Gundel Pancake - The Hungarian Crepe

gundel crepe hungarian pancake

 🍴  Servings: 4

🥣 Category: Dessert

💪 Difficulty Level: 5/5 

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A classic Hungarian dessert with walnut filling and chocolate sauce: the Gundel pancake is a classic restaurant dessert, but with a little creativity and skill you can prepare the spectacular delicacy at home.

But why is it called Gundel?

Because of the name, many believe that it is an invention of Károly Gundel, a famous Hungarian gastronomic expert who died in 1956, although he only put the very successful pancake on the menu of his restaurant.

The real history of the Gundel crepe

The Gundel crepe was originally called the Márai crepe, and you guessed it: It has something to do with Sándor Márai. The Hungarian writer, poet and journalist was born in Kassa and met Ilona Matzner, called Lola, in Berlin at the age of 20. They married in 1923, and after leaving the registry office, the first acquaintance they met was Karinthy Frigyes (famous Hungarian writer, poet, translator). Pancake’s road to fame began with the premiere of “Kaland”, a play based on his short story “Before Order”. Márai and her lover were also invited to the fancy event.

According to legend, this is how the first version came about

Lola decided to treat her family to her favorite dessert at the banquet after the premiere: Chocolate crepes with walnuts, raisins and candied orange peel. This kindness proved to be more successful than he could have imagined. Károly Gundel, who was present, liked the dessert so much that he put it on the menu of his restaurant under the name Márai pancake (notwithstanding the fact that the recipe was not Márai’s doing) – supposedly he shaped it a bit to his own taste. At least according to legend, that’s how it all happened.

Gundel pancake today

As early as the second half of the 19th century, the filled pancakes were baked in a pan (in oven) with hot butter before serving, and only at the last moment the vanilla flavored chocolate sauce was poured on the hot pancakes.
In restaurants, the top of the pancake is often doused with heated and lighted rum or other alcohol, i.e. flambéed, and served as a “flaming” pancake.
This cult dessert can still be found on the menu of the Gundel Restaurant in Budapest: Gundel Pancakes/Gundel Restaurant


For the batter:
• 2 eggs
• 300 ml of milk
• 3 tablespoons of butter or oil
• 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar
• 250 g of all-purpose flour
• 100 ml carbonated water
• 1 teaspoon of salt
For the filling:
• 200 ml of cream
• 100 g of sugar
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• 250 g of ground walnuts
• 30 g of raisins (soak in rum for 15 minutes before use)
For the chocolate sauce:
• 200 ml of cream
• 100 g of dark chocolate
• 1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar or extract
• 2 tablespoons of rum

• powdered sugar for serving


  1. Combine eggs, salt, milk, oil (or melted butter), and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix in the sifted flour in small amounts, stirring constantly with a whisk until the mixture is lump-free. Pour in the carbonated water, mix well, and set aside for 30 minutes.
  2. In a pan, make thin pancakes from the batter: Grease the pan with melted butter and add about a half-ladle of batter. Tip the pan to evenly distribute the batter. Cook for 30 seconds to a minute, or until the top has set, then flip with a spatula and cook for another 30 seconds on the other side.
  3. Prepare the filling: cook the cream with the sugar, cinnamon, ground walnuts, and raisins for 3-4 minutes or until thickened.
  4. Make the chocolate sauce: Melt the chocolate in the cream over steaming water. Mix in the vanilla and rum.
  5. Fill each pancake with about 2 tablespoons of walnut filling, fold in quarters, and serve with powdered sugar, chocolate sauce, and a few walnut pieces. Enjoy your meal!

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