Chimney Cone ‘Carrots’ with Vanilla Pastry Cream

by Hanelore Dumitrache

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A playful twist on the traditional Hungarian chimney cake, this chimney cone recipe is as delicious as it gets! The chimney cake is shaped into a cone to hold vanilla pastry filling and covered in cinnamon sugar. Why stop at pastry horns when the chimney cone is so much more tastier and unique? Made to look like a carrot, this chimney cone is the perfect Easter dessert for kids!

Chimney cone carrots in basket

Chimney cakes are by far one of my favourite treats ever. I kid you not, I once went all around London like a mad woman trying to find chimney cake. That’s until I started baking and begun making my own! Chimney cakes are extremely popular in Romania, my home country as everyone loves them. Over the past few years, however, chimney cones have become even more popular. These clever pastry inventions are designed to hold fillings or even ice cream.

WHAT IS CHIMNEY CAKE?

Chimney cake is the most popular Hungarian dessert, known as Kürtöskalács (pronounced khur-thos-kha-laks). Although nowadays popular in Hungary, chimney cake is specific to Hungarians settled in the Transylvania area in Romania.

Chimney cakes are made from a sweet yeasted dough, then rolled into thin strips and spun around a wooden spit. The cakes are traditionally roasted over coals and covered in sugar, cinnamon and walnut. The roasting of the chimney cakes makes them crunchy on the outside, but pillowy soft on the inside.

WHAT ABOUT CHIMNEY CONES?

Chimney cones are a playful twist on the traditional chimney cake and they are shaped like cones. Shaped similarly to pastry horns, chimney cones can hold fillings or ice cream. Nowadays, chimney cones are an extremely popular street food in most countries.

Flatlay image of chimney cone carrots

HOW TO MAKE CHIMNEY CONE

Despite their intricate looks, chimney cones are very easy to make. The cones are made from a sweet yeasted dough, which requires minimal kneading and is very easily moulded into shape. The strips of dough are typically spun around a metal cone, then baked in the oven. Without further ado, let’s start!

  1. Add all the ingredients for the dough in a large bowl, then use a wooden spoon to combine them.
  2. Knead the dough on your work surface until no longer sticky and soft to the touch. This should take about 4-5 minutes.
Mixing ingredients for dough in a large glass bowl
Hand kneading dough

3. Place the dough in a greased bowl, then cover it with plastic wrap. Let it prove for 30-45 minutes in a warm place or until it doubles in volume.

4. Punch out the air from the dough, then divide the dough into 8 equal parts. You can either eyeball it or use a kitchen scale for more accuracy.

Proved dough in bowl
Dough divided into 8 parts

5. Roll out each small dough into a 40 cm (15 inches) strips. Keep the remaining dough covered to prevent it from drying out.

6. Spin each strip of dough around metal cone greased with butter. Ensure each bit overlaps the previous one, then gently press the seams with your fingers to ‘stick’ them together.

Hands rolling out dough into thin strip
Spinning strip of dough around metal pastry cone

7. Brush the chimney cones with egg yolk all around. Add a splash of milk into the egg yolk to make it easier to spread. You can also use melted butter instead of egg yolk. Optional: add a little orange food colouring to make the colour more like carrots.

8. Sprinkle the chimney cone with sugar mixed with cinnamon. Alternatively, roll each cone through sugar.

Brushing chimney cone dough with egg wash
Chimney cones sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon

TURNING THE CHIMNEY CONE INTO A CARROT

These little chimney cones are so adorable when turned into carrots! They make the best Easter dessert for children or Peter Rabbit party treat. Turning the chimney cone into a carrot is extremely simple: it just needs some leaves at the top. I like to use mint leaves, as they are also edible and smell amazing. However, any other edible leaves can be used safely (like curly parsley, real carrot leaves etc).

Hand holding chimney cone carrot

CHIMNEY CONE FILLINGS

The fillings for the chimney cone carrots can be anything you like. However, I recommend using fillings that hold their shape, as presumably the carrots will be displayed on their side. Here are some of my favourite filling ideas:

  1. Vanilla pastry cream
  2. Baileys Irish Cream mascarpone filling – for adults only
  3. White chocolate cream cheese frosting
  4. Dark chocolate ganache
  5. Whipped cream
Filling chimney cake with dark chocolate ganache
Filling chimney cake with cream cheese frosting
Stack of chimney cone carrot with mint leaves

HOW TO MAKE PASTRY CONE WITHOUT MOULD

Metal pastry moulds are not an item that can be used for other purposes apart from… cone shaped pastry. Although it’s much easier to use store bough pastry metal cones, you can very quickly make your own – for a fraction of the cost! All you need to make your own pastry cone mould is aluminium foil.

  1. Tear off a strip of aluminium foil around 50cm (20 inches) in length. Fold it in half along the longer side.
  2. Now fold the foil in half along the shorter side.
Aluminium foil folded in half along long edge
Aluminium foil folded in half along short edge

3. Bring one edge across diagonally, then roll it into a cone shape.

4. If needed, reinforce with a little more aluminium foil. Grease with butter before using.

Rolling aluminium foil into a cone shape
Finished aluminium cone mould greased with butter

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

HOW LONG DOES CHIMNEY CAKE LAST?

