Hungarian Kifli Cookies

Hungarian Kifli Cookies – Rich and flaky traditional Hungarian cookies filled with a light walnut filling. Perfect Christmas cookies!

Kifli Cookies

Hungarian Kifli Cookies

If you haven’t tried kifli cookies, then you are sure in for a treat! I hadn’t had them either until I made this batch but after hearing stories about how incredible these cookies were, I knew I had to give them a shot.  This kifli recipe that been passed down through the family for generations and is actually authentic. It was first posted in a Michigan newspaper a few decades back and a copy was passed down to me recently.

Now don’t be intimidated, the recipe is a lot easier than it sounds! What I liked the most was how these kifli cookies had such a light flavor.  They weren’t overly sweet and would honestly be wonderful for breakfast too as they are very reminiscent of a pasty!  You can make the filling sweeter but I choose to just use about 3/4 tbsp of sugar and I’m glad I went that route.  After all of the really sweet cookies recently, these kifli were a welcome change!

Vanilla Kifli Cookies

Looking for more international cookie recipes? Make sure to check out my German Pfeffernüsse Cookies, Italian Pizzelle Cookies, and Swedish Muskotsnittar!

Tips on hungarian kifli cookies recipe

  • Yes, you dissolve the yeast in sour cream.  I know, it caught me off guard too, but it works!
  • Make sure to grind the walnuts up pretty fine.  I would actually go finer than I did on this batch.
  • This recipe is actually halved, it makes about 16 cookies.  If you want more, just double it!

Hungarian Kifli Cookies

Yield: 16

Hungarian Kifli Cookies

Hungarian Kifli Cookies

Rich and flaky traditional Hungarian cookies filled with a light walnut filling. Perfect Christmas cookies!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes



  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla


  • 2 egg whites, beaten until stiff
  • 3/4 cup ground walnuts
  • sugar to taste
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and butter, cutting together with either two knives or a pastry cutter.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, combine sour cream, yeast, and sugar.  Mix until well combined and let sit wile yeast dissolves.
  3. Add yeast mixture into the flour mixture along with the vanilla and egg yolks.  Mix dough together by hand until it is well combined.  Split dough in half and wrap up in either plastic wrap or wax paper.  Refrigerate 2-3 hours or overnight.
  4. Right before dough comes out of refrigerator, combine ingredients for filling.  Set aside.
  5. On a large cutting board, sprinkle 1/3 cup flour and 1/3 cup sugar.  Roll out dough into a thin circle before cutting into 8 triangles.  Place 1 tsp of filling on each triangle and roll up starting on the wider end.  Place on a lined cookie sheet with the open end down and bend the cookie a bit so it looks like a crescent.  Repeat with process for all of the triangles from both things of dough.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Sprinkle powdered sugar on top and serve.

Hungarian Cookies

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  • Reply
    Dana DeVolk
    December 9, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    Wow, these are going into my Christmas baking rotation, yum!

  • Reply
    December 10, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    I’ve heard of these before but never tried them. Totally going to whip up a batch this holiday season 😀

  • Reply
    Amy | The Cook Report
    February 19, 2018 at 9:03 am

    These look so lovely, can’t wait to try them!

  • Reply
    February 19, 2018 at 9:09 am

    This is exactly the kind of dessert I like. These sound absolutely delicious! How do you think pecans would be in place of the walnuts? Walnuts aren’t my favorite nut…

  • Reply
    Lisa | Garlic & Zest
    February 19, 2018 at 9:14 am

    These cookies look phenomenal – I want a few with a cup of coffee!

  • Reply
    Jeni @ Biscuits & Booze
    February 19, 2018 at 10:31 am

    I haven’t had these before, but they sound like they’d be perfect with my coffee right now! I love that you dissolve the yeast in sour cream. Interesting technique!

  • Reply
    Elaine @ Dishes Delish
    February 19, 2018 at 11:04 am

    I have never heard of Kifli! But, now that I have, I can’t wait to make them. They look soft and tasty with the walnut filling! I’m always up for trying new recipes and I can’t wait to make your cookies!!

  • Reply
    May 13, 2018 at 2:38 am

    These are also traditional in our home. Grandma came from Hungary . We dont use nuts in ours. However our family recipe book has been sent down generations and has different types . Our main kupfel we roll and roll with granualted sugar. I personally like to roll them on top befor adding to the oven. Its so nice to see others out there who know this food. But for some reason our accents or names are a bit different.

    • Reply
      May 17, 2018 at 6:44 pm

      I love the idea of rolling them in granulated sugar! They seriously are such a great treat!

  • Reply
    December 10, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    I’d like to try these. What type of yeast is used – regular or quick rise?

    • Reply
      January 26, 2019 at 3:22 pm

      I used Fleishmann’s active dry yeast!

  • Reply
    December 16, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    True recipe! my family is Hungarian and have passed down a kifli recipe for who knows how long and I find it interesting that the other kifli recipes are so different than mine. Your recipe is the closest thing to mine! Hooray! Yes this is truly traditional and authentic Hungarian Kifli 🙂

    • Reply
      January 26, 2019 at 3:20 pm

      Yay, I’m glad it is close to yours! I also have tried other recipes but they are never quite as good as this one! 🙂

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