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Polish Potato Babka Recipe [Babka Ziemniaczana]

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Slices of babka ziemniaczana in brown trays.

The hearty Polish potato babka flavored with smoked bacon and fried onions is a centuries-old household dish. Made with grated potatoes, it’s also gluten-free and really delicious!

Polish Potato Babka

The Polish potato babka recipe is a very popular dish in Poland and other Eastern European countries. It originated somewhere in the 17th-century in Podlasie. The Polish babka recipe may have been influenced by Jewish or Belarusian cuisine, where it’s also a traditional dish. 

The babka ziemniaczana recipe makes use of earthy potatoes to create a moist and rich cake with pork cracklings or fried bacon and onions. 

In fact, the potato cake is so popular, that every year in summer there’s a potato cake competition in Supraśl, Poland in the Podlaskie Voivodeship.  

What Is The Difference Between Babka and Babka Ziemniaczana?

Babka is a sweet Polish bread or cake made with the addition of potato flour as well as filling of cheese, chocolate, or fruit. Babka Ziemniaczana on the other hand is a potato bread made using grated fresh potatoes with other savory ingredients.

How To Make Polish Potato Babka

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Dice and fry the bacon alone at first, and then along with 2 diced onions. Stop frying when the onions are golden brown.

Grate the potatoes and squeeze out the extra water. Dice the last onion and mix it with the potatoes. Mix the grated potatoes, fried bacon and onions, and the remaining ingredients together.

Sprinkle two small bread pans or one large bread pan with oil and bread crumbs. Bake for an hour or a little longer if needed. Serve warm!

Polish babka ziemniaczana baking in an oven.
Bake the babka ziemniaczana for 1 hour or longer
babka ziemniaczana left to cool.
The babka ziemniaczana fresh out of the oven!
Babka ziemniaczana with basil and milk.
Serving Suggestion: Serve the babka ziemniaczana with milk

Tips For This Babka Ziemniaczana Recipe

  • Drain the grated potatoes well so that the potato bread doesn’t become mushy. 
  • This recipe is gluten-free if you use gluten-free breadcrumbs!
  • The babka ziemniaczana is traditionally served with cold milk. 
  • You can also serve with a salad, Polish mushroom sauce, or sour cream. 
  • Serve as a side dish with meat stews.
  • If serving for a dinner at home, you can also use small individual dishes.
  • Serve hot or cold with fresh basil or celery leaves!
Polish fried bacon and onion potato bread.
Polish potato bread with fried bacon and onion is perfect for cold days!

Polish Potato Babka Recipe: FAQs

How To Pronounce Babka Ziemniaczana​?

Babka Ziemniaczana is pronounced bab-kaah zyem-nya-chah-nah. 

What Are The Other Names For Babka Ziemniaczana?

In different parts of Poland, the potato bread is also called kartoflak, Lwowa bulbunek, bugaj, pyrczok, parepac, rejbak, kajzer, or kugiel i pochodzący.

Which Potatoes Should I Use To Make Babka Ziemniaczana?

The best potatoes to use for this Polish Potato Babka Recipe are Yukon Gold, Russet, Maris Piper, or Gustaw potatoes.

Can I Replace The Smoked Bacon With Anything Else?

You can replace the smoked bacon with any other bacon of your choice. You could also use fried kielbasa sausages or ham. Some versions of babka also include zucchini or mushrooms. 

Can I Use The Food Processor Instead Of The Grater?

You can, but the consistency of the cake will change. It’s best to grate it!

Can I Store Leftover Polish Babka?

Yes, you can store leftover Polish babka in the refrigerator covered with a cling film or a lid. Consume within 4 to 5 days. It’s best not to freeze it!

How To Reheat Babka Ziemniaczana?

Polish Babka Ziemniaczana can be reheated in a frying pan or microwave oven. Add some lard for flavor while reheating!

Polish Potato Babka Recipe [Babka Ziemniaczana]

Yield: 4

Polish Potato Babka Recipe (Babka Ziemniaczana)

Three plates of food on a table next to a cup of milk, including a Polish potato babka recipe.

The hearty Polish potato babka flavored with smoked bacon and fried onions is a centuries-old household dish. Made with grated potatoes, this potato bread/cake is also gluten-free and really delicious!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes


  • 3 lbs (1.4kg) of potatoes
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsps of potato starch
  • 3 onions
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • ½ tsp of black pepper
  • 9 oz (250g) of smoked bacon
  • oil, gluten-free breadcrumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Dice the bacon, then start frying it.
  3. Peel the onions. Dice 2 of them, then add them to the bacon. Fry until they change color to golden brownish.
  4. Dice the 3rd onion.
  5. Peel and grate the potatoes.
  6. Squeeze them out to remove the excess water.
  7. Add the third diced onion to grated potatoes.
  8. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix.
  9. Oil the bread pan(s) then sprinkle them with breadcrumbs.
  10. Place your babka(s) in the pans and bake for 60-70 minutes.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 418Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 165mgSodium: 1142mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 5gSugar: 6gProtein: 19g

These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix

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