Vegan Chimney Cake
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My first encounter with chimney cakes must have been about six or seven years ago. I was walking through the streets of Budapest and marveled at the great smell spreading through almost every street (at least that's how I remember it). Wide-eyed, I finally stood in front of a booth with chimney cakes and admired these baked goods that were spinning around themselves over an open fire. What a brilliant idea! Nowadays you can also find chimney cakes in Germany at Christmas markets or even in larger shopping malls. But to be honest, I've never eaten them since my vacation in Budapest.
And until now, I never came up with the idea of preparing them myself – what a mistake! Although the traditional dough contains eggs, milk, and butter, it's actually pretty simple to veganize it. The base is a yeast dough, which we prepared with some more sugar, as well as plant-based milk instead of water. We sprinkled our chimney cakes with a classic combination of sugar and cinnamon, but cocoa powder, nuts or coconut flakes work just as well.
Be sure to serve the chimney cakes fresh out of the oven as they will otherwise dry out and get hard. If you are short on time, prepare the dough in the morning (or the night before), roll it out, and cut it into strips. This way you only need to wrap it around a rolling pin and bake it right before serving. If you should have several rolling pins at home, you can even bake several chimney cakes parallelly.
By the way, there's also a great alternative if you don't even have an oven-safe rolling pin or don't want to bake the chimney cakes one after the other. Flip a muffin tray upside down, cover each muffin tin with aluminum foil, and brush it well with oil. Now you can wrap the dough stripes around the muffin tins and this way bake small chimney cake cups. You can eat them as they are or fill them with vegan heavy cream and fruits of your choice.
Vegan Chimney Cakes
For the dough:
- 21 g (0.75 oz) fresh yeast
- 50 g (0.25 cup) raw cane sugar
- 190 ml (0.75 cup) plant-based milk (lukewarm)
- 20 g (0.75 oz) coconut oil
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tbsp vanilla sugar
- 350 g (2.75 cups) flour
- flour for dusting
- 50 g (0.25 cup) vegan butter
- 6 tbsp white sugar
- 1-2 tbsp ground cinnamon
Crumble fresh yeast with your hands and add it to a bowl along with raw cane sugar and lukewarm (not hot!) plant-based milk. Whisk to combine and let the mixture rest for approx. 10 minutes to activate the yeast.
Melt coconut oil, then let it cool down until it's lukewarm. Add melted coconut oil, salt, vanilla sugar, and flour to the yeast mixture. Knead until you get a smooth dough. Cover the bowl with a damped kitchen towel. Let the dough rest at a warm place for approx. 1 hour, or until it's doubled in volume and shows a lot of bubbles on the surface.
Flour a working surface and roll out the dough until it's the shape of a rectangle. If the dough should be too sticky, add more flour and knead again. Cut the rolled out dough into stripes, approx. 2-3 cm/1 inches in width.
Preheat oven to 200°C/390°F (circulating air). For the topping, melt vegan butter in a small bowl. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
Wrap a rolling pin in aluminum foil and place it on a casserole dish in a way that only the ends of the rolling pin are lying on top of the rim. Brush aluminum foil with melted vegan butter. Leaving approx. 5 cm/2 inches space to the ends of the rolling pin, start to wrap one dough string around the rolling pin, then directly add another one – make sure to tighthly press the ends of both strings together. We needed approx. 2-3 strings of the dough per rolling pin.
Once the rolling pin is wrapped with dough (except for both ends), brush the dough with vegan butter and sprinkle with the sugar cinnamon mixture.
Bake vegan chimney cakes one by one (still placed on the casserole dish) at 200°C/390°F for approx. 12-15 minutes, rotating the rolling pin once or twice during this time. Afterwards, remove from the oven and let the chimney cake cool down for approx. 5 minutes before carefully removing it from the rolling pin. Repeat the steps with your remaining dough.