DIY: bejgli, the Hungarian Christmas cake
Posted by Budnews · Dec 22, 2020

Bejgli is made for hundreds of years according to the recipe below.

Hungarian gastronomy has many special dishes, and it is no different with the Christmas menu. Bejgli, our Christmas “cake” is traditionally filled with walnut or poppy seed, these days even with chestnuts, cherries, prunes, but there are also sour cherry-poppy, chestnut-plum, apple-poppy and cabbage versions. Folk belief is that nuts should be eaten against hex and poppies bring wealth to the house.

Bejgli is originally from the Silesian region and this type of Silesian cake has been known in Europe since the 14th century. The name of this yummie Christmas cake came to Hungary through German and Austrian mediation and spread in the second half of the 19th century. From that time on, we began to celebrate Christmas according to German fashion in Hungary. But how is this traditional delicacy made?

Ingredients for 2 rolls:

For the dough:

  • 200 ml milk
  • 50 g powdered sugar
  • 20 g yeast
  • 50 g wheat
  • 250 g butter or margarine
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 lemon

For the filling:

  • 250 g ground walnuts
  • 250 g ground poppy seeds
  • 200 g sugar
  • 200 ml milk
  • 100 g raisins
  • 1 packet of vanilla sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • 250 g butter
  • 250 g margarine


For the bejgli dough, dissolve the sugar in lukewarm milk, add yeast and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Pour the flour into a bowl and melt the butter. First add the yeast milk and 2 egg yolks to the flour, then the butter, salt and the grated lemon zest. Knead the dough well together: we need to get a relatively hard, flexible dough. Let it rest in a warm place while we prepare the fillings.

Put the minced walnuts and poppy seeds in a separate bowl and mix them with 100-100 g of sugar and 100-100 ml of milk. The vanilla sugar is also divided in half and mixed with the fillings. If you like, you can also mix raisins and grated lemon zest.

We divide the dough into 2 parts and create rectangles the size of a baking tray. Spread the filling in a thickness of 1 cm over the entire surface and then gently roll it up. Place the two bars in the baking tray, keeping in mind that they are still rising during baking. The top of the bejgli is smeared with the remaining egg yolk, to which we can mix 1 tablespoon of milk to make it even more beautiful in color. Prick them with a fork and put it in a 200 degree Celsius oven for approx. 50 minutes for a nice golden brown in.

  • bejgli
  • cake
  • christmas
  • hungarian
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