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Chimney Cakes

When people think of Transylvania and Romania, they immediately think of Bam Stoker’s Dracula and Bran Castle. Images of families engaged in artisan baking or a variety of Romanian and Transylvanian pastries which have shaped the lives of their people.


Chimney cakes, also called Kürtőskalács, are a traditional Hungarian pastry, wrapped around a wooden cylinder, rolled in sugar, and are traditionally, slowly cooked over a spitfire.

Chimney Cake Trivia

  • Chimney cakes are also called as barbecue cakes in Romania because it is rolled over hot cinders.


  • Romanian Chimney cakes share similarities with the Lithuanian Spit Cakes but the latter resembles a Christmas tree.


  • Chimney cake can be traced back to a 1450 German manuscript. But its Romanian recipes only date back to the 18th century Transylvania.

Chimney Cake Buying Guide

Nothing beats freshly roasted warm chimney cakes. You should only buy Chimney cakes at artisan bakeries with authentic Romanian and Hungarian pastries as Chimney Cakes are perfectly eaten when its fresh, warm, and crispy.


Never buy ready-to-eat chimney cakes in grocery stores as you will be disappointed with their rubbery texture and artificial aftertaste.

Chimney Cake Production & Farming in Texas

A tight-knit Hungarian and Romanian community in Texas produces fresh Chimney cakes as a way to reconnect with their culinary roots. It takes a lot of sincere planning to perfectly replicate the Chimney cakes as different flour strengths and ingredients can affect the over-all mouthfeel, scent, and taste. Despite the logistical challenges of shipping the chimney cake machines in Texas, local bakeries with Romanian and Hungarian roots successfully baked and roasted the chimney cakes. Tourists and Texans who have eaten authentic Kürtőskalács from Northern Europe said it tasted the same and brought back memories of their travels.


Preservatives and Chemicals

Chimney cakes are meant to be eaten fresh. Thus, chemical preservatives and additives are unnecessary.



Chimney cakes sold in road stalls are traditionally wrapped with wax paper. Now, modern packaging has evolved into paper boxes. Some chimney cakes are individually wrapped in plastic, arranged in paper boxed, and even put inside a paper bag for a very sophisticated look.

Enjoying Chimney Cakes

Chimney cakes are rolled in sugar and spices to accentuate the flavors of their crispy shell. They can also be filled with cream, chocolate, jams, preserves, and even ice cream. Pistachio and pecan chimney cakes are some of the most delectable, nutty, and earthy creations. If you are making Chimney cakes for your little ones, you can use Oreos or Grahams, and even some strawberries, Fruit Loops, and Snickers.



Chimney cake dough has always been prepared on the day it is baked. The only storage time is when the dough is proofed in a warm area for 2 hours. Chimney cakes have sweet or savory fillings. You can make the filling in advance and keep it in the fridge to preserve its freshness.






Making these Chimney Cakes would be a challenge without a machine. Try asking help from your Romanian bakeries. They would love to share their culinary heritage with you.



1¾ cups (8½ oz – 240 g) all-purpose (plain) flour

2¼ teaspoons (1 packet – 7 g) active dry yeast OR 2 teaspoons instant yeast OR 14 gm (½ oz) fresh yeast

2 tablespoons (1 oz – 30 g) sugar

⅛ teaspoon (3/4 g) salt

1 large egg, room temperature

3 tablespoons (1½ oz) (45 g) melted butter

½ cup (120 ml) milk, lukewarm temperature


For brushing the rolling pin

melted butter



For the topping:    

Approximately ½ cup (3½ oz – 100g) sugar

For walnut sugar topping

About 1 cup (4 oz – 115 g) ground walnuts, mixed with about ½ cup (3½ oz – 100 g) sugar

2 teaspoons (10 ml – 1/4 oz – 6 g) cinnamon



  1. If you are using active dry yeast, add ½ teaspoon sugar to lukewarm milk and set aside for 5-10 minutes until it proofs (becomes foamy).
  2. You can use the other yeast types directly along with the flour.
  3. In a large bowl combine, flour, sugar, and salt. Add egg, milk, melted butter, and yeast. Stir the mixture until it comes together to form a dough, and then knead for about five minutes.
  4. It will be sticky. Don’t be tempted to add any flour. Grease your hand if needed.
  5. Transfer to a well-greased container
  6. Allow the dough to rise for 60 minutes at room temperature until doubled in volume
  7. Prepare the rolling pins by covering them with aluminum foil, do at least two or three layers, to protect the pins from burning in the oven.
  8. Make sure to cover the rolling pins very well. Brush them with melted butter.
  9. Check and prepare the risen dough after 60 minutes.
  10. Punch down the dough and divide into 4 equal parts about 4 oz (115 gm) of each.
  11. On a well-floured surface, spread one portion of the dough
  12. Shape into ⅙ inch (4 mm) thick square-shaped sheet.
  13. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into long ribbons of about ½ inch (13 mm) wide.
  14. Wrap one end of the dough strip around the spit/rolling pin, tucking in the end, so the dough doesn’t unwind.
  15. Keep the dough very thin (under ¼ inch (6 mm)) as you stretch and wind it on the rolling pin. Then roll the whole thing slightly on the countertop to flatten it/press it together.
  16. Brush with melted butter and roll in sugar
  17. Place in a roasting pan and bake in a preheated moderately hot oven at 375°F/190C/gas mark 5 for 25 minutes.
  18. If you are using the roast function (375F/190C) in the oven, it will take about 20 minutes.
  19. If you are grilling (broiling) over the fire, cooking time is about six minutes, until it starts to take on a dark golden color. Turn the rolling pin at once least once (or more) throughout baking time to ensure uniform cooking.
  20. When the cake is done roll it in sugar once again.
  21. If you are using other toppings, brush the Chimney cakes with more butter, then roll the finished cake in the toppings of your choice.
  22. Tap the mold on a tabletop to release the cake and set it upright to cool.



  • Serving Size: 1 Serving
  • Calories: 374
  • Carbs: 56.42g 21%
  • Sugar: 27.05g
  • Fiber: 1.4g 5%
  • Protein: 5.93g
  • Fat: 14.2g 18%
  • Saturated Fat: 8.537g 43%
  • Trans Fat 0g 0%
  • Cholesterol 64mg 21%
  • Sodium 139mg 6%
  • Vitamin C 0mg 0%
  • Vitamin A 120mcg 13%
  • Calcium 25mg 2%
  • Iron 0.89mg 5%
  • Potassium 105mg 2%
  • Vitamin D 0mcg 1%

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