Albanian Cracknel with Sesame Recipe - Traditional Treat from Albania

Albanian Cracknel with Sesame

Albanian Cracknel with Sesame Recipe - Traditional Treat from Albania
Region / culture: Albania | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 20 minutes | Servings: 20


Albanian Cracknel with Sesame
Albanian Cracknel with Sesame

Albanian Cracknel with Sesame is a delightful and traditional pastry that has been enjoyed in Albania and surrounding regions for generations. Known for its crispy texture and the nutty flavor of sesame seeds, this recipe offers a unique taste experience. It is perfect for those who appreciate the art of baking and are looking to explore the rich culinary traditions of the Balkans. This guide will take you through the history of the recipe, provide cooking tips and tricks, and delve into the nutritional information, ensuring you have all you need to create this delicious treat.


The origins of Albanian Cracknel with Sesame can be traced back to the Ottoman Empire, which had a profound influence on the culinary traditions of the region. Over the years, this recipe has been passed down through generations, with each adding their own touch to the classic pastry. It is a staple in Albanian households, especially during celebrations and festive occasions. The use of sesame seeds is a testament to the Middle Eastern influences that have shaped Albanian cuisine.


How to prepare

  1. Melt the butter or pork fat and combine with the sugar. Add the previously beaten eggs, baking soda, and lemon juice.
  2. Mix everything well, then add flour to obtain a dough with medium consistency.
  3. Spread the dough to a thickness of 1 cm (less than half an inch).
  4. Use a cup to cut out circular pieces of cracknel.
  5. Dip the pieces of cracknel in milk, sprinkle sesame seeds on them, and place them on a baking pan.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven.
  7. Cracknels with sesame retain their freshness for a long time.


  • For a twist on the traditional recipe, consider adding a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg to the dough for a spiced flavor. Alternatively, dip the baked cracknels in melted chocolate for a decadent finish.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your Albanian Cracknel with Sesame turns out perfectly, consider the following tips:

- Use room temperature butter for a smoother dough.

- When adding flour, do so gradually to avoid making the dough too stiff.

- Dip the cut-out cracknel pieces in milk gently to avoid them getting too soggy.

- Toast the sesame seeds lightly before sprinkling them on the cracknel for an enhanced flavor.

- Keep an eye on the oven as these pastries can go from perfectly golden to overdone quite quickly.

Serving Suggestions

These cracknels are best served with a hot cup of tea or coffee. They can also be a delightful addition to a festive table or a sweet treat to enjoy with family and friends.

Cooking Techniques

The key to perfect cracknels is in the dough consistency and baking technique. Ensure the dough is not too stiff and bake until just golden for the best texture.

Ingredient Substitutions

For a dairy-free version, substitute the butter with a plant-based alternative. If you're looking to reduce the sugar content, consider using a sugar substitute that is suitable for baking.

Make Ahead Tips

The dough for Albanian Cracknel with Sesame can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, allowing you to bake fresh cracknels as needed.

Presentation Ideas

Serve these cracknels on a beautiful platter, garnished with extra sesame seeds and a dusting of powdered sugar for an elegant presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair these cracknels with a sweet dessert wine or a strong espresso to balance the sweetness of the pastries.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store the baked cracknels in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. They can be enjoyed at room temperature or briefly warmed in the oven before serving.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Albanian Cracknel with Sesame contains approximately 250 calories. This makes it a relatively high-energy snack, ideal for enjoying in moderation.


Each serving of Albanian Cracknel with Sesame contains approximately 30 grams of carbohydrates. The primary source of these carbohydrates is the flour and sugar used in the recipe. Carbohydrates are essential for energy, so these cracknels can provide a quick boost.


The butter and eggs in the recipe contribute to the fat content, with each serving containing about 15 grams of fat. While fats are an essential part of a balanced diet, moderation is key, especially with saturated fats.


Albanian Cracknel with Sesame offers around 5 grams of protein per serving, mainly from the eggs and sesame seeds. Protein is crucial for muscle repair and growth.

Vitamins and minerals

Sesame seeds are a good source of various vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and zinc. These nutrients contribute to bone health, immune function, and overall well-being.


This recipe contains common allergens such as eggs, gluten (from flour), and dairy (from butter). Those with allergies or intolerances should take caution.


Albanian Cracknel with Sesame is a delicious treat that offers a mix of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, along with essential vitamins and minerals from sesame seeds. However, due to its calorie and allergen content, it should be enjoyed in moderation.


Albanian Cracknel with Sesame is a traditional pastry that offers a delightful combination of flavors and textures. With its rich history and nutritional benefits, it's a wonderful recipe to explore and enjoy. Whether you're a seasoned baker or new to the kitchen, this guide provides all the information you need to create these delicious treats.

How did I get this recipe?

I have a clear recollection of the first time I saw the recipe for Albanian Cracknel with Sesame. It was a warm summer day, and I was visiting my friend Sofia in her cozy kitchen. Sofia was a wonderful cook, and she had a knack for creating delicious dishes that always left me wanting more.

As I sat at her kitchen table, sipping on a cup of hot tea, Sofia pulled out an old recipe book from a dusty shelf. She flipped through the pages until she landed on a yellowed piece of paper with faded handwriting. "This is a recipe that has been passed down through generations in my family," she said with a smile.

Intrigued, I leaned in closer to get a better look at the recipe. The ingredients were simple - flour, sugar, sesame seeds, and a few other pantry staples. But it was the method of preparation that caught my attention. Sofia explained that the key to making the perfect Albanian Cracknel with Sesame was in the technique of rolling out the dough and shaping it into small, bite-sized pieces.

With Sofia's guidance, I watched as she mixed the ingredients together, kneading the dough until it was smooth and elastic. She then rolled out the dough into a thin sheet and cut it into small squares. Using her fingers, she pinched the edges of each square to create a crimped design before sprinkling them with sesame seeds.

As the cracknels baked in the oven, a tantalizing aroma filled the kitchen, and I couldn't wait to taste the finished product. When the cracknels emerged golden brown and crispy, I eagerly popped one into my mouth. The combination of the nutty sesame seeds and the sweet, crunchy dough was pure perfection.

From that moment on, I knew that I had to learn how to make Albanian Cracknel with Sesame for myself. Sofia graciously shared her recipe with me, and I made it a point to practice making the cracknels every chance I got.

Over the years, I have made Albanian Cracknel with Sesame for countless family gatherings, potlucks, and celebrations. Each time I serve these delectable treats, they are met with rave reviews and requests for the recipe.

As I continued to perfect my technique, I began to put my own spin on the recipe, experimenting with different types of flour, adding a touch of cinnamon or honey for extra flavor, or even drizzling them with chocolate for a decadent twist.

But no matter how I tweak the recipe, the memories of that day in Sofia's kitchen always come flooding back. The warmth of her smile, the comforting aroma of baking cracknels, and the joy of sharing a delicious treat with loved ones - these are the things that truly make the recipe for Albanian Cracknel with Sesame special to me.

And so, as I sit at my own kitchen table, passing on this treasured recipe to my grandchildren, I can't help but feel grateful for the friendships, experiences, and shared moments that have enriched my life through the love of cooking. For me, Albanian Cracknel with Sesame is more than just a recipe - it is a reminder of the bonds that we create through food and the joy that comes from sharing a delicious meal with those we hold dear.


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