15 Traditional Russian Christmas Desserts

Russian Christmas Desserts
Image by The Spruce Eat

What would Christmas be without delicious Russian Christmas desserts? Russian cuisine has so many great dessert recipes it’s hard to know where to start.

But luckily, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most traditional and iconic Russian Christmas desserts right here! 

These are must-have recipes that every Russian home cook should know how to make. And they’re all easy enough to execute that you could also make them this holiday season!

1. Russian Liver Cake

Russian Liver Cake is one of the classic Russian Christmas desserts that many enjoy. This recipe is easy to make, just like most other delicious Russian recipes.

Here’s how you do it: get a frying pan and add about 2 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil before adding salt, and then add your chopped-up liver. 

Simmer for about 30 minutes before removing from the heat and draining off the liquid. Put two eggs in a bowl with sugar, salt, cinnamon, raisins, and pine nuts. 

Mix well with your hands until it becomes sticky, then roll it into small balls (about 1 inch). Flatten each ball onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone mat before putting it in the refrigerator for an hour or more to harden.

2. Russian Piroshki

Russian Piroshki (Meat Hand Pies) are traditional Russian Christmas desserts for the Christmas holiday.

Piroshki is a baked or fried turnover usually filled with meat, onions, potatoes, cabbage, mushrooms, or cheese.

They are considered one of the most popular dishes in Eastern Europe. The pastry dough is shaped into rounds, which are boiled or deep-fried. 

The filling is typically a mixture of ground beef and onion seasoned with salt, black pepper, allspice, and other spices.

Potatoes are often added to provide moisture and sweetness. A classic accompaniment for pirozhki is sour cream. However, some people prefer melted butter or mayonnaise instead.

3. Russian Deviled Eggs

Russian Deviled Eggs are the quintessential Russian Christmas dessert. This is because not only do they include ingredients that are readily available in Russia, but they also have an interesting name.

For example, the devil in the sense of deceiving. This one of the Russian Christmas Desserts are typically made by hard-boiling eggs, slicing them in half, and filling them with a mixture of mayonnaise, mustard, and a bit of sugar. The dish can be served with bread or crackers on the side.

4. Russian Pork Aspic-Kholodets or Studen

Kholodets is a jellied meat dish made from pig’s or cow’s feet, gelatin, and other ingredients. It is usually served as a dessert in Russia on special occasions such as weddings or New Year celebrations.

The word kholodets derives from the Russian word khlyodit’, which means to cool. The dish is usually eaten cold with mustard or horseradish sauce. 

In the Western world, kholodets are sometimes called Russian pork aspic. Kholodets originate from medieval times when meat was scarce and expensive.

5. Farmer’s Cheese Tvorog

Farmer’s cheese has a higher fat content than cottage cheese, making it an ideal choice for cooking.

Tvorog (tvorozhka) is a Slavic word that originally meant cheese but now usually means farmer’s cheese or tvorog made from cow milk.

The word comes from the verb tvarit, which means to shape and refers to the process by which farmer’s cheese is made by shaping curds into balls.

Farmer’s Cheese Tvorog has been used in Russia as a Christmas dessert on New Year’s Day since at least 1694.

6. Kurnik Pie with Chicken, Potatoes, and Onions

Kurnik is one of the popular Russian Christmas desserts in Russia. It consists of chicken, potatoes, and onions filling wrapped in dough and then baked. 

The word Kurnik can be translated as pot or cauldron, referencing the vessel that was used historically to cook this dish.

Many families have their special recipe versions, with tweaks like adding mushrooms or changing the type of cheese used for a creamier filling. 

Kurnik is traditionally served with cranberry sauce on top. A tradition dating back to World War II when fresh fruit was unavailable because it had been shipped overseas.

7. Salmon Coulibiac

Christmas is a time for celebration and love, and it’s no different in Russia. As is tradition, Russians eat various festive foods before and after the big day. 

One such dish is called Kulebyaka or Coulibiac, which translates to Christmas cake in English.

These Russian Christmas desserts consist of layers of dough filled with meat, onion, mushroom, and hard-boiled eggs before being baked in the oven. It can be eaten hot or cold, depending on what you prefer.

8. Mimosa Salad

This dish is an old-fashioned recipe from Russia, where it was traditionally served for holidays and as a starter.

