If Belarus is not the first destination that comes mind when you fancy a palatable dessert, this article is for you. This mind-blowing list of mouth-watering, sweet dishes will help you decide whether you need a food trip to Minsk.
Belarusians are magicians in the kitchen and, believe it or not, their magic extends beyond potato pancakes.
This cake, which is more of a pie actually, is easy to make and contains raspberries that add a special flair to the sweetish dough. That’s what most of us are looking for in a perfect weekend home-made pie, isn’t it?
Once you’ve tried making this Belorussian dessert, it will be your go-to option for reasons of both taste and time: the pie literally takes 45 minutes to make from scratch.
Another great combination of sweet and sour, this cherry cake is lightweight, like a cloud. While cherry pies are not alien to other countries either, the secret – or rather two secrets – of a perfect Belarusian sour cherry dessert is adding cottage cheese and using semolina rather than flour. These are indeed game changers.
Sweet oven-baked apples are perhaps the healthiest dessert you can find, at least in Eastern Europe. It is also quite widely spread throughout the region in lots of variations.
What is distinct about Belarusian apples is what you stuff them with. Apart from the usual honey and raisin filling, they use a special mixture of potato flour cooked in milk. This twist makes the apples truly tender and luscious.
4. Pan-fried Oladi
One of the most popular options to kickstart your morning, Belarusian thick pancakes are a wholesome sweetish meal. If you are enjoying a lazy morning, you can serve eladi with jams and dollops of sour cream.
If you are in a hurry, you could just sprinkle them with sugar powder. In Belarus, children are usually darker in color as you are supposed to use buckwheat flour to make them.
A fancier alternative to simple oladi, apple pancakes have a richer, juicier taste. You need to try them if you are a fan of Christmassy, winter-type desserts with cinnamon. They just have this special warming flair and fill your kitchen with a festive spirit.
Typically reserved for holidays, this potato starch-based, fresh-tasting, slightly tart dessert is technically neither a pudding nor a beverage. It lies somewhere in between and may be cooked in different ways, making the dish thinner or thicker, as you prefer.
Although you can hypothetical make kisiel with any kind of berry, cranberries are the most typical regional choice. Stirring in some sour cream and dusting the dessert with cinnamon is also common for this ancient Slavic dessert. Different from anything you have ever tried, it is the dessert to taste first as a tourist or newcomer.
Belarusians always say this dessert is out of this world but that it doesn’t fit into any food category. It is too palatable to be a kisiel (although for me personally kisiel is just heavenly), too thick to be a kompot berry drink, and too fresh to be a jam.
While kulaga is also ridiculously simple to make, it remains one of the most iconic and beloved sweet dishes for natives and tourists alike.
Since kulaga contains wheat flour and lots of honey, it is sweet and filling in itself. Yet, Belarusians love eating it with bread or pancakes. Well, that’s a hearty meal.
While you can stuff traditional crepes with just about anything, cottage cheese is the most popular filling in Belarus. Thin, almost transparent, these round pancakes are so tender they just melt in your mouth. Roll them into tubes and deep fry them in butter to arrive at that beautiful golden crust – and you’ve got yourself a favorite sweet breakfast option for life.
Disclaimer: you will probably need to play around with the batter texture, even if you follow the recipe closely. As you want your crepes to be as thin as possible, they will likely be too fragile and tear upon flipping on the first try. Don’t give up, though. These perfect Belarusian crepes, once you’ve got the knack, are worth every wasted batch.
Be on the lookout for these shortbread walnut shaped cookies when in Minsk, or any other city in Belarus.
They are sold in every bakery and will definitely jazz up your coffee. Filled with a creamy mixture of caramel and butter, sometimes also featuring a half of walnut in the middle, oreshki have always been a hallmark of Slavic weddings and birthday receptions. Sugar-powdered oreshki are out of this world, that’s a guarantee.
Korzinocki is one of those dishes you can experiment with endlessly. What is important is to learn how to bake perfect shortbread bases (baskets). Then – the floor is yours.
Technically, you can turn this traditional dessert into a savory appetizer, filling it with fish, meat, or vegetables. If you’d rather not, whipped cream with fruit is your obvious solution. Their creaminess and tartness make a heavenly combination with the crunchiness.
Belarusians love potatoes so much that they even came up with a potato-looking dessert (kartoshka means potato).
The legend has it that some bakery workers made up the recipe being reluctant to throw away leftovers at the end of a day. No one knows whether it’s true or not, but these brown delicacies are one of the most popular sweet choices in Belarus. Do you want to check out whether they are worth the hassle?
This unique dessert is rarely made at home as it can easily be found in supermarkets around the country. A souvenir box of sugared cranberries is one of those typical gifts you want to bring your family when returning from Minsk. Belarusians love cranberries, so you can also expect them in candies and other sweet treats.
Nobody knows for sure whether zefir actually comes from Russia or Belarus, but this is yet another sweet souvenir to try in Minsk.
Reminiscent of well-known marshmallows, it is sweeter, puffier, and juicier. Not only that, zefir is thought to be totally healthy. While it does contain sugar, the base ingredients are pureed apples and egg whites. Try it with black coffee – the combo is a wow!
14. Prianiki Gingerbread Cookies
Traditional Belarusian prianiki (the name means “with a lot of spices”) are stuffed with plum jam and topped with a white glaze. They are tender, soft, and palatable.
The luscious odor of ginger and honey along with the melty texture make these cookies a perfect tea companion. They are also a great comfort dessert as they are pretty hearty.
Everyone from Eastern Europe loves these glazed bits of heaven. And so does anyone with an Eastern European friend. Moussy and curdy, they are so palatable you won’t be able to stop after just one. So, pack your bag generously, especially as these glazed bars are ridiculously affordable and come in a variety of tastes. Listed as #15 on this list, make it #1 on your need-to-taste-it list if you travel to Belarus.
While most people associate Belarusian cuisine with potatoes and potato-based dishes, there is so much more to it. Eastern Europe boasts a rich heritage of sweet pastry, pies, and jams. The selection of take-away sweet souvenirs is very generous, and the recipes for most desserts are easy and tempting. Don’t wait till you travel to Minsk – pick an item from this list and do some kitchen magic.
Related: Most Popular Foods in Belarus