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Cake Byte: Chimney Cakes Opens in Chicago

Images from the Chimney Island Yelp pageHow to stay warm during the cold Chicago winter? Well. You could hunker down by a fireplace...or you could hit up newly-opened Chimney Cake Island!

Per CakeSpy reader Amy:

A bakery selling something called 'chimney cakes' opened up around the corner from me recently. Chimney Cake Island. I couldn't find any mention of the chimney cake on your site so I thought I'd pass the word along. Apparently chimney cakes are Romanian (?). I plan to stop into the shop this weekend.

Well, Amy, you are right about the cakes being associated with Eastern Europe. As I found out on that handy-dandy site Wikipedia,

Kürtőskalács or kürtős kalács is a Hungarian pastry also known as chimney cake or stove cake or Hungarian wedding cake. It is baked on a tapered cylindrical spit over an open fire. Originally from Transylvania, it is famous as Hungary's oldest pastry. Kürtőskalács is sold in bakeries, pastry shops and even street vendors are selling them on street corners, carnivals and fairs.

Kürtőskalács consists of a thin yeast pastry ribbon wound around a wooden cylinder, heavily sprinkled with sugar, thus becoming a helix shaped cylindrical pastry or a pastry roll that sometimes tapers very slightly towards the end. The pastry is baked on a hand-turned, tapered, wooden spit, rolled slowly on the wooden cylinder above an open fire. The dough is yeast-raised, flavored with sweet spices, the most common being cinnamon, topped with walnuts or almonds, and sugar. The sugar is caramelized on the kürtöskalács surface, creating a sweet, crispy crust.

In Chicago? Please report back with your thoughts on this intriguing new bakery! Find them online at chimneycakeisland.com!

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Reader Comments (7)

Actually, this is a traditional cake from Slovakia (Slovak Republic), Skalica. Brought from the central Slovakia and improved by József Gvadányi, a Hungarian general. We call it "trdelník" here. It's a very tasty cake, usually with lots of walnuts on top and caramelized sugar. Hence the Hungarian "Kürtőskalács" has the name Skalica (Skalács) in its name, too. :)

January 7 | Unregistered CommenterHana
These cakes are so delicious! They used to sell them in a market just outside of my school, and I used to get a cinnamon sugar one at lunch time! =) I didn't know they were called chimney cakes though! They're kinda like a mixture between a flat bread and a pancake! Great post! Charis xox

January 7 | Unregistered CommenterCharis
I'll have to check this out - we're having a lot of new bakeries open around here, it seems - though none offering anything as unique as this chimney cake!
January 7 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline
I first had a taste of this bread (also learned about it for the first time) last summer in Prague. It was sold as a street food in the city center. Really happy to see the pictures on your here. It brought back memories of a fun trip.
January 7 | Unregistered CommenterElphie
Hopefully Chimney Cake Island will live a nice long life in Chicago. Yum! I can’t get enough of that Nutella and walnut special!
January 14 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Ferguson
The original name of the product is 'Kurtoskalacs' however they are also known as 'chimney cakes' as they resemble the shape of chimney and once cooked and fresh out of the oven you can see stream rising up from the inside.

Originally Kurtoskalacs were baked by Hungarians living in Transylvania in Romania. If you travel to Hungary there are quite a few bakeries and outlets where you can buy them from especially in Budapest. Kurtoskalacs are also a popular treat found for sale in Hungarian tourist destinations such as Lake Balaton and are sold from mobile catering trailers. Traditionally Kurtos were cooked over hot coals like a BBQ however in more commercial places they are baked in a specialist oven (take a look at: www.kurtos-kalacs.com) for pictures of the ovens.

I have a company in Europe and make and sell Kurtos kalacs ovens and accessories as well as supply a very easy to follow 'Step by Step' user guide which includes a reliable recipe.
We make ovens for both the EU and American markets (110v) and ship all over the world. The ovens are ideal for both mobile use (gas oven) or static use (electric oven). Kurtos are great eaten with coffee. Recently there have been a lot of shops open up in Israel selling Kurtos kalacs but they refer to them as Kurtosh.....
If you have a coffee shop and are looking for something new (and profitable) to serve your customers then why not consider Kurtos kalacs or Chimney cakes..... The possibilities are endless........
April 5 | Unregistered CommenterLouise Samuel
Where can I buy chimney cake ovens in Europe. Can we buy directly from your company in Europe?
August 2 | Unregistered CommenterEls Dijkstra

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