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The Birthday Cake of Hungary

Updated on July 17, 2018

Hungarians love to eat cakes hence there’s a great selection offered by local confectionery shops. The popular ones are Dobos, Eszterházy, Lúdláb, Somlói galuska and so on.

To please the local taste buds, since 2007 each year a new birthday cake is created for Hungary. The best of the best local pastry shops enter their creative cake masterpieces to the fierce competition and the winner is carefully selected by a prestigious judge panel. The new edition is announced to the public on 20th August, the day Hungary celebrates its foundation and its first king, St. Stephen who was crowned in 1000 A.D.

How Special is Hungary's Annual Birthday Cake?

The short answer is: very special. The reason I say this is because the national cake is a one-of-a-kind pastry baked using local ingredients that truly represents the country's gastronomic heritage.

Following the grand reveal of the winning piece, from August on the chosen cake is available in pastry shops across the country strictly following the original recipe. This quality control of ingredients and baking techniques ensures that there are no substitutes used and each slice tastes wonderful every time you decide to treat yourself with a delicious bite.

Since the first year, there have been 7 winning cakes selected and an additional 2 cakes that are sugar-free. This new category was added in 2012.

So let’s see the range so far...

Milota honey-brittle cake
Milota honey-brittle cake | Source
Red currant mousse and apples layered cake
Red currant mousse and apples layered cake

2013: Milota honey-brittle cake (Milotai mézes grillázstorta)

This year's cake winning cake has put Milota on the international map. This small Hungarian town is situated by the river Tisza and only a few meters from the Ukrainian country border.

Each cake is made from 30dkg of walnuts supplied from the Milota region rich in walnut trees. The layers of honey and praline creams are divided by a thin layer of walnut-brittle. Yummy!

The other competition for sugarfree cakes was won by the Nándori cake shop with its Red currant mousse and apples layered cake (Ribizli habos almás réteges torta). Those who are looking for something sweet but low in calories will be happy to try this delicious dessert. One slice is only 130 calories.

Poppy-seed cake with Szabolcs apple
Poppy-seed cake with Szabolcs apple | Source
Gooseberry apple cake
Gooseberry apple cake | Source

2012: Poppy-seed cake with Szabolcs apple (Szabolcsi almás máktorta)

Poppy-seeds can often be found in traditional Hungarian desserts (though toothbrushes come handy after eating them). This surprisingly light poppy-seed with apple cake was an instant hit when introduced in 2012 and expected to stay on the menu for many more years.

A sugarfree birthday cake category was also launched in 2012. The first winning entry was a Gooseberry apple cake (Almás egres torta)

Initiated by the diabetes care association, this pastry does not contain white flour, sugar - only xylitol - nor additives, serving as an alternative for those counting carbs.

Millet cake with Kecskemét apricot
Millet cake with Kecskemét apricot | Source

2011: Millet cake with Kecskemét apricot (Kecskeméti barackos kölestorta)

This innovative dessert combines a simple ingredient, millet and the taste of Summer in the form of juicy peaches delivered from the area of Kecskemét in central Hungary.

Plum dumplings cake
Plum dumplings cake | Source

2010: Plum dumplings cake (Szilvagombóc torta)

Plums with marzipan shaped as a dumpling inside a cake slice? Look no further, this is it.Those with a sweet tooth will surely enjoy the 2010 birthday cake of Hungary as it basically qualifies as a 2 in 1 sweet.

Pándi sour cherry cake
Pándi sour cherry cake | Source

2009: Pándi sour cherry cake (Pándi meggy torta)

This could be a favourite dessert for you, if you prefer the harmony of sour and sweet taste notes just like eating a perfectly round dark red pándi sour cherry right from the tree.

Plum of Szatmár cake
Plum of Szatmár cake | Source

2008: Plum of Szatmár cake (Szatmári szilva torta)

The speciality lies in the drop of plum pálinka (a local spirit produced in the Szatmár region) and plenty of dried plums in each slice. Delicious!

Floating islands cake
Floating islands cake | Source

2007: Floating islands cake (Madártej torta)

The idea of this pastry came from a very popular dessert that is made from milk with sweet cloud-like egg-white foam floating on top. Both the lightness and the sweet culinary moments are charateristics of the cake named after it.

Next time you visit Hungary I recommend you to try at least one of aboves - my personal favourite is the Millet cake with apricot. And if you happen to arrive on 20th August, enjoy the St. Stephen's day events, concerts and the evening fireworks. Happy Birthday, Hungary!

© 2013 Zsuzsi @

© 2013 Zsuzsi


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Wow I must confess you make some very trneahcnt points.

    • Zsuzsi profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from London

      Hi Claudia, It's great to have a new variety offered to the sweet tooth and I'm also looking forward to trying this year's winner cake. I think they've raised the bar in 2012, so they will have to come up with something original again.

    • Claudia Tello profile image

      Claudia Tello 

      5 years ago from Mexico

      Interesting tradition and what a great variety of cakes! Some of them have quite unusual ingredients as well, what will it be for 2013?....


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