When it comes to the most popular desserts in Montenegro, most of them do not actually originate from the region but from Turkey, since much of the Balkans was under Ottoman rule for almost 500 years. However, these desserts have been made in Montenegro for such a long time that many people consider them traditionally Montenegrin.
What many dessert lovers agree on is that all desserts popular in Balkan countries have one common trait – they are juicy and sweet. Here is the list of top 15 most popular Montenegrin desserts:
Baklava originated in Turkey, though today it is a common dessert in the Middle East, and the Balkan countries, especially Montenegro, Serbia, and Bosnia. The dessert is made of layered pastry, and the most popular is the simplest one – with sugar syrup, (the so-called sherbet), and walnuts.
The layers of pastry are laid one by one and topped with some rather sweet syrup. Modern recipes include almonds, raisins, pistachio, or cherries, but true baklava-lovers remain faithful to the original.
Ravanija is a traditional Greek dessert which is widely prepared in all Balkan countries. It is a very simple, quick, everyday biscuit cake made with semolina.
What makes it special is the so-called sherbet with which it is soaked and which gives it an irresistible juiciness and aroma. Sherbet makes it extremely sticky and sweet, so sweeten up your day with this flavorful delight!
3. Gurabije (Kurabiya)
Qurabiya is a traditional Turkish dessert. Etymologists dispute the origin of the word, since it can be found in most countries of the Arab world. It was traditionally made with three ingredients: butter, sugar, and flour and usually shaped like bread, wheat ear, or a horse shoe, signifying health, wealth, and prosperity.
It is mostly eaten during the Easter, Christmas, and New Year celebrations. Later, more ingredients were added, such as eggs, cinnamon, and walnuts. This heavenly dessert combines soft dough with creamy butter, and it’s a great make-ahead dessert perfect for the holidays or special occasions.
Krempita is a combination of words ”krem” (cream), and pita (pie). The dish originated in Hungary and is now an absolute classic in the kitchens of Central and Eastern Europe. The dish is made with crispy crusts of puff pastry, filled with a light cream of scrambled eggs and vanilla.
The preparation of krempita is quite simple, and the ingredients can be found in almost every household, which is probably one of the reasons for its huge popularity. With rich cream layers, it will be the centerpiece of your dessert table!
Tulumbe is one more dessert which originated in Turkey, and where sugar syrup is the prevailing ingredient. The dough is made with butter, water, flour, and eggs and it is first fried in oil and then soaked in sherbet.
Sherbet is made with granulated sugar, water, and vanilla extract and can be flavored with vanilla or almond extract. They require some soaking time, but it is worth it as you can celebrate any festival with this sweet, delectable dessert!
Name two things that everyone loves to eat… chocolate and hazelnuts, right? Now imagine making small delicious bombs! The meaning of bombice is ”little tasty bombs”.
These chocolate bombs are easy to make and the main ingredient is hazelnut, but it is the rum that gives them their unique taste. No baking is required and they can be ready in 30 minutes.
All across Balkan countries, you can find these little tasty bombs either dusted with chocolate, coconut, hazelnut, or any one of dozens of other things. This treat is a perfect mouthful of chocolate, crushed biscuit, hazelnut, and a drizzle of rum.
7. Ledena Kocka
The literal translation of ledena kocka is “ice cube”. In the eighties, the Croatian candy box “Ice Cubes” was popular all over ex Yugoslavia. So popular was the candy, that it became a homemade cake, which is, of course, much cheaper and creamier.
The dessert remains extremely popular in most Balkan countries and it is very easy to make. The crust is made with eggs, cocoa, and sugar. The cream is made with milk, flour, sugar, and butter. This simple dessert is soft and scrumptious, and the layers of cream combine to form a luscious treat that’s sure to please.
8. Šampita (Serbian Meringue Slices)
This traditional Serbian and Montenegrin dessert is very similar to a krempita, except the thin dough layers are filled with sweetened egg white. It is a kind of open-faced marshmallow sandwich. The syrup-soaked pastry tradition can be seen in this dessert as well.
We can also see the tradition of layered cakes, as it has a good few layers. It is excellent served with strong coffee, which balances the champita’s rich sweetness.
9. Keks Torta
Yet another example of traditional Montenegrin cake best served with a strong cup of coffee or tea, keks torta means “biscuit cake”, and it is made with layered petit buerre biscuits and chocolate cream.
The biscuits are dipped in milk and placed on a baking tray. Then, the biscuit layers are covered with chocolate cream, one by one. Keks torta is, and has always been, a favorite desserts of grandmothersof the Balkans!
Čupavci is a European version of the famous Australian Lamingtos. It is a sponge cake dipped in chocolate sauce and covered with coconut. As simple as that. The difference is that Lamingtons have some filling in the middle, while Čupavci do not have.
They are made for holidays, such as Christmas, New Year, or Easter. Many people refer to them as “furry cakes”. Even though it is an easy ingredient dessert, many chocolate and coconut lovers cannot resist it!
11. Ruske Kape (Russian Hats)
As their name suggests, these sweet cakes look like Russian hats (white and furry). This dessert is extremely popular in Balkan countries, especially Montenegro. Every cake shop serves Russian hats.
Russian hats are made with custard cream and chocolate topping, and they are covered in shredded coconut. They are best served cold, and feel free to eat them with your hands!
12. Princes Krofne (Cream Puffs)
A tray full of cream puffs will make you want to eat them all at once! Translated, Princes krofne means “Princess Donuts”. However, they are not real donuts, at least not what people around the world consider a donut to be, so we prefer to translate them as cream puffs.
They are made the following way: round-shaped pastry is baked until it is puffed and hollow, then it is filled with delicious vanilla custard and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Cream puffs are sure to win your heart at any gathering. So indulge yourself with this gold-colored flavorful dessert!
Bajadera is an iconic Croatian nougat praline and is extremely popular in all Balkan countries. As well as being a common dessert on different celebrations and festivals, many people choose to buy Bajadera Boxed Chocolates as a gift.
This is a homemade bajadera recipe (the most important thing is that you do not need to bake it): you need sugar, butter, rum, crushed tea biscuits, hazelnuts, almonds, and dark chocolate. The homemade recipe for bajadera is a load of fun to make and heavenly to eat!
14. Oblanda (Wafer Cake)
Balkan wafer cake, better known as oblanda, is a super-traditional Balkan dessert. It is a delicious tort wafer with a scrumptious chocolate and walnut filling. The best thing is that they need no baking time, and are very easy to make!
Thin wafer sheets are stuck together with silky chocolate filling. While there are hundreds of variations of oblanda, the best-known is with walnuts. A very important part of the preparation is that milk and sugar are cooked until they take on a caramel color, almost like a condensed milk.
The filling should be spread evenly across the wafer, ensuring the entire surface is covered, and the process is repeated until each wafer has been covered. If you’re not sure what to eat, try this dessert – it will exceed your expectations!
Related: Popular Goods in Montenegro