These traditional Hungarian desserts will take your tastebuds on a trip to Hungary!
From jam-filled crepes to multi-layered cakes, Hungary has some of the most decadent desserts on the planet.
If you’re having a fun Hungarian-themed celebration, leave the dessert ideas to me!
The home of the dobos torte, a whopping seven-layer cake filled with rich chocolate buttercream, Hungary takes desserts very seriously.
Hungarian desserts are big on plums, jams, and poppy seeds. These unique ingredients create mouthwatering sweets guaranteed to be your newest favorites.
There is a wide array of stunning treats to choose from, so here’s a shortlist of the best of the best.
From buttery cookies to a nutty walnut torte to a fruity roulade, here are some of the most drool-worthy desserts Hungary has to offer.
1. Gerbeaud Cake (Traditional Hungarian Cake with Walnut and Almond Jam Filling)
Gerbeaud cake is a rich and moist cake with thick layers of jam and walnut filling and a dark melted chocolate frosting.
The cake layers are actually made of shortcrust pastry, which is wonderfully crispy and crumbly.
This phenomenal dessert was invented in the 18th century by a Swiss-born Hungarian confectioner named Emil Gerbaud.
The brilliant man is also to thank for several other popular Hungarian desserts, such as onyakos meggy (cognac sour cherry) and csokoládé drazsé (chocolate dragees).
It sounds complicated, but it’s very easy to make. The recipe makes a huge batch, but trust me, it won’t last long.
2. Hungarian Chestnut Cake
You won’t see many desserts flavored with chestnut in America, but it’s definitely a must-try.
Hungarian chestnut cake is quite complex to make, but it truly is worth it.
If you’ll notice, the recipe doesn’t include flour at all. That should tell you how seriously fudgy this cake is!
Plus, without the flour, the flavors of chestnuts, chocolate, butter, rum, will truly shine.
While the cake in itself is already amazing, it’s just not complete without the frosting. A ridiculously decadent chocolate glaze is poured all over the cake. Yum.
You’d think it ends there, but it doesn’t! Taking it even a step further are chocolate-coated candied chestnuts and a dollop of whipped cream. Mind-blowing goodness!
3. Hungarian Poppy Seed Bread Pudding
Poppy seeds are a typical ingredient across Central Europe that symbolizes fertility and wealth.
It is believed that they bring in fortune and money, which is why they’re typically served during Christmastime.
They’re added to pies, strudels, cakes, and in the case of this dessert, pudding.
Mákos guba is a sweet bread pudding made of a crescent roll called kifi. Poppy seeds add a lovely nuttiness and crunch.
4. Hungarian Chocolate Cake
Chocolate cake is beloved in Hungary just as much as it is in the US.
Hungarian chocolate cake is a decadent dessert that may just replace your favorite recipe.
Seriously, if you’re hearing about this cake for the first time, you’re in for a treat.
If you consider yourself a chocolate lover, stop whatever you’re doing and make this cake.
This chocolate is drenched in rum syrup, so it’s unbelievably moist! It’s also extra chocolatey thanks to the coffee.
The ganache is flavored not just with chocolate but with rum as well for a truly mind-blowing treat.
5. Hungarian Walnut Torte
This Hungarian walnut torte is an ultra-rich confection. It has four layers of soft and chewy walnut torte with a creamy chocolate pudding filling.
Wondering what the difference is between a cake and a torte?
Well, unlike a cake, a torte recipe contains little to no flour and relies more on ground nuts for structure. That way, it has a lot more texture and flavor.
6. Hungarian Chocolate Biscuits
If sandwich cookies are your jam, you’ll love this next one.
These biscuits are soft, buttery, and chocolatey. With a sweet buttercream frosting filling, these munchies are seriously addictive.
If you’re getting bored with the usual Oreo cookies, these biscuits are a must-try. Don’t worry, the ingredients are basic and the recipe is super simple.
