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Type Pastry
Course Dessert
Region or state Romania, Moldova, Ukraine
Main ingredients soft cheese or apples
Variations Placenta

Plăcintă[1] is a Romanian, Moldovan and Ukrainian traditional pastry resembling a thin, small round or square-shaped cake, usually filled with apples or a soft cheese such as Urdă.


The word plăcintă comes from Latin placenta, which means cake,[2] from the Greek plakount – "flat cake".[3]


A Greek plăcintă-maker in Bucharest in 1880

As shown by the etymology of the word, the plăcintă has its origins in Ancient Rome, and dates from when Romania was a part of the Roman Empire, see placenta cake.

Ancient Greek bakers made their bread with olive oil, herbs and cheese. The secret of making cakes was given to the Romans during the invasion. At first there were only two varieties of cakes, called the libum and the placenta. The libum was a small cake, used as an offering to the gods.[4] As for the placenta, the Romans developed the recipe as a cake made of fine flour covered with cheese, honey, and fragrant bay leaves.[5] Ancient Roman bakers customarily prepared a large placenta which was cut into squares to be offered for sale.[6] This is the way that Romanians continue to prepare their plăcintă.

Traditional varieties of plăcintă[edit]

Plăcintă with cheese and raisins
  • The plăcintă cu mere is a cake filled with apple.
  • The plăcintă cu brânză is a cake filled with sheep or cow cheese, such as telemea.
  • The plăcintă cu cartofi is a cake filled with potatoes.
  • The plăcintă cu urdă is a sweet cake filled with ricotta and dill, or raisins.
  • The plăcintă cu ciocolată is a cake filled with chocolate.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Definition of plăcintă" (in Romanian). DEX on line.
  2. ^ "Dictionnaire Gaffiot latin-français" (in French).
  3. ^ "Oxford Dictionaries".
  4. ^ "Istoria cozonacului" (in Romanian). Silvana Patrascanu.
  5. ^ "Mamma pizza" (in French). Le Monde.
  6. ^ "Description du numéro Arkéo junior n° 31" (in French).