Sprinkle Chimney Cakes Kürtoskalács

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Sprinkle Chimney Cakes, Kürtoskalács, are a deliciously sweet dessert often found at European Christmas markets and festivals – and SUPER easy to make at home.

cake in a sphere with sprinkles on it
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Polish Sprinkle Chimney Cakes

When touring Poland this past winter, my friends and I toured Christmas Markets – taking great care to sample tons and tons of delicious treats on offer.

It was a completely magical experience (and one I can’t wait to do all over with them this winter- be sure to follow Rachel and Rebecca on IG for more gorgeous pics, too!) – full of delicious finds that are not so common in America.

You can find tons of pictures and info from our trip here:

Wroclaw Christmas Market

ksiaz castle

Ksiaz Castle

Top 10 Reasons to Visit Poland

krakow christmas market

Krakow Christmas Market

Krakow Nativity Competition

While we loved the meats, hot wassail, spiced nuts, and soft spicy gingerbread – there was one treat that was by far and away my favorite – the fresh, hot Chimney Cakes (kurtoszkalacz in Polish, or Kürtoskalács in Hungarian- where they are traditionally from).

cake in a sphere with sprinkles on it

How to Make Sprinkle Chimney Cakes

First assemble the following ingredients:

  • Flour (500 gram) – The backbone of sprinkle chimney cakes, flour provides the essential structure and gluten needed for the dough to be elastic and moldable.
  • Milk (200 ml) – Milk enriches the dough, adding tenderness and flavor, and helps to activate the yeast for a better rise.
  • Vegetable oil (5 tablespoons) – Vegetable oil adds moisture and softness to the dough, ensuring the chimney cake has a delightful texture.
  • Sugar (5 tablespoons) – Sugar not only sweetens the dough but also caramelizes during baking, giving the chimney cake its signature crispy, golden crust.
  • Yeast (2 tablespoons) – Yeast is the leavening agent that causes the dough to rise, contributing to the chimney cake’s light, airy interior.
  • Eggs (2) – Eggs contribute to the richness and color of the dough, and help bind the ingredients together for a cohesive texture.
  • Butter (2 tbsp) – Brushed on the rolled dough, butter enhances flavor and aids in the golden browning and crispy texture of the exterior.
  • Honey (2 tbsp) – Honey is brushed on the baked chimney cake for a sticky, sweet glaze that helps the sprinkles adhere beautifully.
  • Sprinkles (1/4 cup) – Sprinkles add a playful burst of color and a slight crunch to the chimney cake, making it visually enticing and fun to eat.

Use this Method

Make Dough. Add yeast, milk, and sugar to a bowl and stir. Let proof until a thick foam sets, about 5-8 minutes. In a large bowl, add flour and salt in a bowl, mix. Make a well in the middle. Add oil, eggs, and yeast mix to bowl. Mix in stand mixer with paddle on medium until a smooth ball forms, about 5 minutes.

Let Rest. Dough should not be sticky or dry, similar to a pizza dough. If dough is too sticky, add flour, one tablespoon at a time. If too dry, add one teaspoon of water at a time. Return to bowl and let rise until doubled in size, about one hour.

Assemble. Punch down dough and lightly knead. Separate into 6 portions. Roll each of the 6 balls of dough out to a thin circle. Take a pizza roller to cut winding corkscrew shape out of the dough. Wrap dough around a paper towel rod, covered in foil, and well greased.

Bake. Place rod and dough on a deep baking dish – dough should have room to puff up about 1/4″ in all directions. Bake 8-15 minutes, until lightly browned.

Add Topping. In a small pan, melt butter and honey, adding in sugar, stirring often to help mix and prevent burning. Brush honey butter mixture on dough. Cover dough in sprinkles. Let set about 3 minutes. Serve immediately!

Colorful sprinkles covering a caramel-coated marshmallow with a bite taken out of the sprinkle chimney cake.

Tips and Tricks for Sprinkle Chimney Cakes

Choose the Right Flour: Use high-protein flour, such as bread flour, for the dough. This ensures the dough has enough gluten to stretch around the baking cylinder without tearing.

