Hungarian Walnut Dumplings (Aranygaluska)

hungarian walnut dumplings with vanilla sauce

 🍴  Servings: 4

🥣 Category: Dessert

💪 Difficulty Level: 4/5 

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What makes walnut dumplings so delicious? This sweet dish, known as a specialty of Hungarian cuisine, is a real delicacy that combines the delicious taste of golden, oven-baked dumplings with the silky, vanilla-scented sauce. It is the perfect choice for any occasion, be it a festive dinner or a simple everyday dessert. It tastes good to children and adults alike, and one bite immediately takes us back in time. The name “Galuska” refers to the dough, which is cut into balls and baked with delicious walnut sugar crumbles. Serve with homemade vanilla sauce.

The history of the Hungarian walnut dumplings

It is not known how far back the origin of walnut dumplings goes, but the first mention is in a Hungarian interpretive dictionary published between 1862 and 1874. It is interesting to note that Mór Jókai – the famous Hungarian writer – also mentioned the “walnut dumplings a’la Torda” once in the July 6, 1862 issue of Vasárnapi Újság. He gave his article the title “Our national dishes”, in which he listed several of our local dishes, including the walnut dumplings.

The popularity of walnut dumplings abroad

The Encyclopedia of Jewish Food reports that dumplings were mentioned as early as the 1880s. In America, for example, it became extremely popular in the mid-1900s. They were made in several local Hungarian and Jewish bakeries, which Americans loved. Betty Crocker also published it in her 1972 cookbook under the name Hungarian Coffee Cake. The dumpling also became popular in the American White House when Nancy Reagan served it to the family on the Christmas menu.

Monkey bread vs. Walnut dumplings

Similar to walnut dumplings, pieces of leavened dough are torn out and arranged closely together when making American monkey bread. It is not, however, sprinkled with ground nuts; rather, it is spread with a dreadful amount of butter and sugar (up to 3-400 grams in some recipes), sprinkled with it, and frequently baked in the shape of a gugelhupf with a hollow center. As a result, by the time the baking process is complete, the tiny dumplings are encircled by a gooey, occasionally cinnamon-flavored caramel.

Ingredients of walnut dumplings:

For the dough:

  • 500 g plain flour
  • 20 g fresh yeast
  • 70 g of butter
  • 300 ml milk
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • salt

For sprinkling and dipping:

  • 300 g of ground walnuts
  • 150 g of sugar
  • 100 g of butter

For the vanilla sauce:

    • 700 ml of milk
    • 4 egg yolks
    • 2 pcs. vanilla sugar (18g) or scraped seeds of a vanilla bean
    • 100 g of sugar
    • 1 tbsp of plain flour


  1. Mix the lukewarm milk with the sugar and yeast. leave to rise for 10 minutes. Add the flour, melted butter, salt and the grated peel of a lemon. Knead into a homogeneous, smooth dough. Sprinkle with a little flour, cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
  2. Roll out the dough to the thickness of a finger. Cut out small disks with a glass or cookie cutter.
  3. Mix the sugar with the walnuts. Dip the dough pieces in melted butter and coat with the sweet walnuts. Layer the coated dumplings in a baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350°F (180°C) for 30 minutes. Let cool.
  4. Prepare the vanilla sauce: Beat egg yolks with vanilla, flour and sugar until lump-free. Slowly add the hot milk – stirring constantly. Place on the stove and cook until the mixture thickens. Set aside and allow to cool.
  5. Serve the dumplings with this delicious vanilla sauce and enjoy your dessert!

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