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Apr 16, 2020

Kürtőskalács | Hungarian Chimney Cakes

Kürtőskalács, also known as chimney cakes, are a fun treat to make. They are delicious straight from the oven.

Kürtőskalács | Hungarian Chimney Cakes

The dough for these Kürtőskalács is pretty easy to make, and super easy to handle. It's an enriched yeasted dough, with milk, butter, and an egg, and it comes together very quickly.

This recipe was developed from various sources on the internet by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen. She reports that Kürtőskalács are known to be Hungary’s oldest pastry. According to Aparna, "Kürtős refers a stovepipe/ chimney referring to the shape of the pastry."

"Kalács means sweet pastry. These Chimney Cakes are more specific to Transylvania in Hungary and Szeklerland, the Hungarian-speaking region of Romania. They’re also known as Cozonac Secuiesc in Romania."

Kürtőskalács, also known as chimney cakes

The dough for these Kürtőskalács is very elastic. After the first rise, you roll it out and cut it into strips. Then you wrap each strip around a round mold (traditionally a wooden dowel), brush it with melted butter, and roll the dough in granulated sugar. Historically, the dough encased dowels were turned and slow roasted over charcoal.

Once they are baked, you can immediately enjoy them. In fact, they are a favorite street food in Hungary according to Aparna.

Kürtőskalács, known as chimney cakes

I didn't have any wooden dowels to shape these chimney cakes, and I wasn't willing to experiment with my beloved rolling pins, so I decided to use 12 ounce soda cans wrapped in foil to shape these.

Soda cans are probably too fat for authentic Kürtőskalács, but they are what I had. You definitely could buy sodas in narrower cans (such as Red Bull or those 8 ounce colas) to achieve a more authentic shape.

Kürtőskalács, also known as funnel cakes

While you could probably use clean soda cans without the foil to bake these chimney cakes, the foil makes it much easier to remove the Kürtőskalács without breaking them up. First, the dough does rise while baking, and tightens around the soda can.

You can slide the cans out of the foil by opening one end and pushing the other end to remove the can, and then collapse the foil to get the intact coiled bread.

Kürtőskalács Cakes

I tried to make a cinnamon sugar with sparkling sugar and cinnamon for coating these Kürtőskalács. I'm pretty sure that granulated sugar would work better because the cinnamon didn't quite mix with the sparkling sugar. Thus the patchy spots of cinnamon.

Regardless, these were delicious straight from the oven.

You can serve these filled with whipped cream if you want to get fancy, but they are fabulous on their own straight from the oven. They are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Hungarian Chimney Cakes

I wish I had photos for you of the wrapped soda cans but I totally waited until the last minute to attempt these! I made these in between Zoom calls while working from home. The dough takes about 5 minutes to mix. Next, you let it rise for 1 to 2 hours, until doubled.

I had a few minutes to roll out the dough and wrap it around the soda cans and place the baking sheet in the oven before my next conference call. I set the timer and my dear husband removed them from the oven and placed the baking sheet on a wire rack while I was on the call.


These Kürtőskalács were totally delicious straight from the oven. One traditional way to serve them is filled with whipped cream, which sounds delicious.

This recipe is this month's Bread Baking Babes bake! Be sure to check out Aparna's post for more information about baking along. After the recipe, be sure to check out all of the Babes' bakes.

Kürtőskalács, also known as chimney cakes, are a fun treat to make. They are delicious straight from the oven.

Kürtőskalács (Hungarian Chimney Cakes)

Kürtőskalács (Hungarian Chimney Cakes)
Yield: 16 servings
Kürtőskalács, also known as chimney cakes, are a fun treat to make. They are delicious straight from the oven.


  • 350 grams (2 3/4 cups) all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 70 grams melted butter
  • 3/4 to 1 cup lukewarm milk (I used 3/4 cup)
  • Butter for brushing the dough
  • Sparkling sugar or cinnamon sugar


How to cook Kürtőskalács (Hungarian Chimney Cakes)

  1. Knead the flour, yeast, egg, salt, butter, and 1/2 cup of the milk until thoroughly mixed. Add more milk as needed. I ended up using 3/4 cup of milk. 
  2. Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, 1 to 2 hours. 
  3. Wrap 8 soda/beer cans with foil and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  4. Roll the dough out into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle and cut it into 1/2 inch wide strips. 
  5. Wrap the strips around the soda cans, stretching the dough as you go. Brush them with melted butter, and roll them in a cinnamon sugar mixture. 
  6. Place the coated cans on their sides on the parchment lined baking sheet. 
  7. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes. 
  8. Let cool on the pan. 
  9. Slide the cans out from the foil, and then remove the foil. 
  10. Serve immediately. 
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bread, Kürtőskalács

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The rest of the Babes' Chimney Cakes

Would you like to comment?

  1. Love that you did these between conference calls! I like the look of the sparkling sugar, my youngest liked plain sugar, so I might try that for extra crunch on hers if I can find some. Definitely making again. So glad you decided to do it!

    1. Thanks Kelly. Yours are so fluffy! I love that you got the special molds.

  2. Gorgeous photos as always! The sparkling sugar does look nice. I really like the way the strips turned out when using soda cans for the molds, but I thought it was easier to roll the dough into ropes.

  3. Looking at yours and some others I'm pretty ok with all the shapes and sizes. They all work and certainly are a treat. I like the look of the sparkling sugar and darker cinnamon!

  4. AMAZING!!!! Never heard of them, I am so mesmerized!!!!!!

    great post, Karen!

  5. Whipped cream would spoil the lovely cinnamon / bread flavors.... Perfect as is!

  6. I am so envious of the sugar crystals on your chimney cakes! Beautifully done.

  7. Your Chimney Cakes are beautiful Karen. It's quite an effort to bake them in between calls. Yes, I think the slimmer cans might be closer to the proper size, but that doesn't really matter. :)

  8. My boyfriend is Hungarian, and he dearly misses eating these. Im so glad i was able to find a recipe for them to give him a little taste of home!


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