plural) are little thin round pancakes made of fresh curd cheese (quark). Usually to the pancake dough are added eggs, flour, honey. Ukrainian Cheese pancakes are cooked on a hot surface like a frying pan, often baked in the oven. They are very tasty, nutrient and at the same time low in calories that make them especially valuable in everyday healthy nutrition.
History of the Ukrainian Cheese Pancakes
Cottage Cheese has been used in Ukrainian traditional cuisine since ancient times. There are a lot of ethnic recipes with cheese, such as Varenyky (dumplings) with cheese filling, Ukrainian cheesecake, Halushky (cheese dumplings), etc.
When to eat Syrnyky
To tell you the truth, Cheese pancake is a unique all-day dish that can be eaten whenever you want. Moreover, it tastes good hot and cold, so this is a universal dish that can be served for breakfast, lunch, dinner or goes as a snack.
How do the Ukrainian Cheese Pancakes taste?
Syrnyky usually have a sweet taste and cheesy texture. Often raisins, dried berries, or fruits are added and they influence the final result as in the case with the Ukrainian cheesecake. If served hot Cheese Pancakes taste great with sour cream, homemade jam (varennya), and honey.
Link to the step-by-step detailed recipe of Syrnyky Cheese Pancakes from Ukraine
Mlyntsi Nalysnyky (Crepe)
What is the Ukrainian Mlynets Nalysnyk?
Ukrainian traditional dish Mlynets Nalysnyk (plural Mlyntsi Nalysnyky) is a very thin round pan-sized pancake made of unleavened batter made of flour, water or milk, eggs. Nalysnyky looks like very similar to Crêpe, Crepe. Usually, they are fried on a hot pan or in special forms in the oven. Nalysnyk can be stuffed with the filling and have a shape of a roll or envelope.
History of Nalysnyk
Nalysnyk (also known as Mlynets) was a very popular dish among the Ukrainian ancestors Slavic people. It was a sacral food, especially during Winter Holidays (Ukrainian Christmas). Round shape of Mlynets symbolized the sun.
The word “mlynets” comes from the Proto-Slavic mlinъ that is associated with melti (“grind”) and means “cake made of ground flour”.
When to eat Mlyntsi
As well as the Cheese Pancakes, Nalysnyky are good to eat at any time of the day. However, they are a popular dish for breakfast or lunch. As a dessert Mlyntsi Nalysnyky with sweet cheese filling are the most widespread. They are usually served cold or the room temperature, with sour cream, jam, or honey on top.
How do Ukrainian Mlyntsi Nalysnyky taste?
The Ukrainian traditional Mlyntsi as a dessert have a light sweet taste. A lot depends on the filling and it can be very different, from sweet cheese to fresh fruits or berries. Nalysnyk is cooked very lightly and is done before its edges are brown. The best Ukrainian Nalysnyky are ultra thin and slightly crispy so they taste just delicious.
What are the Ukrainian sweet cookies Verhuny?
The ethnic Ukrainian sweet cookie Verhun (plural Verhuny) is a thin twisted strip of unleavened dough fried or baked in lard. The dough is made of flour, sour milk, eggs, without raising agents. On top, ready Verhuny are often sprinkled with sugar powder or honey.
History of Verhuny
Traditional sweets similar to the Ukrainian Verhuny are found in different Slavic countries so they have one root from the times of Kyivska Rus’ or even earlier. These cookies need very few ingredients and are easy to cook. Usually they were cooked in winter or during early spring.
When to eat Verhuny
Ukrainian Verhuny are usually consumed after the main dish. They are a good addition to breakfast, a dessert after lunch or a snack during the day. Verhuny are perfect for a picnic, as a treat to a friend, or to eat during a walk.
How Verhuny taste
In fact, Verhuny are very thin and crispy and taste incredible. They can be eaten as they are or with jam, honey. Verhuny taste great with the Ukrainian dried fruit compote Uzvar.
What kind of a dessert is the Ukrainian Sochnyk?
Sochnyk (plural Sochnyky) is a little half-opened bun with sweet cottage cheese filling. It is made of different types of flour, eggs, fresh cheese, honey.