7. Hungarian Baked Dessert Noodles (Rakott Teszta)
Baked dessert noodles are very unique! Once you give them a try, though, they’ll change your life.
Rakott metelt, meaning “layered noodles,” is a unique dessert made by baking egg noodles in a mixture of cottage cheese, sour cream, sugar, butter, eggs, and raisins.
Yes, it has a lot of different elements to it, but each of them tastes really great together!
Since it’s rich in carbs, this dessert can also be eaten for breakfast or brunch.
8. Kakaós Csiga (Hungarian Chocolate Rolls)
If you’re in the mood for dessert for breakfast, might I suggest a serving or two of kakaos csiga?
Hungarian chocolate rolls are worth waking up early in the morning for.
This Hungarian staple is a delectable pastry bursting with chocolate goodness.
This ubiquitous treat can be seen everywhere in Hungary, from the streets to supermarkets to bakeries. It’s so beloved that it’s eaten any time of the day.
9. Butterhorn Cookies with Walnuts
They’re technically called cookies, but they’re actually more like crescent rolls.
Crescent dough is rolled with cinnamon sugar and walnuts and baked to golden perfection. This Hungarian treat is perfect for dessert or breakfast with coffee.
What makes these cookies extra special is that the dough contains sour cream. Once baked, they become extra flaky, crispy, and chewy.
10. Basic Hungarian Sponge Cake (Piskotatekercs)
This recipe teaches you how to make the base – a sponge cake – which you can use to make layer cakes, and roulades.
It also serves as the base of piskotatekercs, a ridiculously delectable cake roll stuffed with jam and whipped cream.
The key is to fold the flour into the batter in small amounts to get that wonderfully light and fluffy consistency!
11. Chimney Cake (Kürtőskalács)
Just by looking at this dessert, you’ll already understand its name. But while it’s called a “cake,” it’s actually bread. It’s a fantastic dessert, regardless!
Aside from its cylindrical shape, what makes it extra special is its lovely crunchy and sticky exterior.
Rolled in sugar and sprinkled with a walnut-sugar mixture, this bread/cake tastes as wonderfully unique as it looks.
While unconventional, its hollowed form allows you to fill it with ice cream, whipped cream, or custard.
12. Hungarian Apple Cake
Almas pite is really a pie, not a cake. Unlike its American version, the apple filling is sandwiched in between two layers of ground walnuts.
It’s also cut into squares and dusted with powdered sugar on top!
It’s an interesting spin on a classic, and it’s definitely worth a try.
13. Hungarian Sweet Pancakes (Palacsinta)
Palacsinta is Hungary’s version of the French crepes. They’re just as soft and delightful, though!
Unlike regular crepes, palacsinta is rolled, not folded in half. The filling used is also a bit unique – a soft cottage cheese called turo.
Once rolled, the palacsinta is dusted with powdered sugar, giving a sweet balance to the salty cheese.
Aside from turo, other traditional fillings include jams, fruit preserves, ground nuts, and whipped cream.
14. Kolachy Cookies
Kolachy is a Christmas pastry with a cream cheese dough and a sweet filling.
The dough is super light and fluffy, and the cream cheese gives it a lovely rich and tart flavor.
The filling can be any type of preserve. Nuts and poppyseeds work, as well! As long as you have a sweet filling to contrast the dough, you’re golden.
15. Apple Strudel (Almás Rétes)
A rétes is a strudel popular in Central Europe. In Hungary, a traditional strudel is filled with apples.
The dough is thin and flaky, and the apple filling is creamy instead of chunky.
Just like many apple-filled treats, the apples are flavored with brown sugar and cinnamon. Raisins are also added for a nice chewy contrast.
With this recipe, you won’t need to worry about making the flaky pastry yourself. Pre-made puff pastry is more than good enough.
16. Beigli (Traditional Hungarian Nut Rolls)
Beigli is another pastry roll popular during the holidays. With its dynamic flavor and texture, it’s easy to understand why.
