Russian Baking Recipes

Like in many other countries it used to be a tradition in Russia to start baking Christmas treats in December. The smell of freshly baked cakes and cookies filled the air and enhanced the Christmas spirit.

There are different kinds of plums growing in Russia. They differ in taste and shape depending on the region. In the south of Russia, some varieties of plums ripen in July. In central Russia, fresh plums can be harvested from mid-August to mid-September. In Russian, plum is called “слива” [ßlíwa]. This moist cake made with fresh plums is a real treat.

In the European part of Russia the strawberry season begins around mid-June. Many Russians grow strawberries in the gardens of their country houses datcha or pick sweet aromatic berries in a nearby forest. In Russian, big garden strawberry is called “клубника” [klubníka] and small wild strawberry “земляника” [zimliníka]. The Russians love making (and eating) strawberry jam. But a cake with fresh strawberries is also irresistible.

In Russia, Sharlotka is one of the most popular pies. The recipe is so easy that everyone can cook it with ingredients that usually are on hand. This apple pie is very low in calories as it is made without butter.

In Russian and Ukrainian cuisine, Vatrushki (Russian: ватрушки) are small pies with an open top usually filled with sweet quark or cottage cheese. The filling can also contain fruit, berries or jam. Traditionally Vatrushki are made with yeast dough, but it is also possible to use puff pastry. This is a recipe for sweet yeast dough and three fillings: with cottage cheese, apples and berries. Quark Vatrushki are sometimes decorated with raisins.

The stuffed buns pirozhki (Russian: пирожки) are probably one of the most famous dishes of Russian cuisine. They are made of yeast dough and stuffed with meat, vegetable or fruit filling. Usually pirozhki are baked, but it is also possible to fry them. This is a recipe for basic yeast dough and three vegetable fillings. In Russia, pirozhki are served with sour cream or melted butter.