From Baklava To Tulumbe: 60 Of The Best Balkan Desserts | Chasing the Donkey

We may earn commission from affiliate links

From Baklava To Tulumbe: 60 Of The Best Balkan Desserts

Do you have a sweet tooth that craves unique and delectable treats? Look no further! The Balkans region is home to some of the most scrumptious desserts in the world, ranging from honey-soaked baklava to syrupy tulumbe. Join us on a journey through this culinary wonderland as we explore the best sweets from the Balkans.

Get ready to indulge your taste buds with these mouthwatering delicacies and discover why they’re worth traveling for!

Introduction To Balkan Sweets

Best Balkan Desserts

Balkan desserts are some of the most delicious and unique in the world. From the rich and decadent baklava to the light and airy tulumbe, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

One thing you should know is that a lot of the desserts across the Balkans are very similar. The reason? Well, because the countries in this region share many common cultural and historical influences. For example, the Ottoman Empire occupied much of the Balkans for centuries, and this period of occupation had a significant impact on the cuisine of the region. Other shared influences include the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Popular Albania Desserts

Regarding sweets, the Balkans know how to do it right, and while each country has its own specialties, Albania is home to some of the best desserts in the region.


Qumështor is a type of yogurt that is popular in Albania (also Kosovo and Macedonia). It is made from cow’s milk and has a thick, creamy texture. Qumështor is traditionally served with honey or jam.


Kabuni is a traditional Albanian dessert that is made with semolina flour, sugar, and water. It is then fried in oil and served with a simple syrup. Kabuni is often eaten during special occasions such as weddings or holidays. This dessert is popular in Albania and other countries such as Greece, Turkey, and Italy.


This traditional Albanian dessert is made with shredded wheat, nuts, and syrup. It’s often served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream on top.

Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Sweet Treats

Oh my, does Bosnia-Herzegovia have some truly tasty treats. So many, we put together this list for you:

Serbia Specialities


Desserts in the Balkans
Knedle s sljivama

Gomboce (or knedle sa šljivama) is a plum-filled dumpling popular dessert in the Balkans, especially in Serbia and Croatia. A potato, egg, and flour dough is made using potatoes, peeled, then mashed before being mixed with other ingredients.

As the dough is prepared, plums are placed in the center of each square, which is then assembled into a dumpling. These dumplings are then boiled, then rolled in a mixture of breadcrumbs, sugar, and butter.

Croatian Delights

Croatian Cooking_Krostule 28

In Croatia, one of the most popular sweets is fritule, a type of fried pastry that is traditionally served with powdered sugar. Other popular Croatian desserts include strukli (a kind of cheese-filled dumpling) and rožata (a custard tart).

We have written a whole article on the best desserts in Croatia. Below is the list of all of our favorite sweet treats from Hrvatska.

Bulgarian Favorites

Mekitsa - Bulgarian Desserts

Bulgaria is a land of culinary delights, and sweet treats are no exception. Some of the country’s most beloved desserts include:


This dense, sweet treat is made with ground sesame seeds, sugar, honey, and spices. It’s often flavored with chocolate or fruit, making it even more irresistible.

Rosewater Pudding

This unique dessert is made with rosewater-scented rice pudding and topped with a dollop of jam. It’s light and refreshing yet still satisfyingly sweet.

Greek Sweets

Street food in Athens - Loukoumades

Undoubtedly, Greece is home to some of the most delicious desserts in the world. From creamy, dreamy Greek yogurt to light and flaky phyllo dough pastries, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Here are a few of our favorite Greek desserts you’ll want to try on your next trip!


A fantastic delicacy made with the well-known donut dough, these small balls of pastry are fried and served hot, sprinkled with loads of honey, sometimes cinnamon, or crushed almonds or nuts. Loukoumades can be served with whipped cream and even ice cream that melts when placed over the steaming hot sweet pastry.

Nothing is more delicious than a dish of just-fried loukoumades. They can be the perfect afternoon treat and a fantastic dessert right by the beach!


Galaktoboureko – If you’re a fan of custard, you’ll love this traditional Greek dessert! It’s made by layering sheets of phyllo dough with a creamy custard filling, then topping it all off with a sweet syrup. Yum!


Another classic Greek pastry, kataifi, is made with shredded phyllo dough that’s been filled with nuts and soaked in syrup. It’s often served as part of a larger dessert platter, but we think it’s delicious enough to stand on its own!

Kosovo’s Desserts

If you are looking for something sweet to eat during your time in Kosovo, be sure to try these delicious desserts!


A cake-type dessert similar to Mediterranean Revani and covered with a lemon or vanilla-flavored sherbet.


And last but not least, the ever-popular “tiramisu” – a creamy and dreamy Italian dessert made with Ladyfingers soaked in coffee, layered with mascarpone cream, and dusted with cocoa powder. 

Montenegro Must Haves

There are many Montenegrin sweet must-haves, but this is the one sweet that you cannot miss!


These thin pancakes can be filled with anything you like, but we think they’re best when they’re filled with chocolate and served with a scoop of ice cream on top. They’re guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Macedonia Mouthwatering Meals

Croatian Desserts - Bieja Pita


Pita is a popular dessert in Macedonia. It is a pie made with phyllo dough and filled with fruit or sweet cheese. Pita can be baked or fried, and it is often served with yogurt or ice cream.

Turkish Delicacies

Bulgarian Desserts - Baklava

Turkish cuisine has a long tradition of sweets and desserts, dating back to the Ottoman Empire. The Turks have a sweet tooth, and their desserts reflect this. Turkish sweets are often very rich, sweet, and syrupy.


A classic favorite, baklava is a sweet pastry made with layers of phyllo dough, nuts, and syrup.


These deep fried pastries are light and fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside. They’re often dusted with powdered sugar and served with a dollop of whipped cream.


Künefe is a traditional Turkish dessert made with shredded phyllo dough, sweet cheese, and syrup. It’s often served with a dollop of kaymak, a type of clotted cream. Künefe is thought to have originated in the city of Antakya (now in southern Turkey), and it’s still popular there today.

The dish is usually made in a special künefe pan with multiple small compartments for holding the phyllo dough and cheese. To make the künefe, the phyllo dough is first soaked in syrup, then layered with cheese and more syrup. The künefe is then baked until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Once it’s out of the oven, the künefe is immediately sprinkled with chopped pistachios and served warm. If you’re ever in Turkey, be sure to try this delicious dessert!

If you’re looking for something sweet on your next trip to the Balkans, be sure to try some of these delicious Turkish delicacies!

Romania’s Sweet Recipes

Croatian Cooking- Carnival Krafne Recipe Krofne Recipe 13


Covrigei are Romanian pretzels that can be filled with jam, chocolate, or cheese. They are popular street food snacks in Romania.


Gogosi is a type of fried dough similar to donuts. They are usually topped with powdered sugar and served with fruit jam or honey.

Romania also has many types of cakes and pastries, like Romanita (a cheese-filled cake), Negresa (a chocolate cake), and Prajitura cu nuca (a walnut cake).

Favorite Balkan Desserts

Baklava is a classic Balkan sweet that is made with layers of phyllo dough filled with nuts and honey. It is then baked until golden brown and served with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream.

Tulumbe is another popular Balkan sweet that is made from fried dough and soaked in syrup. It is often served as a dessert or snack and can be found at most bakeries in the Balkans.

Whether you’re looking for something rich and indulgent or light and refreshing, there’s a Balkan sweet to suit your taste. So next time you’re in the mood for something sweet, be sure to try one of these delicious treats!

Related Posts