Incredibly soft bread is filled with a sweet and nutty walnut filling. It’s a simple concept, but its flavor is out-of-this-world fantastic!
The nuttiness and crunch from the walnuts really make this dessert extra special.
17. Hungarian Walnut Rolls
These Christmas cookies are so terrific they’ll definitely give you some mad holiday cheer!
These croissant-looking cookies are wonderfully flaky! Made from a cream cheese dough, they’re very rich with a hint of tartness.
The delectable walnut filling gives the rich and tender dough a sweet and crunchy contrast. Each bite is guaranteed to make you smile.
18. Hungarian Golden Pull-Apart Cake with Walnuts and Apricot Jam (Aranygaluska)
Aranygaluska goes by many names – monkey bread, butter puffs, golden dumpling cake. I like to call it “happiness you can eat cake.”
There’s just something so irresistible about these treats.
Whether it’s the melt-in-your-mouth consistency, the sugar and walnut coating, or both, one thing’s for sure: it’s very addictive.
Don’t be surprised to find yourself devouring one sinful ball after another!
19. Hungarian Plum Dumplings (Szilvás Gombóc)
When I hear dumplings, I usually think of the savory pillowy balls made of biscuit dough.
In this instance, however, dumplings refer to a potato-based dough with a sweet plum filling.
This dessert is wonderfully unique and seriously delightful.
Once cooked, the dumplings are coated in breadcrumbs and cinnamon sugar for extra crunch and flavor.
20. Hungarian Chocolate Coconut Balls
If you’ve never had chocolate and coconut together in one dessert, you’re missing out! Give your taste buds a treat by whipping up these chocolate coconut balls.
Kókuszgolyó is a delicious Hungarian dessert made by combining crushed biscuits, chocolate, butter, sugar, and sour cherry juice.
The mixture is shaped into balls and finished off with a coating of grated coconut.
It’s chocolate and coconut paradise!
21. Strawberry Cake
This isn’t your typical strawberry cake.
Layers of biskvit are filled with a puree of fresh strawberries and frosted with a mixture of whipped cream, sugar, and cream cheese. That’s what I call summer paradise!
I know what you’re thinking, though: what on earth is a biskvit?
Think of it as a sponge cake, only a lot easier to make. The fool-proof recipe only calls for three ingredients – flour, eggs, and sugar!
22. Hungarian Treasure Cookies
With a surprise sweet filling, these Hungarian treasure cookies are truly precious!
The cookie dough is sweet, buttery, and chewy with a hint of tartness from the cream cheese. When you take your first bite, you’ll be greeted by a thick jam filling.
You can use whatever jam or preserve you wish, but a nut filling tastes amazing, too!
23. Hungarian Apple Pie (Almás Pite)
Also known as apple cake and apple squares, apple pie is a well-loved Hungarian classic.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate how breathtaking these bars are. They really are next level!
Those distinct layers look so pretty, and the dusting of powdered sugar adds such elegance.
Don’t be fooled by its appearance, though. almas pite is a cinch to make. It’s as easy as pie!
24. Hungarian Shortbread
This dessert comprises two layers of crumbly shortbread with a sweet jam filling in between. It’s a simple treat that’s sure to knock you off your feet!
I can’t get enough of that unbelievably crumbly and fluffy shortbread! Even without the jam, these cookie bars are already amazing.
These classic Hungarian dumplings are filled with cottage cheese and coated in breadcrumbs.
The flavor and texture combinations are so amazing they create a wonderful explosion in your mouth.
They’re technically a dessert, but because they’re not too sweet, they can also be eaten as a part of the main course.
26. Dobos Torta
Let’s end this list with a bang! Dobos torta is perhaps the most iconic dessert in Hungary.
Seven layers of decadent chocolate cake are filled with buttercream and frosted with glazed caramel.
You can end there or take it a step further by coating the glaze with ground nuts. The word sinful is an understatement!
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