Polish Pierniki

The countdown to Christmas starts now! Pierniki are little Polish cakes (called Prianiki in Russia) - which are flavoured with cinnamon and cloves, and generally eaten in the festive run up.

Pierniki Recipe

I first tried Pierniki after buying some Katarzynki in Inowrocław in Poland. I loved them, and just had to write a recipe for them. You can shape them however you like - if you’ve got shaped cutters, feel free to use them. I’ve also included a quick chocolate icing recipe at the bottom for reference, but please - coat them in whatever takes your fancy!

Polish Pierniki Recipe - Ingredients

  • 450g Plain Flour
  • 200g Caster Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • Pinch of Ground Black Pepper
  • Pinch of Ground Nutmeg (Mace)
  • 250ml Runny Honey
  • 4 Free Range Eggs
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar

Polish Pierniki Recipe - Method

  1. Heat honey in a saucepan until it begins to boil, then turn off.
  2. Combine eggs and sugar in a bowl and whisk together until thickened.
  3. Mix all dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the egg and sugar while mixing to prevent any lumps.
  5. Pour in the honey and mix everything until smooth.
  6. Turn out the mixture onto a floured surface, and roll out to around 1 cm thick.
  7. Cut into shapes as desired - I prefer to cut rounds with a biscuit cutter, then “rough them up a bit” with my hands for a rustic shape.
  8. Place Pierniki onto a greased baking tray, then into the oven at 180c for 12 minutes or until lightly coloured.
  9. Allow to cool before dipping into your chocolate icing for coating.

And for the Chocolate Icing…

You’ll need just 50g Chocolate, 3 tablespoons of Icing Sugar and 10g of unsalted Butter for this.

First, put your icing sugar into a bowl. Next, turn on the heat on a pan of water, and place your chopped up chocolate with the butter in a bowl on top. Let it heat up like this until it melts (feel free to “encourage” it with stirring, poking etc), then pour out and into the icing sugar. Mix it all together; add a touch of water if it’s to thick, then top your Pierniki.


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27 Responses to “Polish Pierniki”

  1. Pille Says:

    Aaaah, pranikud :) I’ve never been a great fan of these, but then I’ve never had them with chocolate icing either..
    I enjoy reading about your discoveries of Polish and other EEC foods!

  2. rowena Says:

    Wow! These look like something that you would find in a pastry shop! Not something that you could easily produce at home.

    I’m noting the extra use of cinnamon and cloves during the holiday season. Great spices!!! ;-)

  3. Brilynn Says:

    I definitely thought those were storebought when I first saw them, very impressive. I’ve never had pierniki before, but I’ve copied down the recipe and am willing to give it a try.

  4. Mae Says:

    Sounds delightful! Honey… cinnamon, chocolate icing…

    Perfect indeed for Christmas. Oh, and i completely agree with Brilynn, they look like they just came out of the packet. You’re so good.

  5. scott Says:

    Pille: I love discovering more then you love reading about it : )

    rowena: The spices are so typical xmas for me - lots of mulled wine and such like.

    Brilynn: I love the storebought ones too - there’s an old Polish guy running a market stall near me that sells Katarzynki.

    Mae: I would disagree - I’m fairly hit and miss. Your blog, is very good, with great photos!

  6. Dagmar Says:

    Wow Scott! They really do look like store bought and are probably much more delicious! I’ve never thought about baking pierniki, I’m so used of just buying them but maybe I should give it a try! :-)

  7. Vani Says:

    I’m not much of a baker but I must say, that’s one delicious looking dessert!

  8. scott Says:

    Dagmar: The smell they make when cooked (by my Wife - I admit it) is delicious and well worth the effort.

    Vani: They’re much too small for desert - enjoy them with a cup of coffee, instead.

  9. simonetta Says:

    I have tried them before (the store packed ones) and they are a real treat. Thanks for the recipe!

  10. Brilynn Says:

    Um, if you pop on over to my site sometime you may find a suspiciously similar post… though not quite as elegant.

  11. Ari (Baking and Books) Says:

    This photo looks so delicious and after reading the recipe I really want to try one of these! I think it’s all those spices plus the chocolate icing that did it for me. :)

  12. scott Says:

    simonetta: I agree. I think I’m addicted!

    Brilynn: They look elegant to me! I’ll email you about this later, it might make a nice follow up post for this site too.

    Ari (Baking and Books): Due to the spices they’re perfect for this time of the year. The chocolate icing works a treat too.

  13. Ivonne Says:

    This looks amazing!

  14. scott Says:

    Ivonne: Thankyou very much : )

  15. peabody Says:

    Those look wonderful…I truly thought they were store bought at first as well.

  16. cathy Says:

    hey there!
    love your site! but also wanted to let you know, that it is currently not W3C compliant. clicked the validator button and it came back with several errors - thought I’d let you know.
    c p

    ps: feel free to delete this entry
    pps: i tried using your contact form, but it produces a php @mail error

  17. Therese/Wisconsin Cheesehead Says:

    You do my Polish heritage proud son!


  18. scott Says:

    peabody: Thanks! I’m taking photographic pointers from your wonderful site.

    cathy: Thanks for the info. The W3C compliance is usually right; I’d applied a style to my sidebar which broke it (now fixed). And regarding the contact form, I believe my server has changed a couple of settings - all fixed now.

    Therese/Wisconsin Cheesehead: Thanks very much! Hope I continue to do your heritage proud, too.

  19. Trig Says:

    Do they make a gluten-free version? My dad would just love those.

  20. scott Says:

    Trig: I’m no gluten free expert, but simply usually substituting gluten free flour like for like and adding a little more water will do the trick.

  21. Voidan Says:

    Pierninczki are also great with jam/marmalade filling like those:


  22. Voidan Says:

    Hmm - hope that url link will work better with your site :}


  23. scott Says:

    Voidan: They are indeed - I have a bag at home that my wife bought from a local Polish shop, filled with Raspberry jam. She also has something similar, with (I think) dried prunes inside.

  24. Voidan Says:

    Yes - you can stuff it with several diffrent fillings like jam, marmalade, almonds, succades, nuts & many other :)

    My favorite version is covered with chocolade icing, but with regular icing sugar is great too.

    Gosia may check this site (it’s in polish) for some professional tips. It was created for students & teachers from schools for bakers & pastry cooks:

  25. Voidan Says:

    Sorry - still have probs with html

    Best regards (& another try :P )


  26. scott Says:

    Voidan: Thanks for that - I’ll take a look myself (I can speak some Polish) and let her have a look too.

    And with the code, I hope you’re not trying to break my XHTML1.0 validation… : p

  27. Voidan Says:

    Hehe - I forgot that you even send me a mail partly in polish - sorry for that ^_^

    About html - no, I try to learn a little of this to improve my blog. Tryied to use it here to paste a link, but it works better WITHOUT my efforts :/

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