Hungarian Kiffles Recipe (2024)

Hungarian Kiffles Recipe (1)

Preparing these cookies requires a bit of a time investment, but they are such a special treat we know you’ll find them well worth the effort.

Hungarian Kiffles (Kiflis) Are A Holiday Tradition

Being of Hungarian descent, kiffles (also spelled kifli) have always been on hand at our family gatherings during the holidays. They take some work to prepare, but one bite will prove they’re well worth the effort.

Kiffles are delicate Hungarian cookies made with cream cheese dough and filled with various flavors of pastry filling. They make a beautiful contribution to any holiday cookie platter.

Hungarian Kiffles Recipe (2)

About Kiffle (Kifli) Fillings

It is very important that you use fillings that are made specifically for pastry in your kiffles. Pie filling will be too loose and jams and preserves can produce unpredictable results.

We’ve always used Solo Brand Cake & Pastry Filling and have never been disappointed. Solo makes a variety of flavors in 12-ounce cans. Pictured here are poppy seed, cherry, almond, and apricot.

Prune (lekvar in Hungarian), walnut, and poppy seed are the most traditional Hungarian choices and if you read through the comments, you’ll see that a few of our readers have included instructions for making these two fillings from scratch.

Pro Tip: How to Make All Your Kiffles the Same Size

Making sure your kiffles are uniform in size is not only about a beautiful presentation, it’s about even baking. The trick is to roll the dough into a perfect 9-inch square. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Cut a sheet of parchment paper 15 inches wide by 18 inches long. Fold 4-1/2 inches of each short side toward the middle. Make sharp creases and unfold.
  2. Fold 3 inches of each long side toward the center. Make sharp creases there as well and you should have a well-defined 9-inch square in the center of your parchment paper.
  3. With the flaps facing up, dust the parchment liberally with flour and place a portion of dough in the center of the square.
  4. Dust the top of the dough with flour as well, then fold the parchment along your creases to make an “envelope” around your dough.
  5. Turn it over (flap sides down) and place it on your rolling surface.
  6. Roll the dough from the center toward the corners as directed above.
  7. Remove the dough carefully to avoid tearing.

Once you have the dough rolled into a perfect square, you can easily mark off even intervals of 1-1/2-inches (6 per side) with the tip of a knife. Use your pastry wheel to make the cuts and you will get 36 kiffles (kiflis) per square.

Hungarian Kiffles Recipe (3)

Hungarian Kiffles Recipe (4)

Hungarian Kiffles

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Kiffles (kiflis) are traditional Hungarian cream cheese pastry cookies with assorted fruit and nut fillings like apricot, almond, and poppy.

Yield: 12 dozen

Prep Time: 1 hour hr 30 minutes mins

Cook Time : 30 minutes mins

Total Time : 2 hours hrs

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Ingredients

  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (1/2 lb) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 to 2-1/2 cups cake and pastry filling, about two 12-ounce cans

Instructions

Prepare the Dough:

  • Whisk the flour and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.

  • Beat the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until very smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, mixing just until combined. The dough will be quite moist, but not sticky.

  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and flatten into a square approximately 1/2-inch thick. Cut into 4 equal pieces and wrap each separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, a minimum of 2 hours.

Roll and Cut the Dough:

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F and position a rack in the center of the oven. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.

  • Remove one portion of the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a liberally floured surface.

  • Dust the top of the dough with flour and cover with a sheet of wax or parchment paper. Working from the center toward the corners, roll the dough out to a 1/8-inch-thick square. It should measure about 9 inches.

  • For best results, see our recipe notes below to learn how to roll your dough into a perfect square.

  • Using a pastry wheel or a sharp knife, cut your dough both lengthwise and crosswise into small squares.

  • Your total yield will depend on how large you make them. We recommend 1-1/2-inches which will give you 36 kiffles per square of dough or about 12 dozen total.

  • The best way to keep the size even is to use a ruler and mark all 4 sides of the dough square at intervals with the tip of a knife. You can use the handle of a spatula to guide you as you cut to keep your lines straight as well (similar to drawing straight lines on a sheet of paper).

Fill and Seal the Kiffles:

  • Working as quickly as possible, place a small mound of filling (about 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon) in the center of each square. If the filling flavor you’re using is relatively smooth you can spoon it into a small freezer bag, snip off a tiny bottom corner and squeeze the filling onto the squares. This works particularly well with the poppy and almond flavors.

  • Lift two opposite corners of the dough over the filling and gently pinch them together. Fold that "point" over to one side, moisten the tip of your finger with a bit of water and smooth it down gently on one side of the kiffle. This prevent the kiffles from popping open as they bake.

  • Important Note: The various filling flavors spread a bit differently during baking so you may want to fill a few "test" kiffles and bake them to gauge the right amount of filling for each type.

Bake the Kiffles:

  • Arrange the kiffles 1 inch apart on the parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake until barely golden, 12 to 14 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute, then carefully transfer the kiffles to cooling racks.

  • Repeat the process with the remaining 3 portions of dough, using different filling flavors if desired.

How to Store Kiffles:

  • Store kiffles between layers of waxed paper in a tightly closed container and refrigerate. Bring them to room temperature (30 minutes out of the fridge), arrange on a plate and dust lightly with powdered sugar just before serving. It’s not advisable to top them with powdered sugar before storing.

