Hungarian kürtőskalács is on a roll. Originally the star attraction of winter festivals, this cylindrical treat is now available at several Budapest locations year-round. Rendered in English as ‘chimney cake’, kürtőskalács is offered in almost as many variations as venues across the city. From pleasantly warm kürtőskalács pastry filled with ice cream to savory doughs topped with sausage, this iconic specialty has been enjoying a creative renaissance. You can find classic and contemporary kürtőskalács at Budapest’s many Christmas fairs, where the aroma of this traditional treat wafts through the air as it’s baked over scarlet embers.
Whether you fancy enjoying chimney cake as a dessert or have one as a full meal, Hoppácska is the ideal choice. The traditional treat at this Ráday Street eatery is reinvented and comes cut as a sandwich laden with unconventional toppings, including sweet creams and savory delicacies. The evolution of this fascinating food here seems unstoppable with no two days featuring the same line of chimney cakes on offer. The menu has featured the rolled pastry filled with Hungarian sausage, spicy meatballs and liver pâté, all served on salted dough, while the sugar-dusted variation comes with sweet spreads, such as chocolate or strawberry cream.
Address: Budapest 1092, Ráday utca 33
Found on Andrássy Avenue, just a few minutes’ walk from Oktogon towards Heroes’ Square, a small shop sells all sorts of customized kürtőskalács cakes created according to each customer’s individual cravings. The hollow delicacy comes in cone-shaped form and you can buy them stuffed with fresh fillings, including pleasantly sweet whipped cream, Nutella, fruit, candy-bar chunks, ice cream and even gingerbread during the festive season. Once your kürtőskalács cake gets loaded, you can sprinkle the creation with shaved chocolate and top it off with caramel sauce. Street Cakes closes after December 22nd for Christmas, reopening on January 2nd.
Address: Budapest 1062, Andrássy út 61
Kürtőskalács vendors at festivals
If you want to taste traditional chimney cakes and see how they are prepared according to age-old recipes, Budapest’s Christmas markets and festivals have it all, though the experience comes at a higher price than at a year-round eatery. Originating from the Transylvanian town of Székelyudvarhely, Vitéz Kürtős is a returning vendor at many of Budapest’s holiday-season bazaars – including at Vörösmarty tér and in front of St. Stephen’s Basilica – offering oversized kürtőskalács cakes baked over an open fire and coated with traditional cinnamon, freeze-dried blueberry or dried ginger. At the Vörösmarty Square Christmas Fair, Kató Néni sells kürtőskalács All Chocolate, laden with Nutella, chocolate sauce, Oreo, milk-chocolate mousse and whipped cream.
Flanking Budapest’s central Váci Street shopping lane, Molnár’s Kürtőskalács serves fine-quality heritage chimney cakes year-round. A mix of modern and traditional techniques are applied for preparing the treat, before the tastefully rolled dough gets transferred to a custom-built electric furnace. Once the scrumptious delicacy turns brown and crispy on the outside but still soft within, the freshly baked snack is then covered with your selected flavoring, including vanilla, cinnamon, walnut, almond, chocolate, coconut, cocoa or poppy seed. The shop doesn’t refrain from reinventing the treats and also offers standard chimney cakes filled with a scoop of ice cream.
Address: Budapest 1052, Váci utca 31