Romanian Food: Cozonac

Romanian food - Cozonac
Famous Romanian food: Cozonac

Jump to delicious Romanian cozonac recipe!

What is the Romanian dish Cozonac?

Cozonac, a beloved sweet bread in Romania, is a staple at festive celebrations such as Christmas and Easter. This treat is not just any ordinary loaf of bread, but a luxurious cake, baked to perfection with a blend of ingredients that tantalize the senses: rich and creamy flour, sweet and golden sugar, the warmth of milk, the depth of cocoa, the richness of eggs, the crunch of nuts, and the sweetness of plump raisins.

In Bulgaria, the same dish goes by the name of kozunak, and is reserved for the most special of occasions, Easter. As the aroma of the cozonac wafts from the oven, it is impossible to resist its seductive scent. However, traditionalists believe that the true test of patience is waiting for the cozonac to fully cool before indulging in its sweet, soft crumb. The perfect complement to a slice of cozonac is a warm, comforting drink, such as coffee, tea, or milk, to soothe the soul and provide the perfect finishing touch to this irresistible Romanian delight.

What are the origins and history of the Romanian dish Cozonac?

Cozonac is a traditional Romanian sweet bread with a long and rich history dating back to ancient times. It is believed that cozonac was first made by the ancient Romans, who used honey to sweeten the bread. Over time, the recipe evolved and was passed down from generation to generation, becoming a staple in Romanian cuisine.

The bread became particularly popular during special occasions such as Christmas and Easter, where it was served as a symbol of abundance and prosperity. Today, cozonac is still a beloved treat in Romania and is enjoyed by families during holidays and special events.

The recipe for cozonac has also been adapted in other countries, such as Bulgaria, where it is known as kozunak. Despite variations in the recipe and preparation, cozonac remains a beloved traditional dish that is deeply rooted in Romanian culture and history.

What are some dishes from other countries that are similar to the Romanian dish Cozonac?

There are many dishes from other countries that are similar to the Romanian dish “Cozonac”. Some of the most similar dishes include:

  • Babka from Poland: a sweet bread made with a similar yeast-based dough as cozonac, and often filled with chocolate, nuts, or dried fruit.
  • Panettone from Italy: a tall, dome-shaped sweet bread that is traditionally served during the Christmas season. It is often filled with dried fruit, nuts, and candied orange peel.
  • Tsoureki from Greece: a sweet bread made with a mixture of flour, eggs, sugar, and butter, and sometimes flavored with mahlab, a spice made from ground cherry pits.
  • Challah from Jewish cuisine: a soft and slightly sweet bread that is typically braided and served on special occasions such as holidays and Shabbat.
    Stollen from Germany: a traditional Christmas bread made with a mixture of flour, butter, sugar, and dried fruit, and often dusted with powdered sugar.

These dishes are similar to cozonac in that they are all sweet breads made with a yeast-based dough, and often filled with sweet ingredients such as dried fruit and nuts.

Vegetarian & Vegan options

Is the Romanian dish Cozonac vegetarian? If not, can it be made vegetarian?

Yes, Cozonac is vegetarian as it contains no meat.

Is the Romanian dish Cozonac vegan? If not, can it be made vegan?

The traditional Romanian dish “Cozonac” typically contains eggs, which makes it non-vegan. However, it is possible to make a vegan version of cozonac by using a substitute for the eggs, such as flax or chia seeds, tofu, or applesauce.

To make a vegan cozonac, you can simply replace the eggs with one of these substitutes, and follow the rest of the recipe as usual. The resulting bread will be just as delicious and flavorful, and can be enjoyed by vegans and vegetarians alike. It is worth noting that some of the substitutes may alter the texture and flavor slightly, so you may need to experiment a bit to find the best one for your taste preferences.

Traditional Romanian Cozonac Recipe

Cozonac is a traditional Romanian sweet bread that is typically served during special occasions such as holidays and celebrations. This recipe is a delicious and soft bread filled with walnuts and raisins.

Cook time: 45 minutes
Preparation time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 package of active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 cup of warm milk
  • 1/4 cup of melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of raisins


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups of flour, sugar, and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk and let it sit for about 5 minutes until it starts to foam.
  3. Pour the yeast mixture into the bowl with the flour mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Add melted butter, eggs, and vanilla extract to the bowl and mix until a dough forms.
  5. Slowly add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour to the dough while kneading it on a floured surface.
  6. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
  7. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  8. On a floured surface, roll the dough out into a rectangle. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts and raisins evenly on top of the dough.
  9. Roll the dough up into a loaf, tucking the ends under.
  10. Place the loaf into a greased baking pan and let it rise for another 30 minutes.
  11. Bake the Cozonac in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  12. Let the Cozonac cool before slicing and serving.

Nutritional information (per serving):

  • Calories: 422
  • Fat: 18g
  • Carbohydrates: 60g
  • Protein: 8g
  • Sodium: 226mg

Enjoy this delicious and traditional Romanian treat!

More Cozonac Recipes (in the Romanian language)

Cozonac pufos reteta simpla cu rahat si nuca - cozonaci traditionali savori urbane

Cozonac pufos reteta simpla cu rahat si nuca – cozonaci traditionali

Cozonac cu smantana si umplutura de nuca

cozonaci pufoși cu nucă

Cozonaci pufoși cu nucă – rețetă tradițională

Cozonac FAQs:

  1. What is Cozonac? Cozonac is a traditional Romanian sweet bread made with a yeast dough that is usually filled with walnuts, cocoa powder, or sweet cheese.
  2. What is the origin of Cozonac? Cozonac is a traditional Romanian food with roots in the country’s rural, agricultural history. It is typically served on special occasions and holidays, such as Christmas and Easter.
  3. What are the main ingredients used to make Cozonac? The main ingredients used to make Cozonac include yeast dough, sugar, eggs, milk, and either walnuts, cocoa powder, or sweet cheese filling. Some recipes may also include rum or brandy.
  4. How is Cozonac typically served? Cozonac is typically served as a dessert, either on its own or with a cup of coffee or tea. It can also be enjoyed as a snack at any time of the day.
  5. Can Cozonac be made gluten-free or vegan? Yes, Cozonac can be made gluten-free by using gluten-free flour or made vegan by using plant-based ingredients such as vegan cream cheese, plant-based milk, and egg substitutes. However, this may change the taste and texture of the traditional Cozonac.

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