13 Must-Try Bosnian Desserts

must-try bosnian desserts

Bosnian desserts are a significant part of the country’s cuisine and can be found in bakeries, cafes, and homes all over the country. These desserts are notoriously sweet and often soaked in syrup, making them a favorite treat for those with a sweet tooth. Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular Bosnian desserts that you must try on your next visit. These desserts are best enjoyed with a cup of coffee.


Baklava is a popular Bosnian dessert that consists of layers of filo pastry with nuts and syrup. It is usually cut into a diamond shape and is often paired with black “khava” to balance the sweetness. Baklava has its origins in the 2nd century BC, and there is debate about whether it is originally a Greek or Turkish dish. Bosnian baklava has a variation called Ružice or “Rose Baklava,” which uses walnut and tirit filling, resembling the petals of a rosebud.

Bosanske Hurmašice

Bosanske hurmašice are small, date-shaped biscuits traditionally made in a “hurma” shaped pan. These biscuits are doused in Agda, a lemon-flavored sugar syrup, and can be served as coffee cakes or desserts.


Ćetenija is a super-sweet dessert made of elaborately woven sugar. It is traditionally made in wintertime and requires flour to be baked dry and left to cool overnight. Sugar is then mixed with water and lemon juice and left to cool in the snow. The two are then mixed by hand to create this dessert. Although the tradition is disappearing, it’s still worth trying if you come across it.


Gurabija are flat, round shortbread cookies flavored with lemon zest, vanilla, dried fruits, and nuts. The authentic Bosnian twist is that each cookie has a sugar cube pressed into its center before baking. In the city of Tuzla, Gurabijas are flavored with apple “pekmez” – boiled apple juice – favored by both Bosnian Muslims and Christians alike.

Best local desserts in Sarajevo


Jabukovača is a sweet, syrupy pastry made with filo dough and stuffed with chopped apples, vanilla, and walnuts. It originated in Bosnia’s capital city of Sarajevo and is often served in slices doused in sherbet made from sugar, honey, and lemon juice.


Kadaif is a layered dessert similar to baklava, consisting of buttery kadayıf dough sandwiched around a nutty filling. Bosnian kadaif is made with shredded kadayıf dough, coated with butter and filled with walnuts. Once baked, it is coated in lemon-flavored syrup infused with spices.


Orašnica is a novel little dessert made with only three ingredients: walnuts, sugar, and egg whites. It is formed into a horseshoe or crescent shape, and the walnuts are extra crunchy, giving the dessert a unique texture.


Šampita is a light, fluffy dessert topped with whipped meringue. It is made with a simple puff pastry base in most bakeries, while the homemade version is made with sugary lemon syrup, making it extra sweet and indulgent.


Smokvara celebrates the fig, a tree commonly found in Bosnia. Smokvara dough is made from fig pekmez, wheat, sugar, oil, cornflour, and water, molded into a round, flat disk, and then baked. Once baked, the smokvara is drowned in a thick syrup layer made of pekmez, sugar, and water.


Sutlijaš is a creamy rice pudding made from rice, milk, and sugar, with a touch of vanilla essence, sprinkled with cinnamon or grated chocolate to add the finishing touches. This dessert shares its past with sülac, which was popular among nobles throughout the Ottoman Empire and was brought to Bosnia-Herzegovina.


Tufahija is one of the most popular and ubiquitous Bosnian desserts, made from hollowed-out apples stewed in sugar and water, stuffed with walnuts or almonds, and baked in sugar syrup. It is topped with whipped cream and a cherry before serving.


Tulumba is a crispy, doughy treat similar to mini, syrupy churros, popular street food served hot, and dipped in lemon syrup. It is traditionally made for the Muslim holiday of Iftar, but it is available year-round in cafes throughout Bosnia.

Ruske Kape (Šubarice)

Ruske Kape, also called šubarice, is a dessert named for its resemblance to traditional Ushanka Russian hats. It is made of a flour, baking powder, sugar, and egg mixture, filled with chocolate or vanilla custard, smothered in chocolate, and rolled in shaved desiccated coconut.

Bosnian desserts are a must-try for anyone who loves sweet treats. From baklava and hurmašice to jabukovača and tufahija, these desserts are a testament to Bosnia’s rich culinary heritage. Whether you try them in bakeries, cafes, or at the homes of friendly Bosnians, be prepared for an indulgent experience.

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