History of Sochnyk open cheese bun
The word Sochnyk is from the Proto-Slavic word “sochyvo” which means juice from hemp, poppy, and other grains, used instead of oil, and a dish with such juice. These sweet buns come from the Kyiv Rus times and had been being baked by the Ukrainian ancestors centuries ago. Unfortunately, especially popular sochnyky were during the soviet union and they become an unofficial symbol of school dining. The unfairly forgotten fact about their origin doesn’t influence the delicious taste of this Ukrainian treat.
When to eat Sochnyky
As usual, the Ukrainian Sochnyky were made before Spring Holidays (Ukrainian Easter). As a dessert, they can be served after the main course or go as a healthy nutrient snack that will keep you full for a long time.
How Sochnyk tastes
Sochnyk combines the taste of the crispy crust and very soft and sweet cheese filling. This make a furious feeling and always take one more because you will definitely eat more Sochnyky than you expected.
Link to the Sochnyky recipe
What is the Ukrainian Pryanyk?
Pryanyk (plural Pryanyky) is the traditional Ukrainian little baked cookie made of flour and honey originating from the Kyivska Rus times (VII-XIII). Nowadays it is very popular and widespread in Europe and known in the world.
HistoryPryanyk was known during the Kievan Rus times as the “honey bread” in the IX century. The word “pryanyk” comes from the Proto-Slavic word pьpьrьnikъ (from *pьpьrь — “pepper”). Despite pepper isn’t added in the traditional pryanyk recipe, the pryanyk dough had a lot of herbs, juice, chopped roots, and spices that were widespread in the Ukrainian territories because of trading with the Middle East and India.
When to eat Pryanyky
Pryanyk is the ethnic Ukrainian sweet baked good that is served as a dessert, it can be decorated as a cool edible present, an excellent treat, or just a snack.
How Pryanyk tastes
The authentic Pryanyk has a very special spicy taste, chewable texture, and unbelievable aroma. Actually, Pryanyky taste good fresh or dry.
What is the Ukrainian sweet bun Pampushka
Pampuh (plural Pampuhy) or Pampushka (plural Pampushky) as a dessert is a Ukrainian delicious little doughnut with sweet filling. The most well-known are pampushky with poppy seeds that had a big sacral meaning to the Ukrainians. Pampuhy are made of leavened dough from flour of different types, and filling made of poppy seeds, berries, fruits, jam (varennya).
History of Pampushka
Pampuh has the official status of the Ukrainian traditional dish. The place of origin of the Pampushka is Ukraine. In fact, the first written mentions of pampuhy come from the Cossak Era (XV-XVII), however, the Ukrainian ancestors probably used to bake them earlier.
When to eat Pampuhy
Pampushky as the dessert can be eaten as a separate course with Uzvar or fresh fruit and berry compote. Sweet Pampuhy also taste good with milk. Additionally, ethnic Ukrainian pastry pampushka is a perfect choice to pick up to-go.
How Sweet Pampushka tastes
The Ukrainian Pampuh have a form of a round bun. The dough of pampushka has a fluffy texture and this doughnut has a nice bubble structure. It tastes a little bit sweet and if the raising agent is the sourdough starter then it will have a slightly sour taste. As it is well known, the filling influences the baked good a lot, it must be sweet but not too much.
Link to Pampuhy (Doughnuts with apple jam) recipe
Link to Pampushky z makom (Doughnuts with poppy seeds) recipe
Makivnyk (Poppy seeds Roll)
What is the ethnic Ukrainian Makivnyk?
Makivnyk is a sweet roll made of leaven dough and ground poppy seeds as a filling. It has been baked by the Ukrainian ancestors for centuries as a special treat on Winter Holidays (Ukrainian Christmas).
The country of origin of Makivnyk is Ukraine. There are a lot of legends and traditions connected with the authentic Ukrainian poppy seeds roll. Poppy seeds in the ideology of the Ukrainian ancestors Slavs symbolized wealth and plurality of the worlds. Read more about the history and traditions of Makivnyk on the Etnocook website.
