The nasty sub-zero temperature is approaching, and we hope that with it comes the snow, and wintertime will bring hot drinks and cosy, homely cakes and desserts. Of course, bejgli (poppy seed or walnut rolls) is a must-have, especially around Christmas, but we also have some sensational delicacies, from aranygaluska (balls of yeast dough and vanilla sauce) to flódni and Dampfnudel (’steamed dumplings’), that are perfect accompaniments to the winter months. The Budapest selection is pretty decent, so check out our tips!
Auguszt Cukrászda Belváros
We have to start our list with the bejgli, because it is an essential (and probably the most delicious) part of Christmastime in Hungary. Shaped as a roll, this sweet pastry traditionally has a dense filling of poppy seeds or walnuts. Most families eat bejgli all throughout the Christmas season, but it’s such a beloved dessert that at legendary Auguszt Confectionery you can order a slice all year round.
Erdős és fiai Cukrászda
In summertime, the main attraction of the Erdős family patisserie in Kelenföld is their endless ice cream selection, and in winter, they're popular for their Winter Wonderland window and the variety of sweets tuned for the cold weather. They make delicious winter ice creams in chocolate and pistachio varieties, but before Christmas, you can also purchase special gingerbreads made with a wooden mould.
Arán Bakery - Pest
There's not a dessert in Arán Bakery that you won't gobble up in no time, but you should know that in addition to their cinnamon rolls, Basque cheesecake and brownies, they also offer seasonal pastries. These include their heavenly flódni (a stuffed dessert of the Ashkenazic Jewish cuisine) or the mini mince pies, beloved in the island nation, which are crumbly, spicy and definitely evoke winter days.
FELIX Kitchen & Bar
Since its opening in 2019, there have been many changes and developments around FELIX Kitchen&Bar, but one thing remained: the beautiful and equally delicious aranygaluska (a traditional Hungarian dessert consisting of balls of yeast dough and vanilla sauce) for 2-3 people. Pecans, icing sugar, vanilla sauce and salted caramel ice cream crown the soft, flaky pastry. Their mákos guba (a sweet poppy seed-based bread dessert) is served in gigantic portions, also for 2-3 people, and is almost as popular as the Galushka.
Első Pesti Rétesház (First Strudel House of Pest)
Let's see what kinds of strudel are offered at the Strudel House: apple, curd, sour cherry, apricot, plum, poppy seed, raspberry-curd, sour cherry-curd, apricot-curd, apple-poppy seed, sour cherry-poppy seed and the ever-divisive cabbage. We believe the best way to make strudel is to emphasise the filling and leave the dough thin and crispy in the right places – which is exactly how they make it at the Strudel House.
Normafa Ski House
The Normafa Ski House makes even the coldest weather a lovely opportunity to spend an afternoon at the summit. Of course, the best thing to do in the cold snowy weather is to relax in a chalet, surrounded by all the delicacies: their kürtőskalács ('chimney cake': a sweet split cake with sugar and/or cinnamon dusting) is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, and they also offer strudel. The sweet winter snacks are accompanied by mulled wine, rum punch and Tubi hot tea to warm you up. The ski house is currently closed for renovations, but you can get all the delicacies at the surrounding stalls.
In the first quarter of the year, a place specifically focusing on Kaiserschmarrn (‘Emperor’s Mess’: a lightly sweetened dough named after emperor Franz Joseph I) was opened in Újuda, where there is no room for disagreement, as you can order both the minced, crumbly version just like the Austrian pancake-like schmarrn. Raisins or no raisins, with jam, applesauce, thick powdered sugar coating, sometimes sugar and gluten free – no matter how, we recommend it.
Their signature pastry, kuglóf (similar to Bundt cake, traditionally baked in a distinctive ring pan) is of course available all year round in Kuglóf, in miniature and larger versions. With the holidays approaching, pre-ordering the family kuglóf is a big highlight, but you can also pop in at any time to spread it with Belgian chocolate cream, salted caramel or apricot jam and rinse it with some cocoa.