Azerbaijani Pastries

Traditional Azerbaijani pastries typically consist of a shortbread or yeast dough stuffed with fillings of honey, fruits, nuts and spices.

Pakhlava, or baklava, is the most renowned Azerbaijani dessert, an all-time favorite served during large festivals such as Nowruz. Pakhlava is prepared with layers of thinly rolled wheat or rice dough mixed with honey and ground nuts. Azerbaijani pakhlava comes in many regional variations, but the most popular of all is the classic Baku pakhlava, with is sliced and served with a nut decorating the top of each piece.

Shekerbura is a crunchy, dumpling-like dessert of nuts, sugar and spices stuffed into a tender dough. Although every Shekerbura recipe is slightly different, this pastry distinguished by the intricate patterns used to decorate the outer crust, which are made with tiny tweezers called maggash. The dessert is commonly prepared for the Nowruz holiday.

Gogal are small, rounded buns consisting of a flaky puff pastry stuffed with various fillings. Shor-gogal has a salty filling of bread dough mixed with turmeric, black paper, salt and fennel seeds. Sweet shirin-gogal is stuffed with a mixture of sugar, butter, flour and nuts.

Guymag, or guymaq, is one of the more basic Azerbaijani recipes, a warm, simple pudding consisting of flour mixed with water, butter and cinnamon. The dessert is rich in calories and so is commonly served to women recovering from childbirth or to patients preparing for a serious medical treatment.

Sheker chorek is one of the most beloved Azerbaijani pastries, a sweet bread made from flour, butter, sugar, and vanilla. The ingredients are mixed together and formed into small buns. Each piece is then smeared with egg yolk and baked until slightly golden brown.

Mutaki cookies are formed from a sweet yeast dough filled with apricot jam or nuts mixed with sugar and spices. The soft and crumbly mutaki is sometimes decorated with icing sugar and has a distinct cylindrical shape.

Nogul are small candies made by pouring cilantro seeds and a bit of vinegar into a hot, sugary syrup. The final product resembles small lumpy droplets, which are often colored to make them even more appealing. Nogul is a favorite snack among Azerbaijani children.