Baked chimney cake and chimney cone will last at room temperature for up to 2 days if wrapped accordingly. As the dough is yeasted, you cannot store or refrigerate the uncooked chimney cake.

HOW TO STORE CHIMNEY CAKE & CHIMNEY CONE

Chimney cake and cone is best stored at room temperature, wrapped in plastic film. To store it, wrap the baked chimney cone in plastic film tightly, ensuring no air can get it. It’s important you store the unfilled chimney cones, as the wet pastry cream will make the cone very soft.

IS CHIMNEY CAKE VEGAN?

Traditionally, chimney cake is not vegan because it uses butter and milk. However, the recipe can very easily be made vegan by substituting the butter with vegan butter or spread. Replace the milk with vegan alternatives (almond, hazelnut etc). You can also fill the chimney cone with any vegan filling of your choice.

Chimney cone carrot torn in half revealing vanilla pastry cream inside

MUSIC FROM TRANSYLVANIA TO LISTEN TO WHEN MAKING CHIMNEY CONE

If you enjoyed this recipe, you will love these too:

Mini egg chocolate brownies with chocolate ganache

Double Layer Carrot Cake with Caramelised Walnuts

Milk Brioche with Chocolate Walnut – Romanian Cozonac

Ground Beef Hand Pies (Crimean Tatar Cantik)

Pumpkin pie with walnuts and phyllo pastry

If you’ve tried this recipe out, please don’t forget to rate and comment on this recipe. I love hearing from you, so feel free to reach out to me on social media as well and tag me in your posts!

Flatlay image of chimney cone carrots

Chimney Cone ‘Carrot’ with Vanilla Pastry Cream

Hanelore DumitracheHanelore Dumitrache
Delicious chimney cone shaped into a carrot and covered in sugar & cinnamon. Filled with silky smooth vanilla pastry cream.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Hungarian
Servings 8
Calories 387 kcal

Equipment

  • Metal pastry cone 12 cm / 4.5 inches long

Ingredients
  

Chimney cone

  • 2 eggs
  • 25 g granulated sugar
  • 40 g melted butter, cooled
  • 300 g plain white flour
  • 80 ml milk, lukewarm
  • 7 g instant dry yeast
  • 2 egg yolks for brushing*
  • 100 g sugar for sprinkling
  • 2 tsp cinnamon for sprinkling

Vanilla pastry cream

  • 500 ml milk
  • 25 g corn starch
  • 25 g flour
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 80 g icing sugar
  • 50 g butter, cold
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract

Instructions
 

Chimney cone

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (360°F) with fan. Line a large baking tray with baking paper (parchment).
  • In a bowl add the milk, instant yeast and 1 tsp of sugar. Mix and let it bloom for 5-10 minutes until bubbles form on the surface.
  • Place the melted butter (cooled to room temp), eggs and yeasty mixture in a large bowl. Add the flour and the rest of the sugar and mix everything with a wooden spoon until a dough forms.
  • Put the dough on the work surface and knead it by hand for 4-5 minutes or until the dough is no longer sticky. Do not add any additional flour while kneading. Once smooth, place the dough in a large bowl greased with oil, then cover with plastic film. Let it prove in a warm place for 30-45 minutes or until it doubles in volume.
  • Prep the metal pastry cones by brushing them with butter. Once the dough has proved, divide it into 8 equal parts. Roll out each part of dough into a thin strip roughly 40 cm (15 inches) in length.
  • Spin the strip of dough around a metal cone, ensuring each roll overlaps the pervious one slightly. gently press the dough with your fingers to ensure it sticks together.
  • Brush with egg yolk mixed with 1 tsp of milk. Optional: add in a little orange food colouring into the egg yolk to make the cones more 'carroty'.
  • Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl, then sprinkle the mixture over the chimney cones. Bake for 20-25 minute or until they start to brown slightly around the edges.
  • Let them cool on the tray and fill with your favourite frosting or cream before serving.
  • Add mint leaves on top to create the carrot leaves.

Vanilla pastry cream

  • In a small saucepan, heat up the milk and vanilla bean paste. The milk should be hot, but just before boiling point.
  • Whip up the egg yolks with the sugar until pale and fluffy. Add in the cornstarch, then mix until fully incorporated. Add the flour, and mix once more until fully incorporated. Add 1-2 tsp of the milk if the mixture becomes too stiff.
  • Pour half of the hot milk into the eggs, then use a whisk to mix vigorously. Mix really well to prevent any lumps. Strain the mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk, then return to the stove.
  • Cook the pastry cream over low heat, mixing continuously to prevent lumps. Once the mixture has thickened up, remove it from the heat and add in the butter. Whisk well to melt the butter into the cream.
  • Place the vanilla pastry cream into a shallow bowl, then cover with plastic film. Ensure the plastic is in direct contact with the cream, then let it cool down. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before using. Once fully chilled, whip it up with a hand mixer to loosen up the pastry cream.

Notes

  • I recommend using a kitchen scale in grams for more accuracy. The cups used for the conversion are standard US customary cups (1 cup flour = 136g). There are many different types of cups across the globe, which is why I strongly recommend using grams instead. 
  • The chimney cones can also be brushed with melted butter instead of egg yolk. 
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