When to eat Makivnyk
The Ukrainian Rolled Cake with poppy seeds filling as a dessert is served after the main course. Besides, it can be eaten during the day as a snack with milk, compote from dried fruits and berries Uzvar, water.
How does the Ukrainian Rolled Poppy Seeds Cake taste?
The Ukrainian Makivnyk is served cold or room temperature, sliced. A loaf of poppy seeds roll is high and fluffy, with a crispy crust and a delicious sweet ground poppy seeds filling.
Link to the Makivnyk recipe
What are the Ukrainian sweets Oblyzni?
Oblyzni (plural) are little Ukrainian cookies that are made from the dough of flour and serum or kvass, and a half of chestnut as a filling.
History of Oblyzni
Oblyzni were cooked in the Ukrainian lands for centuries. Especially they have been popular in villages till nowadays. The traditional recipe of Oblyzni is very simple but the process of forming needs a lot of patience and some skills.
When to eat Oblyzni
Ukrainian traditional cookies Oblyzni can be eaten throughout the day. They are a good addition to dessert or to eat a one as a little healthy candy.
How Oblyzen tastes
Oblyzni have a very crunchy texture and a unforgettable taste of baked nut inside. It’s very important to chew these ethnic sweets very slowly and enjoy every moment.
Link to the Oblyzni recipe
Medovi Tsukerky (Honey Candies)
What is the Ukrainian honey candy Medova tsukerka?
This Ukrainian dessert medova Tsukerka (Medivnychok) is a mix of hot honey and poppy seeds. When the mass cools down, it is cut into small pieces.
History of Medivnychky
Actually, Honey Candy is probably the most ancient variant of authentic Ukrainian desserts. Medova Tsukerka is known since the pre-historic times. It is a very simple yet so delicious treat that not many modern candies can be compared with it.
When to eat Ukrainian Honey Candies
The Ukrainian Honey Candies can be eaten when you want. It is very tasty and you won’t need a lot to fill full. Usually, Medovi tsukerky are served after the main course among other dessert dishes.
How Meedova tsukerka tastes
Honey Candy has a hard texture yet it is surprisingly chewable. Eat Medovi tsukerky very slowly, more sucking the cooled down honey and not biting to keep the teeth safe. Poppy seeds make a great additional impact on the taste of ethnic candies.
Link to the recipe of Ukrainian Honey Candies Medivnychky
Varenyky (Pierogies, Pyrohy) z makom (Dumplings with poppy seed filling)
What is the Ukrainian dumplings with poppy seeds filling Varenyky z Makom
The traditional Ukrainian dessert Varenyk z makom is a dumpling filed with the ground poppy seeds. It was a very special dish cooked by the Ukrainian ancestors on holidays and special occasions. To make Ukrainian Dumplings with poppy seeds isn’t an easy process and needs experience and skills. Check Etnocook website for different types of Ukrainian dumpling Varenyk dough, tips, and useful pieces of culinary advice.
History of Varenyky
Dumplings Varenyky originate in Ukraine. The word for dumplings – “varenyky” comes from the word “varyty” that means “to boil”. The other name “pyrohy” is from the proto-slavic word “pyr” which means “feast”. There are a lot of suggestions about the origin of Varenyky, however, the fact is that the Ukrainian ancestors Slavs in the Kyivan Rus’ country made varenyky in times when there were no Poland or Russia at all, and Turkish people were called “tjurks” and lived in Asia. So there is no way that Varenyky could be borrowed from those nationalities as there were no such.
When to eat dumplings with poppy seed filling
The Ukrainian Dumplings Varenyky with poppy seeds filling are usually cooked on Winter Holidays (Ukrainian Christmas), Spring Holidays (Ukrainian Easter), and other special occasions. This is the main dish among desserts, right after boiling, hot, best go with melted butter and honey on top.
How Varenyk with Poppy Seeds tastes
Varenyk with poppy seed filling has a very soft texture with crunchy chewy poppy seeds in filling. Tastes so good with Uzvar or herbal tea.
Link to the detailed recipe of Ukrainian Dumplings Varenyky with poppy seeds filling on Etnocook
What is the Ukrainian dessert dish Oladky?
