Ördögpirula – Hungarian beignets coated in cocoa

by | Oct 22, 2021 | Desserts

Ördögpirula translates as the devil’s pills, though it feels like heaven when you eat them. If we would like to find a fitting non-Hungarian term for ördögpirula, the French word beignet (fritter) can describe it quite precisely. These deep-fried Hungarian beignets are made from choux pastry and rolled in sweetened cocoa powder. One of the amazing things about choux pastry is the amount of rise you get without any yeast or chemical leavening. This comes from the amount of moisture in the batter.

Choux pastry is a twice-cooked, multi-purpose substance that lies somewhere between dough and batter. It’s made by cooking flour with water and/or milk and butter, then mixing in eggs off heat to form a spoonable consistency. It’s then cooked a second time, either by baking (like in case of Hungarian cream puffs), frying, or poaching, depending on the recipe the choux pastry is being used for.

As you know, baking is about precision and accuracy, and this is even more true in case of choux pastry. Although I give volume measurements as well in the recipe, I recommend weighing the ingredients with a scale in order to achieve the desired result.

Ördögpirula - Hungarian beignets coated in cocoa
Ördögpirula – Hungarian beignets coated in cocoa – photo: zserbo.com


  • 150 ml (~2/3 cup) milk
  • 50 ml (~3 1/2 tbsp) water
  • 1 tbsp rum
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 80 g (~1/3 cup) butter
  • 150 g (~1 1/4 cups) flour
  • 4 eggs
  • oil or lard for deep-frying
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp powdered sugar

Place milk, water, rum, salt, granulated sugar and butter in a pot and bring it to a boil. Stir in flour until the mixture forms a ball.

Choux pastry before adding eggs
Choux pastry before adding eggs – photo: zserbo.com

Let the dough cool for about 15-20 minutes (you need the dough cool enough that it doesn’t cook the eggs when they hit it). Using a hand or stand mixer beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Do not add another egg until the one before has been completely incorporated. The batter will look smooth and glossy when ready.

Choux pastry with eggs
Choux pastry with eggs – photo: zserbo.com

Heat 2 inches of oil/lard in a pan. When the oil has reached the right temperature, use two spoons to create “balls” and carefully add them to the hot oil. Let the dough balls cook over medium low heat for a few minutes, turning them regularly until they puff up and get evenly colored (golden brown). Once the puffs are done, drain them on paper towels, then roll the warm puffs in the mixture of cocoa and powdered sugar.

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Hungarian cottage cheese

This is what Hungarian túró looks like

You often ask me what kind of cottage cheese (or curd cheese or farmer's cheese - call it what you want) I use in the recipes. In Hungary the store-bought cottage cheese is dry and crumbly as you can see in the picture. So if a recipe calls for túró, I mean this type. If you can't obtain túró, you can try to make your own from whole milk. Click on the link below.

Metric system vs cup

In Hungary metric units are in use, all the recipes on this website are based on this system, so a kitchen scale is necessary. Since I’m not familiar with cup as a measurement unit, I convert grams to cups by using an online converter. The values in brackets, therefore, are only approximate volumes, so, please, double-check them before you start cooking.

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