Yeast Matters: Use fresh yeast for better fermentation. If you’re using dry yeast, make sure it’s not expired. The fermentation process is crucial for the texture and flavor of the chimney cake.

Dough Consistency: The dough should be soft and slightly sticky but manageable. If it’s too sticky, add a little more flour; if too dry, add a bit of milk or water. The right consistency is key for easy wrapping around the cylinder.

My Pro Tip

Recipe Tip

Wrap a paper towel rod with foil to make an impromptu chimney make pan. Simply set on a deep dish that is narrower than your paper towel rod, so the cakes can puff up in all directions! 

Rest the Dough: Allow the dough to rest after kneading and before shaping. This resting period helps the gluten relax, making the dough easier to stretch and wrap around the mold.

Use a Traditional Mold if Possible: While there are modern alternatives, using a traditional wooden cylinder (or a similarly shaped mold) can give your chimney cakes an authentic texture and shape. Make sure it’s well-greased to prevent sticking.

Sugar Coating: Roll your shaped dough in granulated sugar before baking. The sugar caramelizes in the oven, creating a crispy, sweet exterior. You can also experiment with different types of sugar for varying flavors and textures.

Toppings and Fillings: Classic chimney cakes are delicious on their own, but feel free to get creative with toppings and fillings. Nuts, cinnamon, cocoa, and coconut flakes are popular choices. For a modern twist, fill the baked chimney cake with ice cream, fresh fruits, or even chocolate ganache.

Even Baking: Rotate the cakes during baking to ensure an even caramelization of the sugar and an even bake throughout. This is especially important if you’re using an oven rather than an open flame, as is traditional.

Practice Makes Perfect: Don’t get discouraged if your first few attempts aren’t perfect. Making chimney cakes is a skill that improves with practice, especially when it comes to shaping and wrapping the dough.

Serving: Serve chimney cakes warm for the best taste and texture. They are best enjoyed fresh, straight from the oven, when they’re crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

cake in a sphere with sprinkles on it

FAQ’s

Can I make chimney cakes without a special mold?

While a traditional chimney cake mold is ideal, you can use alternative methods. Some home bakers use rolled-up aluminum foil or stainless steel cans (with labels removed and cleaned thoroughly) as makeshift molds. Just ensure whatever you use is oven-safe.

What type of sprinkles work best for chimney cakes?

Any type of sprinkles can work, but larger, chunkier sprinkles (like jimmies or nonpareils) tend to adhere better and give a more visually appealing result. Feel free to mix colors and types to create a unique look.

How do I prevent the dough from sliding off the mold?

Make sure to wrap the dough tightly around the mold and tuck the ends securely. Also, the initial layer of sugar helps to ‘glue’ the dough to the mold as it caramelizes, so don’t skip the sugar coating before baking.

Can I prepare the dough in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the dough ahead of time. After kneading, place it in a covered bowl in the refrigerator. Let it rise slowly overnight. Before using, let it come to room temperature for about an hour.

What’s the best way to store chimney cakes?

Chimney cakes are best enjoyed fresh, but if you must store them, wrap them loosely in parchment paper and keep them at room temperature for up to 24 hours. Avoid sealing them in airtight containers immediately after baking, as this can make them soggy.

Can chimney cakes be made vegan?

Yes! Substitute the milk with a plant-based alternative (such as almond or soy milk) and use a vegan butter substitute. Ensure your sugar and sprinkles are also vegan.

Is it possible to fill chimney cakes with something other than sprinkles?

Absolutely! While this FAQ focuses on sprinkle chimney cakes, you can experiment with different coatings and fillings. After baking, you can fill the hollow center with various fillings like ice cream, whipped cream, or even savory options for a twist.

cake in a sphere with sprinkles on it

What to Enjoy with Sprinkle Chimney Cakes

Ice Cream: Perhaps the most popular pairing, a scoop (or two) of your favorite ice cream flavor complements the warm, crispy texture of the chimney cake. Vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry work wonderfully, but don’t shy away from more adventurous flavors like salted caramel or pistachio.