Oladky is a traditional Ukrainian dish made of flour, soured milk, sometimes eggs. The batter can have the sourdough starter to make these pancakes more fluffy and often other additional ingredients, like small pieces of an apple or berries.
History of oladky
Oladky were cooked in Ukraine a long time ago as the process is very simple. This is a traditional everyday dish that with variations and additional ingredients can be a holiday dish as well. Oladky, Mlyntsi Nalysnyky, and Syrnyky consider being one type of food with some common features.
When to eat oladky
Oladky can be eaten as the main dessert dish, as a rule, they are served hot, with sour cream, jam, honey. Oladky are very nutrient and usually very good for breakfast and lunch.
How oladky taste
Ukrainian Oladky taste very similar to Mlyntsi and everything depends on the additional ingredients and topping. They have crispy edges and a very soft and tender structure. Oladky taste good with milk, soured milk, yogurt.
Yabchanka Apple Sauce Dessert
What is the Ukrainian Yabchanka?
The ethnic dessert dish Yabchanka is very simple and incredible tasty. It is made of baked or boiled grated apples then baked with whisked whites and sometimes flour.
History of apple dessert Yabchanka
Ukrainian Yabchanka is widespread on the territories where the Kievan Rus’ was situated. It is well known in villages and small towns of Ukraine where there are a lot of apple gardens. The ethnic recipe of Yabchanka varies from the easiest and fastest variant to a more complicated one that can suit the best holiday table.
When to eat Yabchanka
The best time to eat the traditional Ukrainian Yabchanka is the end of Summer and Autumn when there are a lot of fresh apples that must be consumed immediately. This light apple dessert can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, snack, and even early dinner.
How Yabchanka tastes
The Ukrainian apple dessert Yabchanka is very light, low in calories, with a sweet flavor. It is an excellent source of antioxidants. Yabchanka taste can be different depending on the types of apples that are used, from sweet to sour. This dessert is very soft and can be a little watery. Yabchanka is good as itself and sometimes with sour cream or honey as a topping.
Kysil (Kissel, Holodnyk)
What is the traditional Ukrainian dessert Kysil?
The traditional Ukrainian dessert Kysil is juice of fresh fruits, berries with thickener. As a thickener was taken starch from local herbs’ roots, quince, etc. Traditionally in Ukraine it was more runny and used as a drink.
History of Kysil’
Kysil has been a popular dessert in the Ukrainian territories since ancient times to nowadays. The word “kysil” comes from the Proto-Slavic word “kyslyi” that was what the Ukrainian ancestors told when they meant “sour”.
The word “kysil” can be found in a lot of other Slavic and close languages, for example Lithuanian: kisielius, Polish: kisiel, Latvian: ķīselis, Belarusian: кісель, kisiel, etc.
The first written mention about Kysil is in The Tale of Bygone Years (Old East Slavic Primary Chronicle) about the events that took place in X century.
When to eat Kysil
Kysil is a perfect addition to Oladky, Mlyntshi, Syrnyky. It is a very nutrient and tasty as a drink, quenches thirst well and makes you feel full.
How Kysil tastes
The Ukrainian Kysil is a very special thick drink that can be also eaten with a spoon. The taste is at the same time sweet and sour.
Ukrainian Honey Cake Medivnyk
What is the ethnic Ukrainian Honey Cake Medivnyk
Medivnyk is a delicious cake baked for special occasions. It is made of honey, chicken eggs, and flour.
History of Medivnyk
The origin of the Honey Cake Medivnyk is Ukraine. Modern Medivnyk has its prototype from the times of Kievan Rus that was called “honey bread” and later “pryanyk”. As the Ukrainian lands were very rich with natural recourses, and beekeeping was very highly developed, the population had a lot of honey and it was widely used in the traditional cuisine.
The word “medivnyk” is from “med” which means “honey”.
When to eat Medivnyk
Ukrainian Medivnyk is a dessert that is eaten after it cooled down. This honey pie is sliced to pieces and tastes adorable with Uzvar, herbal tea, water.
How Medivnyk tastes
Medivnyk has a lot of honey and it tastes sweet and spicy. The texture is very tender and it literally melts in the mouth.