Written by: Milica Bokšan

But, are you ready for it?

We have to warn you that Serbian cakes and Serbian desserts can cause:

  • mouth-watering
  • instant search for ingredients

We won’t keep you waiting any longer, so let’s start with the list!

#1 Serbian Cakes: Reforma torta (= Cake Reform)

Reforma is a classic among Serbian cakes.

Recipes for this cake have been passed down through generations.

Some of the ingredients may vary (mostly it is made according to the family’s taste), but the taste of the cake is generally similar. It mostly consists of chocolate, nuts and pastry.

Desserts are mandatory at Serbian celebrations and reforma is a mandatory cake for every Serbian dessert table.

serbian cakes serbian desserts reforma
Source: Na usluzi

The host and guests usually understand each other with just a few words when it comes to serving Reforma.

An informal conversation goes like this:

Može torta? (It should be noted that this question is rarely asked, usually, everyone wants the cake, so it’s just handed out to everyone, no questions asked. 🙂 )

Koja ima?

Reforma. (No need to explain what it’s made of because everyone knows.)

Naravno!

#2 Serbian Cakes: Vasina torta (= Vasa’s cake)

Vasa’s cake is supposedly a completely authentic Serbian cake.

The recipe used to make it is over a century old!

The author of the blog Foodforthought shared an interesting anecdote about Vasa’s cake: Allegedly, mother-in-law created this cake as a gesture to her son-in-law Vasa Čokrljan from Paraćin. Vasa’s wife was pregnant and it was rumored that giving birth could endanger both her and the child. Vasa took her to Viennese doctors, and his wife Jelena gave birth to a healthy child. Vasa’s cake has become a classic of Serbian cuisine.

It consists of only a few ingredients such as eggs, milk, sugar, and orange juice.

The thin chocolate glaze makes it special. Whoever makes this cake makes sure that it is perfectly flawlessly covered with finely whipped chocolate.

#3 Serbian Cakes: Plazma torta (= Plasma cake)

Plazma biscuit was created about 50 years ago. It’s a famous biscuit loved by Serbs and a huge part of every childhood. People almost immediately started including Plazma also in their cake and dessert recipes (we recommend trying Plasma shake when you visit Serbia!).

Plasma cake’s specific mild taste allows it to mix well with a variety of ingredients. That’s how the Plazma cake was invented.

A classic Plazma cake consists of only two layers. One layer is whipped cream, and the other one consists of Plazma biscuit and hazelnuts mixed with other ingredients.

Although it is very simple to make, people always ask for one more slice. It’s also a favorite at children’s birthday parties!

#4 Serbian Desserts: Vanilice

Vanilice (vanilla cakes) are a traditional Serbian delicacy. They consist of two biscuit layers with jam in between, sprinkled with vanilla sugar all over.

Today, Vanilice are known all over the world and considered as one of the tastiest holiday treats. In 2015, they were declared as the best holiday cake!

And what makes them so irresistible? Believe it or not, the secret is in the use of fat.

Given that it is an extremely old recipe, housewives previously did not have access to various kinds of margarine, butter and vegetable oils, instead using homemade lard which makes Vanilice literally melt in the mouth.

Today you can buy them in numerous stores in Serbia and around the world. However, for a real taste, you have to try the ones prepared by grandmothers for their households.

#5 Serbian Desserts: Oblande

It takes skill to make this simple, but rather delicious Serbian dessert.

Oblande consist of several crust layers that are usually bought at the store.

Each crust (except the last one) is coated with delicious cream.

They look like wafers, but they are bigger and, believe us, incomparably tastier because of their homemade preparation.

Today there are many varieties of Oblande, but those with chocolate filling are still the most popular.

Forget about counting calories, because this perfect combination of chocolate, margarine, and sugar deserves to be a cheat meal.

#6 Serbian Desserts: Bajadere

Another chocolate Serbian dessert are Bajadere. Hardly anyone can resist this cake.

Some of the ingredients of Bajadere are biscuits, nuts, and chocolate. After preparation, they are placed in the refrigerator to cool and then cut into thin pieces.

It is challenging to resist eating everything that the host brings to the table, but you can try!

If you can’t buy bajadere at pijaca (green market), bajadere from the Croatian brand Kraš are a nice alternative! You have them in all larger supermarkets.

#7 Serbian Desserts: Sitni kolači (= Tiny Cakes)

In Serbia, Sitni kolači (which means tiny cakes) are the common name for several types of bite-sized cookies. You will find them on almost every festive table because Serbian hospitality means satisfying the tastes of all guests.

Sitni kolači look very tempting because of their different shapes and colors.

serbian cakes serbian desserts sitni kolači
Source: Stamevski

You can also find Vanilice and Bajadere among these because many people adore them.

#8 Serbian Desserts: Štrudla s makom (= Strudel with poppy seeds)

Štrudla s makom or Makovnjača has become one of the most popular delicacies in Serbia.

There are many varieties of strudel, such as those with jam, raisins, etc., but strudel with poppy seeds is definitely the favorite.

Recipes for Štrudla s makom can also vary, but they most often differ only in the amount of filling.

The common parts of every recipe are poppy seeds and the characteristic spiral shape.

#9 Lenja pita (= Lazy pie)

Yes, there really is a Serbian delicacy that has been called that for decades.

It is assumed that this name arose because of the characteristic of the dough rising slowly during baking.

However, this is very unfair, considering that the focus should have been on the taste of this delicacy.

Another theory is that the name comes from the fact that every housewife can prepare this pie easily because you don’t have to stretch the dough, which is not the case with the traditional pita.

However, preparing the crust requires much more time and skill than the filling itself, which can be made from apples, cherries, apricots, or other fruit.

#10 Serbian Desserts: Krofne (= Donuts)

You may be wondering – aren’t donuts a universal dessert and not specific to Serbia? On the one hand, yes, but Serbian donuts are a little different, at least when it comes to the way they look.

American donuts are characterized by having a hole in the middle, while Serbian Krofne are completely round and airy.

The recipes are quite similar, but you will rarely find real Serbian donuts in bakeries. For real taste and experience, you need someone to prepare them for you at home. But if you are the Ada lake in Belgrade, people usually walk around and sell them during summer!

You can eat them with cream, powdered sugar, or jam. They go well with everything!

#11 Serbian Desserts: Princes krofne (= Cream puffs)

The literal translation for Princes krofne is Princess Donuts.

Have you ever heard a cuter name for a dessert? This Serbian dessert confirms the Latin saying Nomen est omen. Because they are just as tasty as their name implies.

Princes krofne are a perfectly creamy dessert made from dough that is crispy on the outside and airy on the inside. They consist of two layers of pastry filled with white cream, made from milk, eggs, and margarine.

serbian cakes serbian desserts princes krofne
Source: MarinaS Taste

They are additionally sprinkled with powdered sugar to make them taste even better!

Conclusion

After all this sweet temptation, it’s time to bring this story to an end.

If you come to Serbia, don’t miss the opportunity to try them just as the locals make them. You can always buy sitni kolači (tiny cakes) at pijaca (the green market)!

If you want to make some of these traditional cakes, check out Coolinarika, a Balkan website for recipes. However, if your Serbian is still not on a high level, check out this nice culinary blog in English! All the recipes are made by a Balkan woman who was born and raised in the US.

To not make a mistake when ordering in restaurants or explaining to the host which dessert you would like to try, you can schedule your Serbian lessons online!