Fresh Fruits: Top your chimney cake with a mix of fresh fruits for a refreshing and lighter option. Berries, sliced peaches, bananas, and mango offer a lovely contrast to the sweet, crunchy exterior.

Whipped Cream: A dollop of whipped cream adds a luxurious creaminess to the chimney cake. For extra flavor, infuse the cream with vanilla, citrus zest, or a splash of liqueur.

Nutella or Chocolate Ganache: For chocolate lovers, spreading Nutella or drizzling warm chocolate ganache inside the chimney cake makes for a decadent treat. The warmth of the cake will melt the chocolate, creating a gooey, irresistible texture.

Caramel Sauce: Drizzling caramel sauce over your chimney cake adds a rich, buttery sweetness that’s hard to beat. Pair with a sprinkle of sea salt for a delightful salted caramel version.

Custard or Pastry Cream: Filling the inside of the chimney cake with custard or pastry cream makes for a creamy, dreamy dessert. This pairing is especially good if you prefer your sweets less on the sugary side.

Coffee or Tea: A hot cup of coffee or tea is the perfect accompaniment to a chimney cake at any time of day. The warmth of the beverage complements the crispiness of the cake, and the flavors can be a delightful contrast, especially with spiced teas or robust coffees.

Mascarpone Cheese: A filling of sweetened mascarpone cheese offers a tangy, creamy counterpoint to the sugary exterior of the chimney cake. Add some lemon zest or a dash of vanilla to the cheese for an extra layer of flavor.

Jams and Preserves: Filling or topping your chimney cake with your favorite jam or preserve can add a lovely fruitiness. Choose from classic flavors like strawberry and raspberry or go for something more exotic like apricot or blackcurrant.

Craft Beer or Sparkling Wine: For an adult twist, pair your sprinkle chimney cake with a craft beer or a glass of sparkling wine. The beer’s bitterness or the wine’s effervescence can cut through the sweetness of the cake, creating a balanced and enjoyable experience.

Try these desserts next:

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Colorful sprinkles covering a caramel-coated marshmallow with a bite taken out of the sprinkle chimney cake.
Print

Sprinkle Chimney Cakes Kürtoskalács

Sprinkle Chimney Cakes, Kürtoskalács, are a deliciously sweet dessert often found at Christmas markets and festivals – and SUPER easy to make at home!
Course Desserts
Cuisine Hungarian
Keyword chimney cone, cones, dessert, homemade cones, polish, polish cake, sprinkle cakes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 350kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell

Ingredients

  • 500 gram flour
  • 200 ml milk full fat
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons yeast 14 grams
  • 2 eggs

For topping:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ cup sprinkles

Instructions

  • Add yeast, milk, and sugar to a bowl and stir.
  • Let proof until a thick foam sets, about 5-8 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, add flour and salt in a bowl, mix.
  • Make a well in the middle.
  • Add oil, eggs, and yeast mix to bowl.
  • Mix in stand mixer with paddle on medium until a smooth ball forms, about 5 minutes. Dough should not be sticky or dry, similar to a pizza dough.
  • If dough is too sticky, add flour, one tablespoon at a time. If too dry, add one teaspoon of water at a time.
  • Return to bowl and let rise until doubled in size, about one hour.
  • Punch down dough and lightly knead.
  • Separate into 6 portions.
  • Roll each of the 6 balls of dough out to a thin circle.
  • Take a pizza roller to cut winding corkscrew shape out of the dough.
  • Wrap dough around a paper towel rod, covered in foil, and well greased.
  • Place rod and dough on a deep baking dish – dough should have room to puff up about 1/4" in all directions.
  • Bake 8-15 minutes, until lightly browned.
  • In a small pan, melt butter and honey, adding in sugar, stirring often to help mix and prevent burning.
  • Brush honey butter mixture on dough.
  • Cover dough in sprinkles.
  • Let set about 3 minutes.
  • Serve immediately!

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 83mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 23g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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