Gerbeaud slice photo by Mérida Hideaway
Gerbeaud slice photo by Mérida Hideaway

Hungarian Sweets and Pastries

Kürtőskalács – Chimney Cake

Chimney Cake at Christmas Market Budapest
Chimney Cake at Christmas Market Budapest

Chimney cake is the sweet rock and roll pastry for Hungarians. Pretzel for the salty, Chimney cake for the sweet. A walking snack, and a sight to behold as it is made in front of your eyes (and nose!). Read more about the tasty Chimney Cake here.


The cake was created by József C. Dobos confectioner in the end of the 1800 s and it is still popular along Hungary. Read the story of Dobos Torte here.

Gerbeaud Slice (Hungarian Zserbó)

Gerbeaud slice is probably one of the tastiest Hungarian celebration sweets in Hungary, it is made by families for Christmas and birthdays. Try the walnutty and fruity temptation while you are n Budapest! Read more about Zserbó here.


Krémes is crispy and soft at the same time. The vanilla flavoured dream can be found in almost every confectionery in Hungary. For more details about Kremes click here.

Rigó Jancsi

Rigó Jancsi is a chocolate sponge cake filled with chocolate and cream and perfected with apricot jam. The cake has a romantic story which can be found here.

Esterházy Cake

Esterhazy Cake photo by IKs World Trip
Esterhazy Cake photo by IKs World Trip

Esterházy cake is a beloved cake and one of the best-known classical Hungarian cake in the Hungarian gastronomy.  The cake is named after Prince Paul III Anton Esterházy de Galántha (1786–1866), a member of the Esterházy dynasty and diplomat of the Austrian Empire. Find more details about Esterházy Cake here.

Rákóczi Túrós – „Curd Cheese Square Rákóczi style”

Baked cheesecake-like slice, it has been created and named after by Rákóczi János in 1958 and not after the famous nobleman Rákóczi Ferenc.

It can be found in almost every pastry shop in Hungary, but the homemade versions are much better. The base is a thin paté sucré crust, followed by a layer of sweet curd cheese filling and apricot jam. It is covered with soft meringue pieces.

Somlói Galuska – Hungarian Trifle Somlo style or Sponge cake Somlo style

Somlói Galuska photo by DurhamDundee
Somlói Galuska photo by DurhamDundee

Somlói Galuska is Hungary’s number one cake according to surveys. If you want to know why chick here.

Gesztenyepüré – Chestnut Purée

Hungary has plenty of sweet chestnuts and they are a popular and versatile ingredient of Hungarian cuisine. Sweet chestnuts are seasonal fruits and eaten mainly in the winter.

The cooked chestnut puree is ideal for cakes and pastries but it makes a great sweet treat with whipped cream. It is usually flavored with rum and sugar, pressed through a potato-press and served in bowls with whipped cream and sour cherries.

Mákos Guba – Poppy Seed Bread Pudding

Mákos Guba - photo by DurhamDundee
Mákos Guba – photo by DurhamDundee

Mákos Guba (pronounced mah kosh goo-bah) is a poppy seed and vanilla dream made from Kifli which is a banana shaped bread dough pastry. Get to know the unique Mákos Guba here.


Arany Galuska – Hungarian Golden Dumpling

Aranygaluska is a rich yeast-raised Hungarian dessert with walnuts and vanilla sauce. The yeast-raised dumplings are dipped in melted butter then covered with grounded walnuts and baked in the oven. Once it is ready it can be served with vanilla custard.

Nancy Reagan popularized this dish in the United States when she served it at the White House for Christmas.

Vargabéles – Hungarian sweet noodle cake with curd cheese

The origin is of Vargabeles is not fully confirmed, but most probably it was created in the Darvas Family Restaurant in Kolozsvar (Cluj, Romania) by Mrs Darvas. The Darvas Restaurant was well-known the 1940s, when Kolozsvar still belonged to Hungary. They have transported Vargabeles to Budapest every day with an airplane to offer it the best confectioneries. After the war, the restaurant could not survive, and the family emigrated to America. The family never published the original recipe.

This cake has a special feature: cooked thin egg noodles. Once the noodles are cooked they are mixed with curd cheese, sour cream, eggs, butter, and raisins. The mixture is filled into filo pastries and baked in the oven. Served with sprinkled icing sugar on the top.

Szaloncukor – the Hungarian Christmas Fondant

There is no Christmas without Szaloncukor in Hungary. The individually wrapped bonbon like sweets are available in various flavours and colours, so they can match the decoration of the Chrismas Tree. They make perfect souvenirs if you are visiting Hungary in the winter time. Read more about Szaloncukor here.

Beigli – Poppy Seed or Walnut Roll

Beigli is a traditional Chrismas cake in Hungary and it is available in almost every bakery and supermarkets before Christmas. Read more about Beigli here.

Rétes – Strudel

Rétes is a popular pasty which can be filled with countless yummy filling such as sour cherries, poppy seeds or these two combined, apples, quark and we can find savoury rétes varieties too. Get to know Rétes here.

Flodni – Traditional Hungarian/ Jewish Cake

Flodni - photo by WordRidden
Flodni – photo by WordRidden

Apple, Walnut and Poppy seed slice with apricot and plum jam. This cake has 4 layers of different fillings, Plum Jam, Chocolate Walnut, Apple and Poppy Seed with Apricots. All the layers are tasty, but together they create a delicious result.

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  1. Hi I am English/Hungarian – with no knowledge of the language. I am trying to find a pastry from my youth but don’t know how to spell it in Hungarian, I can only pronounce them phonetically in English. They are: Marcostaster and Diosh-taster. Can anyone help me find the Hungarian spelling please? Thanks Adam Koronka

    • Budapest Market Hall

      Dear Adam,
      They are called Makos teszta and Dios teszta (poppy seed pasta and walnut pasta) and are basically fresh egg noodles with ground poppy seed and icing sugar or ground walnut and icing sugar two of the most traditional Hungarian sweet pastas.
      I hope I could help.

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