  • Makes 8 to 12 dozen

Recipe Notes

How To Roll Your Dough Into a Perfect 9-Inch Square:

  1. Cut a sheet of parchment paper 15 inches wide by 18 inches long. Fold 4-1/2 inches of each short side toward the middle. Make sharp creases and unfold.
  2. Fold 3 inches of each long side toward the center. Make sharp creases there as well and you should have a well-defined 9-inch square in the center of your parchment paper.
  3. With the flaps facing up, dust the parchment liberally with flour and place a portion of dough in the center of the square. Dust the top of the dough with flour as well, then fold the parchment along your creases to make an "envelope" around your dough.
  4. Place it on your rolling surface, flap sides down and roll the dough from the center toward the corners as directed above. Remove the dough carefully to avoid tearing.

Note: Because of its high fat content, this dough requires a fair amount of flour on your rolling surface.

Have you tried this recipe?Did you add your own special touch? We’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment and a rating to share your thoughts with others.

Hungarian Kiffles Recipe (2024)

FAQs

What does kifli mean in hungarian? ›

Kifli, kiflice, kifle, or kipferl is a traditional yeast bread roll that is rolled and formed into a crescent before baking.

What is the difference between kolacky and kiffle? ›

The Polish 'kolacky' and Hungarian 'kifli' are essentially the same dessert.

What country are kiffles from? ›

This is the real deal, direct from my Hungarian descendants. These yummy, delicate cookies are just the right amount of sweetness and are absolutely addicting! Simple ingredients, but do take some work, but well worth it!

Do kiffles need to be refrigerated? ›

How to Store Kiffles: Store kiffles between layers of waxed paper in a tightly closed container and refrigerate. Bring them to room temperature (30 minutes out of the fridge), arrange on a plate and dust lightly with powdered sugar just before serving. It's not advisable to top them with powdered sugar before storing.

What do Hungarians say before eating? ›

Jo étvágyat!

Waiters often say this when placing meals on the table, and if you're eating a meal with a Hungarian they'll definitely say this before starting to eat.

What does babushka mean in Hungarian? ›

"A woman's headscarf, tied under the chin." Baba, in Slavic languages like Polish and Russian, means old woman or grandmother. Babushka is the Russian diminutive of baba.

What does kolache mean in Hungarian? ›

Kolach or kalach is a traditional bread found in Central and Eastern European cuisines, commonly served during various special occasions – particularly wedding celebrations, Christmas, Easter, and Dożynki. The name originates from the Old Slavonic word kolo (коло) meaning "circle" or "wheel".

Are kiffles and rugelach the same? ›

In late twentieth century America, kipfel, particularly with an unleavened cream cheese dough, became better known as rugelach.” kipfele had a pronounced F that is no longer around in the Hasidic pronunciation, which is kipele. In the 1933 Crisco Recipes for the Jewish Housewife, there's a kipfel recipe.

What are the flavors of kiffles? ›

Our kiffles freeze very well, so stock up with a bulk order. Available in Mixed, Nut, Apricot, Raspberry or Prune. *The mixed selection is packed heavy with Nut & Apricot fillings, and less of the Raspberry & Prune.

Who invented Kifli? ›

Another myth surrounding these cookies is that they originated when Christian forces freed Buda from the Ottoman occupation in 1686. Thought to have originated in Vienna, the original Kifli are much different than the version served widely in Hungary today.

What are kiffles made of? ›

For those of you unfamiliar, kiffles are similar in appearance to a flat, rolled croissant with a sweet and often fruity filling. It's light and flaky pastry is due to mixing King Arthur flour, cream cheese and butter.

How do you freeze kiffles? ›

Simply wrap the tin or box in saran wrap prior to freezing, then when thawing remove saran wrap, take product out of tin or box, lay on counter for 2 hours to thaw and dust Kiffles with powdered sugar if desired.

What is the most popular Christmas cookie? ›

The Iced Sugar Cookie takes the top spot, stealing the show as the most favorite Christmas cookie with classic sweetness and festive decorations. Simple, delicious, and a canvas for creativity- it's the “go-to” for holiday bakers.

Can kiffles be frozen? ›

Our kiffles freeze very well, so stock up with a bulk order. Available in Mixed, Nut, Apricot, Raspberry or Prune. *The mixed selection is packed heavy with Nut & Apricot fillings, and less of the Raspberry & Prune. The perfect amount to help accomodate larger nut tossie needs.

How long can you freeze kiffles? ›

Kiffle dough:

Gradually add the flour on low speed and mix just until it's incorporated. Do not overmix the dough. Divide the dough into seven 3-ounce patties (I don't have a food scale, so I just eyeball it) and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. It can also be frozen for up to two weeks.

What is the slang for Hungarians? ›

To call a Hungarian man in slang you could use, Hun although Magyar is a very common way to call a Hungarian in slang.

What is the word for girl in Hungarian? ›

Translation for 'girl' from English to Hungarian

girl lány {noun} leány {noun}

What does kiss mean in Hungary? ›

Hungarian: from kis 'small', applied as a nickname for a person of small stature. The surname is contrasted with Nagy and was often used also to describe the younger of two bearers of the same personal name.

What do we call Kifla in English? ›

Translation of "kifla" into English. croissant, crescent roll are the top translations of "kifla" into English.

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