Hungarian Sweet Tooth

Hungarian cake contest mullet cake wins
Mullet cake

This year’s national winner, the Millet Cake with Kecskemét Apricot!

In the 1950’s my Nagymama would pack up my mom and uncle dressed in their finest clothes to walk down the 12 flight of stairs.  She would put mom in the giant pram, and her brother Petu would hold the handle and they would make their way down towards the Danube River to the Jegbufe to buy treats. The window was new then, and their little noses pressed up against to view the expensive bakery treats inside; cream slices, tortes, ice cream, pastries, sundaes, cookies, pogacsa, cakes, rum balls, chocolate heaven, chestnut cream and the list goes on and on.




It was the finest around, and the lineups were long during the communist era when ingredients were not readily available.


When my mom had a family of her own, she would take the same path down Dohany Utca to treat my brother George and I to one of the many yummy delights inside the JegBufe.

creamed chestnuts
chestnut cream

My mom’s favourite was gesztenyepüré, or chestnut cream mixed with whipping cream.

Now we are on the third generation walking our kids from the same apartment building to curb our own sweet tooth.

When my grandma was still alive, I would pick 10 different varieties of tortes, and cakes and bring them home to share after our Sunday lunch. Always a nice ending to a fine family meal.

try picking just one flavour in Hungarian ice cream shop
angelina loves looking at all the ice cream


Rows of homemade ice cream tempt the passer-by with flavors like: poppy seed sour cherry, country wild berry, Hungarian Dobos torte, and hazelnut cream.



cake shops budapest
vaci utca cake shop

Tucked away on walking streets you will find other Cukraszda, or sweet shops, like this one we found off the famous Vaci Utca shopping street.

A mother and son enjoy an ice coffee, a sundae and a piece of cake next to us.


Hamori kids eat cake
Hamori’s eat cakeWe sat down for a coffee and a treat in the shade. The ladies in the Szamos Cukraszda were so nice to the kids I have to say thank-you again.

With each sweet they give you a shot of soda water to wash it down.

The espresso coffee in Hungary, and I suspect Europe, is powerful stuff, and made to keep you going through the day. I miss sipping my giant watery Starbucks, but this is much more efficient. Anyways who has a free hand in the busy streets of Budapest? A child in one, groceries in the other, and chasing after another, there’s just no time!

Anna cafe Budapest Hungary
Anna cafe Budapest

Alfonz loves Linzer cookies, two ground almond and flour based cookies mixed with lemon zest, filled with homemade apricot jam and sprinkled with icing sugar. He has tried them all over the city, and this one was pretty good.

Angelina had a pink Marzipan mousse, covered in a thin layer of chocolate with a cream filling. Very sweet, but just what the doctor ordered!

Daniel had a 2 layer cookie but his was filled with strawberry jam and covered in chocolate.

The National Guild of Hungary Confections selects the best recipe submitted creations by Master Bakers from all over Hungary.

This year, 2011, the Zila House & Confectionery recipe for Millet Cake with Kecskemét Apricot a unique dessert that even the health-conscious can enjoy without remorse, won.
Mine was to share!

The grainy bottom had a lovely rough texture, and the apricot jam wasn’t too sweet and poured out like lava. The light creamy cake had huge chunks of apricots. Daniel stole the chocolate top, Angelina the 1/2 apricot from the top and we all devoured Hungary’s national winner!

Looks good right?

Dobos torte has always been one of my favourite’s. 5 layers of sponge cake, with buttercreme filling, topped with a caramel candy and the coated edges are ground hazelnut. My cousin had this as her wedding cake! It is a lot of work to make but worth every morsel.

Most of these sweet shops have handmade chocolates, many are liquor filling, so buyer beware when giving them to your kids. Marzipan is a safe bet, or ask the vendor. Most people speak some English in Budapest. Angelina picks her choice out while pressing her hands and nose against the glass. Sorry Hungary, my kids can not help themselves! Imagine all the work we have created along the way for the bakery girls!

Millet Cake Recipe –  Cook the peeled, washed millet with milk, vanilla, pinch of salt until soft.

When softened, removing from heat, add sugar, butter and a whole lemon peel. (Set aside 500gr for later, cover and chill.)
Use baking paper in cake pan.
Add to the remaining hot millet base: cottage cheese, three eggs, almond flour, flaxseed flour and almond flakes. Put into cake pan.
preheat oven to 180 ° C . Bake for 50 minutes. Then turn off the oven and immediately cut the cake out off the pan.
To the chilled remainder whisk the chopped apricots, apricot sauce, whipped cream and hot gelatin.
Once blended, transfer the cream to the baking pan. Place chilled mix on top of the cooled sponge cake millet. The cake then goes into the freezer overnight, when hard-frozen, peel off the form.

I had a hard time finding a good recipe to translate. From here I gather you put apricot jam on top of room temperature cake to serve.

Good Luck!

Eva’s Tip – I have not made this recipe! Let me know how it goes!

  • 1000 ml milk
  • Pinch of salt, and vanilla,
  • 260 grams of sugar,
  • 60 grams of butter
  • 1 lemon grated peel,
  • 60 grams of cottage cheese,
  • 3 eggs,
  • 30 grams of almond flour
  • 70 grams of flaxseed flakes,
  • 100 grams of apricot preserves,
  • 50 grams of apricot sauce,
  • 150 grams of whipped cream,
  • 100 grams of gelatine

We don’t eat sweets often, but once in awhile we find ourselves in one of these lovely shops, filling our faces with the unique flavours of Hungary.

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  1. Lip-smacking post! Although I also don’t eat sweet things often, I do splurge once in a while, but only on the Really Good Stuff and it looks like I can find that in Hungary.

    I love looking at pastry shops the world over, and enjoyed your photos. Now do you have a recipe for that Millet Cake with Kecskemét Apricotcake? I have millet and apricots on hand, so . . .

  2. You are welcome! My Nagymama in Canada makes a mean shortbread with ground Walnuts on top. I’m not much of a sweet tooth, and these go great with a cup of coffee!!

  3. A very nice little trip down memory lane. I’ll never forget the wonderful Dobos Torta my mom made for my 16th birthday, my absolute favourite!

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