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Magic in the Oven: Crafting Kiflis - Csodakifli from Elvira

This recipe is the first one that introduces you to the wonderful world of traditional Hungarian pastry called "kifli." These crescent-shaped delights are fun to bake and enjoy. Full disclosure - I did not get the shapes right at this first attempt, but I promise I will improve, as I will be baking these many-many times.

Kifli is a pastry that holds a special place in Hungarian culinary traditions. Its soft, flaky texture and enticing aroma have become a beloved treat for locals and visitors alike. What makes kifli so intriguing is the wide variety of flavors and fillings that can be incorporated into these crescent-shaped wonders. From sweet pastries to savory bread-like rolls, the options are endless.

Today, we will explore the basic recipe for a 'magical,' sweet walnut-filled kifli. I am not sure why it is called magical, but this pastry is known as 'csodakifli' or magical kifli. This particular recipe comes from another colleague of my Mom, Elvira. What I love about this recipe collection is that each is sourced from family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. When I look at the names, I remember long-lost memories and think about these people. Hopefully, their legacy lives with you when baking this pastry.

I assure you that there are many more exciting kifli variations to discover. So let's start creating some mouthwatering kiflis!

Kiflis are irresistible! The flaky and buttery pastry combined with your chosen fillings will create a harmonious symphony of flavors. Whether you prefer the sweetness of jam, walnut and chocolate or the savory delights of cheese and ham, each bite will transport you to the culinary wonders of Hungary. This recipe I baked with a traditional walnut filling.

Don't forget to share these delightful kiflis with your family and friends. They make a perfect accompaniment to a cozy brunch or a lovely addition to a dessert table. So, get creative with your fillings and explore the endless possibilities of kiflis. I hope you enjoy today's recipe and are inspired to try baking these delicious kiflis. I baked these yesterday for my friend's birthday. She and her family loved them. So happy baking and Jó Étvágyat!

Explore the photo gallery to find inspiration and follow the step-by-step process.

I thought I would publish the recipe here in English for those who don't read cursive or Hungarian or need the additional instructions the recipe description lacks.


250 gr unbleached all-purpose flour

100 gr unsalted butter (or lard)

2 egg yolks

1 tbsp rum (optional)

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp sugar

~1/2 cup of sour cream

~1/4 cup melted butter

Filling: walnut, jam, poppy seed, chestnut, or anything your heart desires!

For the walnut filling I used:

4 egg whites, beaten until stiff

200 gr ground walnut

100 gr icing sugar


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, then add enough sour cream to make a smooth, soft dough. Divide it into two smaller balls.

  2. Roll out each ball into as thin layer as you are able. Then brush entire surface with melted butter. Dust with a small amount of flour (just take a pinch of flour and spread it over the rolled out surface)

  3. Roll up the pastry and let the rolls rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes. (This is where Mom's recipe ends, the rest is somethig to know.. :)

  4. Preheat oven to 375F.

  5. Prepare your filling if needed. (i.e. if you use jam, or nutella, you will just scoop it, no need for preparation). Mix ground walnut with icing sugar, then fold beaten egg whites until mixed.

  6. After the rolls rested, cut the pastries into small balls.

  7. One ball at the time, roll the little dough balls into a thin fat diamond, or ice cream cone shape. (See photos.)

  8. Place a spoonful of filling and roll it up starting from the top and if you can curve it into a crescent. (Mine were more just rolls, but as I said, will improve.)

  9. Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheets and bake until golden in colour.

  10. When it is out of the oven, roll crescents into icing sugar and arrange on a plate.

Let me know how it worked! Scroll through the pictures or reach out if you have any questions. Jó étvágyat!

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