20 August is one of the most important national holidays in Hungary. First and foremost, it celebrates the foundation of Hungary, for which it has been dubbed as the birthday of Hungary. As such, it is just natural that the event needs an official cake of Hungary – which is selected yearly.
The cake of Hungary contest
Every year, the Hungarian Confectioners Guild organizes a contest to select the cake of Hungary which will be presented just in time for the celebration of 20 August. In fact, there are always two cakes, one regular and one sugar-free, which are available in confectionaries all over Hungary starting from 19 August.
The contest is normally announced at the start of the year, and submissions are accepted until the end of March. Entries are expected from confectioners, confectionaries and other hospitality establishments (e.g. cafés or restaurants, where you can normally expect to find cake on the menu). Preliminaries are held in April, after which the 4-5 finalists are selected. The winners are announced at the end of July or early August, and the recipes are shared with confectioners so they can prepare for making the cakes themselves.
Every year there are some special requirements for the cakes. This year the contestants were supposed to use one or more from a list of Hungarian specialty ingredients, often referred to as Hungaricums:
- Sauer cherries from Újfehértó
- Ground paprika from Kalocsa
- Tokaji Aszú sweet wine
- Acacia honey
- Hungarian herbs (such as chamomile, lavender, mint, lemon balm, rosemary, and thyme)
The cake of Hungary in 2023
This year, the cake of Hungary is called “Spicces Füge RESPEKTUS” (which translates to “Tipsy Fig RESPECT”). It is made with a fig jelly containing some Tokaji Aszú, the world-famous wine of Hungary, as well as an excellent mousse of salted caramel on a basis of joconde made with butter and almond flour, and another filling mixed from acacia honey and milk chocolate. The cake is topped with a ganache of acacia honey and white chocolate, and crowned with a piece of crunchy walnut sablé. The creator is Pál Lakatos of the Levendula és Kert confectionary in Szigetszentmiklós.
The sugar-free cake of Hungary in 2023
The sugar-free cake of Hungary is called “Kikelet” (which is a more archaic word for the season of “Spring” in Hungarian). The light cream is made with a dash of black tea and lavenders, completed by blueberry jelly on a sponge cake made with almond flour and without traditional flour. The creator is Zsófia Lawal-Papp of the Papp Confectionary in Makó.
Where to try the cake of Hungary?
First and foremost, at the Street of Hungarian Flavors in the Várkert Bazár, right under the Buda Castle on 19 and 20 August. Moreover, the cakes are available in hundreds of confectionaries all over Hungary – look for the signs in the shopwindows. The list of participating locations will be available on the website of the Hungarian Confectioners Guild and of the Egy Csepp Figyelem Foundation for diabetics.
Get a taste of Hungary
You don’t need to be Hungarian to appreciate the flavors of Hungary. However, you can easily become a citizen of Hungary if you have been living here for some time, or if any of your parents, grandparents, or other ancestors were Hungarian. Want to see if you are eligible? Take our quick eligibility test now.