Sweet stuff in Hungary

Adrian Phillips and Jo Scotchmer tell us what tasty treats can be found in Hungary.

Written by Adrian Phillips and Jo Scotchmer


You’ll have no problem sating that craving for sweetness. Hungary’s restaurants, cafés and (especially) pâtisseries promise things naughty but nice.

If you can forget the scales, the doctor’s orders and your conscience’s wagging finger, below are some of the treats that await you.


Hungarian Dobos torte © Savannah Grandfather/Wikimedia Commons

Dobos torta
Dobos József, a master chef, prepared his cake for the Hungarian National Exhibition of 1885, and it worked gourmets and confectioners into a drooling frenzy. Competitors were desperate to learn the recipe, and orders flooded in from home and abroad. It became Hungary’s most famous cake. Five layers of white sponge filled with chocolate cream and glazed caramel on top. (Photo: © Savannah Grandfather/Wikimedia Commons)

Sacher torta by Illustratedjc/Wikimedia CommonsSacher torta
Rich chocolate cake with jam running through the middle. Originated in Vienna. (Photo: © Illustratedjc/Wikimedia Commons)

Gyümölcs torta
Sponge cake with fruits and whipped cream.

Rigó Jancsi by Antidiskriminator/Wikimedia Commons

Rigó Jancsi
A two-inch-square sponge cake with chocolate cream and chocolate glaze atop. (Photo: © Antidiskriminator/Wikimedia Commons)

Somlói galuska
Layers of sponge cake, rich chocolate sauce, walnuts, raisins and a whirl of whipped cream served in a bowl.

Pancakes, pastries and strudels

Crêpes with a choice of fillings, such as sweet cottage cheese, nuts, fruit, chocolate cream or jam. The classic dish of this family is the Gundel palacsinta, a folded pancake containing walnut and rum filling and drenched in chocolate sauce and more rum. It may be served flaming. Flaming good.

Kreme Hungary by Julizehn, Flickr

Square flaky pastries with French pâtisserie and whipped cream. (Photo: © Julizehn, Flickr)

Strudels are available with a range of fillings, including cherry (meggyes), sweet cottage cheese (túrós), and poppy seeds (mákos).

Ice creams

There can be no nation more committed in its devotion to ice cream. Roadside vendors, pâtisseries and ice-cream parlours (fagylaltozó or fagyizó) really are hubs of the community in summer, and they’ll do a very respectable trade in winter too. Fagyi (the slang term) is served in cones and you pay by the scoop (gombóc). The range of flavours can be daunting – anything from vanilla to poppy seed.