Mimosa Salad is made of layers of tuna salad, chopped hard-boiled eggs, green peas, mayonnaise, and cooked rice. 

The ingredients are layered in a bowl with the cooked rice on the bottom and then alternated with the egg mixture and peas until the ingredients are used up. The top layer is just mayonnaise. 

It can be garnished with parsley or green olives. The origins of this dish come from a French dish called Mimosa, one of the famous Russian Christmas desserts at that time.

9. Russian Vinegret Salad

Vinegret salad is made from cooked beets, carrots, potatoes, onions, and mayonnaise.

This salad is traditionally eaten on New Year’s Day in Russia. It is also one of the popular Russian Christmas desserts.

The ingredients are boiled together with herbs like dill, parsley, and celery leaves to give the vegetables a fresh flavor.

The vegetables are then cooled and mixed with mayonnaise or sour cream. Vinegret salad can be served as a side dish.

Or it can be used as an ingredient in other dishes such as cutlets or stuffed cabbage rolls.

10. Delicate and Tender Layer Cake

Delicate and Tender Layer Cake is one of the popular Russian Christmas desserts. It is traditionally served on the last Thursday before the Christmas holiday and is often served at weddings. 

The cake has a dense consistency and can be made either as one large cake or many smaller ones.

Each layer should have a thin layer of jam between each layer of dough, which gives the cake its delicate flavor. The layers are then covered in cream or whipped cream and decorated with slivered almonds.

11. Russian Pelmeni

Pelmeni is also one of the Russian Christmas desserts typically filled with ground meat. The dough consists of flour and eggs, which are usually mixed by hand. 

The dough is kneaded and rolled to get the right consistency until it becomes thin and reaches the desired shape.

Traditionally, pelmeni has been boiled in a pot of water with onions. But they can also be fried or baked in an oven.

Russians usually eat them as a side dish with different sauces, such as sour cream or melted butter.

12. Herring Under a Fur Coat

In Russia, it is common for people to eat herring under a fur coat for their main course on Christmas Eve.

Herring (a type of fish) is served with boiled potatoes and pickles or olives, which are wrapped in a cloth of cotton or linen (known as a fur coat). And then heat until the cloth becomes very hot. 

The herring, one of the Russian Christmas desserts, will be cooked enough from the boiling process, so it will be safe to eat without further cooking.

The table should have crackers and bread so guests can make their sandwiches.

13. Russian Pryaniki

Pryaniki is a gingerbread type typically shaped like a pretzel or a small, flat bread. The dough is made from all-purpose flour, sugar, yeast, eggs, and butter. 

There are two types of pryaniki: those with sour cream and those without. They are often garnished with candied fruits or nuts.

Pryaniki is traditionally served as a dessert on Christmas Eve and at New Year’s Eve celebrations in Russia.

14. Aromatic Spice-Rubbed Pork Roast Stuffed with Herbs and Garlic

Celebrating the holidays with family and friends is a wonderful tradition that goes back centuries in Russia. For many, this means exchanging gifts and preparing festive dishes to share.

One of the most popular dishes to make during this time was aromatic spice-rubbed pork roast stuffed with herbs and garlic.

Depending on your daily needs, this dish can be made as a main course or appetizer. It’s easy to put together and makes for a delicious meal with everyone asking for seconds!

15. Olivier Potato Salad

The Olivier Potato Salad is a popular dish in Russia and Eastern Europe. It’s potatoes and carrots in a mayonnaise dressing, with a little sugar sprinkled on top.

It may sound like something you’d typically find at any ol’ picnic. Still, the Olivier Potato Salad is eaten as an appetizer or dessert during the Russian Christmas Eve Supper (Вечеринка в стиле Рождество).

The most common recipe calls for potatoes, carrots, onion, mayonnaise, sugar, and salt to taste. This comes last on our list of Russian Christmas desserts.


For Russians, the New Year and Christmas holidays are an opportunity to gather with family and friends and enjoy delicious Russian Christmas desserts.

Most of the desserts on this list are typical of Russian Christmas dessert celebrations, but some may also be found in kitchens throughout the year. 

Each recipe provides step-by-step instructions and photographs to help you create this authentic taste of Russia right in your own home. Happy cooking!

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