Top Eastern European Coffee Cakes

A simple dessert is commonly offered to guests in Eastern European homes

Something sweet accompanied by hot tea or coffee is always offered to strangers and friends alike when they visit an Eastern European home. It's just part of the culture. Usually, it isn't elaborate, but something that retains its moisture over the course of a few days (if it lasts that long!). Here are some favorite Eastern European coffee cake recipes for you to try and enjoy.

  • 01 of 08

    Polish Coffee Cake (Placek z Kruszonka)

    Coffee cake
    Brian Macdonald / Getty Images

    This coffee cake is called placek z kruszonka, literally meaning "cake with crumbs." Traditionally, cooks use a wooden spoon and an enamel miska (bowl) to beat the dough until it makes a clacking noise and blisters. But if this seems like too much work, a standing mixer works just as well.

  • 02 of 08

    Quick Pear Streusel Coffee Cake

    Pear coffee cake
    boblin / Getty Images

    This recipe is adapted from one in Gale Gand's Brunch! by Gale Gand with Christie Matheson (Clarkson Potter/Publisher, 2009). Gand says she adapted this recipe from one in her grandma Elsie's recipe box. Grandma Elsie—a Hungarian baker extraordinaire—used apples, but Gand puts a new twist on it by using pears.

  • 03 of 08

    Polish Plum Cake (Placek z Sliwkami)

    Plum coffee cake
    Josef Mohyla / Getty Images

    This light and buttery cake is perfect as an afternoon snack with coffee or as a treat for breakfast. The plums add the right amount of sweetness and the butter, clove, and sugar topping gives the cake a golden, crispy crust.

  • 04 of 08

    Streusel Cinnamon Coffee Cake

    Cinnamon coffee cake
    Brian Hagiwara / Getty Images

    This may become your go-to coffee cake recipe as it is easy to make, tender and moist, and sure to be a family favorite. A streusel made of brown sugar, butter, flour, and cinnamon is sprinkled on top of a sweet batter, creating a delicious cake with a crumbly topping. 

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Polish Apple Cake (Placek z Jablka)

    Polish apple cake
    Polish apple cake. Alina Zienowicz Ala z / Wikimedia Commons / PD-self

    Polish apple cake is one of the most frequently seen desserts at Polish tables and there are hundreds of recipes for it. Translated, Placek z Jablka means "flat cake with apples"—although a humble name, the sweet and buttery cake is sure to please and impress your guests. 

  • 06 of 08

    Czech Cherry Bublanina (Tresnova Bublanina)

    Czech bublanina cake with raspberries
    BRETT STEVENS / Getty Images

    This traditional Czechoslovakian cake is called bublanina or "bubble cake," probably because the batter bubbles up around the fruit while it's baking. Czechs use whatever fruit is available during the season and can range between sweet cherries, tart cherries, plums, nectarines, apricots, strawberries, and blueberries. It's a bit like a coffee cake in texture and is sometimes served as a breakfast pastry.

  • 07 of 08

    Polish Pineapple Crumb Cake (Placek z Ananas y Kruszonka)

    Polish pineapple crumb cake on a servng plate

    The Spruce / Barbara Rolek

    If you like pineapple upside-down cake, you will love this Polish pineapple crumb cake. Placek z Ananas y Kruszonka was only available to the aristocracy in Poland, but since pineapples are readily available year-round in the States, anyone can make this cake. This moist coffee cake featuring the tropical fruit will soon become a favorite.

  • 08 of 08

    Polish Buttermilk Crumb Cake (Placek na Maslance z Kruszonka)

    Polish buttermilk coffee cake
    Brian Macdonald / Getty Images

    This Polish buttermilk crumb cake is a simple cake topped with fresh fruit (tart cherries are good) and sweet crumbs. The buttermilk in the batter makes for a tender cake, and the simple streusel of flour, sugar, and butter creates a golden, crispy topping.