Anaheim’s Chimney Cakes Brings a Beloved Hungarian Pastry to O.C.

SZANDRA SZABO, co-owner of House of Chimney Cakes, introduces a beloved Hungarian pastry to Anaheim.

What is a chimney cake?
It’s a popular festival treat in Hungary, a mix between a churro and sweet bread. It’s crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy inside. The traditional version is a cylinder shape that’s hollow in the middle, and they’re baked on a spit over coals. When they’re pulled from the heat, the top smokes like a chimney.

How do you make them at your shop?
We use electric ovens imported from Hungary and the same recipe that my grandma taught me, with some variations. We use organic ingredients to make our base dough, wrap the dough around wooden dowels, and add sugar. This creates a nice, shiny, and caramelized surface.

Why do you think your chimney cakes have gone viral?
We also make chimney “cones,” filled with ice cream from Straus Family Creamery. My co-owner, Omar Lara, who has been a chef for more than 20 years, is the mastermind behind all of our creations. Our “SO Hungary Delicious” is definitely our most over-the-top creation: organic vanilla soft -serve inside a cinnamon sugar chimney cone with pretzels, caramel popcorn, cheesecake brownie bites, a Twix candy bar, and salted caramel and chocolate syrups.

What has the response been?
It’s exciting to show people something new. I’m getting lots of support from the Hungarian community. One woman came from L.A. and cried when we handed her a chimney cake. It reminded her of home.

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