Aranygaluska, Hungarian Golden Pull-Apart Cake

Aranygaluska | She Paused 4 Thought

I recently was accused of being a food history geek. As I opened my mouth to dispute this bizarre accusation, I stopped because I realized, with humility, that it is true. I am a total food history geek. I lay awake nights as I wonder about things like, the food King Tut chose for his journey into the afterlife (watermelon and beets)  or what Charlemagne insisted be in every garden in his kingdom (a fish pond).

When I started reading Joan Nathan‘s latest cookbook, King Solomon’s Table: A Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking from around the World, I found a kindred spirit. I couldn’t put it down. It’s a food history geek’s dream.

Joan’s interpretation of King Solomon’s passion for discovery according to 1 Kings 10:23-25 takes you on a fascinating adventure into a cross-pollination of culinary cultures.

“As a wandering people, Jews have influenced many different local cuisines as they carried their foods to new lands via Jewish trade routes, while fleeing prejudice in search of safer lands, or while migrating in search of new opportunities,” Joan writes.

Who knew that macaroons trace back to Iraq, or bagels to Egypt? Ms. Nathan tells it all, and the tidbits and treasures written around each recipe in this cookbook are as delicious as the recipe itself.

Joan Nathan | King Solomon's Table

I recently met Joan at a media luncheon at Melissa’s Produce. Her extensive travels while researching this book, included trips to India, Greece, Italy, Cuba and beyond.

King Solomon's Table

Here are a few of the globally inspired recipes we tasted.

quinoa salad | King Solomon's Table

Quinoa Salad with Squash, Feta and Pecans – pg. 98 (Peru)

Herbert Samuel's Tomato Salad | King Solomon's Table
Herbert Samuel’s Tomato Salad – pg. 102 (Israel)

salyanka | King Solomon's TableSalyanka, Georgian Beef Stew with Red Peppers – pg.275 (Georgia)

harira | King Solomon's TableHarira, Spiced Moroccan Begetable Soup with Chickpeas, Cilantro & Lemon – pg. 102 (Morocco)

Shtritzlach | King Solomon's Table
Shtritzlach, Toronto Blueberry Buns – pg. 35 (Toronto, via Poland)

Ebraica harira | King Solomon's TablePizza Ebraica, Biscotti-Like Cookies with Dried Fruit and Wine – pg. 319 (Italy)

Today’s Recipe:

This recipe goes by many names: Golden Dumpling Cake, Butter Puffs, and the U.S. version, Monkey Bread. It is easy to make, but time intensive. Put on your favorite music and enjoy the process. Your friends and family will thank you.

Aranygaluska | She Paused 4 Thought

The dough comes together quickly thanks to a mixer.

Aranygaluska | She Paused 4 Thought

Once it has doubled in size (over an hour), roll out the dough.

Make sure you have your sugar/walnut mixture and your melted butter ready.

Aranygaluska | She Paused 4 Thought

Roll each ball in the butter and then the sugar mixture. Give each ball space in the dish as it will expand during cooking.

Aranygaluska | She Paused 4 Thought

Drizzle with your favorite jam. I used homemade peach jam because my husband ate my apricot jam before I could use it!

Aranygaluska | She Paused 4 Thought

I stacked the ball in 4 layers in a 10″ pie plate.

Aranygaluska | She Paused 4 Thought

I had extra dough so I was able to make cinnamon rolls and a small Aranygaluska.

Aranygaluska | She Paused 4 Thought

Just out of the oven it looks like this.

Aranygaluska | She Paused 4 Thought

Flip it over on a plate and let the oohs and ahhs begin.

I made this on Saturday and put the unbaked dish in the refrigerator overnight and baked it on Easter morning for a special treat hot out of the oven. Geshmak!

Aranygaluska, Hungarian Golden Pull-Apart Cake with Walnuts and Apricot Jam
Cuisine: Hungarian
Serve for a sweet breakfast treat, or as a dessert, served with good vanilla or rum raisin ice cream.
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup (235 ml) warm milk
  • ½ cup (100 grams) sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 4 1arge eggs
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup plus 4 tablespoons
  • (2½ sticks/282 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
  • 4½ cups (600 grams)unbleached all-purpose flour (about)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups (180 grams) ground walnuts
  • 6 tablespoons (83 grams) brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons cake or butter cookie crumbs
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) apricot or plum jam
  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in the bowl of a standing mixer equipped with a paddle attachment. Add ¼ cup of the sugar, the eggs, orange zest, vanilla, and 1 stick of butter. Gradually add the flour and salt, beating until mixed. Cover the bowl and leave for an hour, or until the dough has about doubled in size.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a 10-inch round pan with some of the second stick of butter.
  3. Melt what is left of the second stick of butter plus the remaining half stick and put it in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the walnuts, brown sugar, remaining white sugar, cinnamon, and the cake or cookie crumbs.
  4. Roll the dough into a ½-inch-thick circle. Using a 1-inch cookie or biscuit cutter, cut circles of dough. Dip the circles first in the butter, then in the nut mixture and set in the pan, almost touching each other. After a layer is completed, spoon on dollops of jam. Make a second layer, filling in the holes with dough, then jam, continuing and rerolling until the dough is used up, ending with the walnut topping but not the jam. Bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown and set. Leave in the pan for a few minutes, then turn onto a plate and serve warm. You can either cut the cake or pull the sections apart.
Yield: about 8 to 10 servings

I don’t know much about Jewish cooking, but I am learning quickly with Joan’s easy to follow recipes. I really admire her zest for historical exploration and her passion for bringing people together through their stories and recipes.

I am enjoying unearthing a new culinary nugget with each page.
…and then, she paused for thought.

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I received a copy of Joan Nathan’s cookbook to review. All opinions are my own.

14 thoughts on “Aranygaluska, Hungarian Golden Pull-Apart Cake

  1. Sue

    Cathy! This looks like an absolutely perfect weekend breakfast doubt as delicious as it is beautiful, I am sure…and my list of dishes to make from Joan’s book grows ever longer!

  2. Patricia@FreshFoodinaFlash

    What a beautiful cake Cathy. I love food history too. I love that recipes travel and adapt to the locale’s ingredients and customs. You should go to the Culinary Historians meeting with me at the Central Library sometime.

  3. Julie M Grose

    Cathy – how delicious and amazing this recipe looks! You said you lie awake at night thinking about the foods of famous people of past history……… I think I’m going to lie awake at night wishing a fresh baked apricot walnut Aranygaluska would be delivered at my door for breakfast! What a wonderful Easter treat that must have been! Can’t wait to make one soon even if I have to walk a few extra miles to burn it off after! Worth it!

  4. Christina Conte

    This sounds like a book I’d LOVE! It would suck me in and I wouldn’t be able to put it down, though, I’m sure of it! The dishes at Melissa’s look fabulous, too, as well as your aranygaluskan (however that is pronounced)! I think I made a monkey-type bread as a teenager, but it’s always on my radar! This one looks like an amazing recipe, Cathy! Wish I could have a few pieces, now!

    1. Cathy Arkle Post author

      Yes Christina you would love reading it. This recipe is an upscale version of the monkey bread of our youth. It is a more work, but the payoff is spectacular.


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