How to Make Chimney Cake at Home without Special Equipment

Chimney cake is a street food classic. It can be often found in different varieties in street food markets and especially in Christmas markets. Sometimes the dough resembles cake batter and sometimes it is more like bread. What they all have in common is that they are usually spit roasted over coals or open flames that caramelize the sugar and give them a nice roasted flavour.

It can be covered with various toppings like cinnamon sugar, desiccated coconut or chopped nuts or it can be plain. The dough is soft and sweet, and it is a fun treat that can be torn off piece by piece and eaten whilst warm and fresh.

Of course, making such a treat at home presents a challenge since most people do not own the equipment required for spit roasting. The solution is very simple – aluminium drinks cans. Dough can be wrapped around them to create the distinct chimney cake shape and they can even be baked standing upright.

You can modify this recipe by flavouring the dough, changing the toppings, and even using some kind of glaze. The size of the chimney cake can be adjusted too.

This recipe makes 4 reasonably large chimney cakes.

Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.


For the dough

250g (8.8oz) white bread flour

100g (3.5oz) milk

50g (1.75oz) butter

1 medium egg (50g; 1.75oz)

3g (0.35oz) salt

20g (0.7oz) honey

4g (0.14oz) instant dry yeast or 4.8g (0.17oz) active dry yeast or 12g (0.42oz) fresh yeast

1 lemon worth of zest

5g (0.17oz) vanilla paste or essence


For the cinnamon sugar –

150g (5.3oz) caster sugar

7g (0.25oz) cinnamon


To learn more about no-knead bread dough temperature control click here.

The flour I use has a protein content of 13%. If your flour is weaker, then you may need to lower the hydration. 

If you are using active dry yeast, then you may need to let it sit in the water for 10 minutes before adding the other ingredients or else it could take a lot longer to raise the dough.

If you are curious about why the dough contains butter, egg, and sugar, click the links to learn more about the effects those ingredients have on bread dough.


  1. In a large bowl combine the milk, yeast, salt, egg, meted butter, lemon zest, honey, and vanilla. Mix well. Add the flour and mix to a dough. *Desired dough temperature 25C (77F). If your dough is warmer, then it will ferment more rapidly. If it is cooler, then it will take longer. Adjust fermentation time accordingly.
  2. Cover and ferment for 45 minutes.
  3. Fold.
  4. Ferment for 45 minutes.
  5. Roll the dough out and cut it into thin strips. Wrap around the aluminium cans and roll flat. Brush with water or a glaze and roll in cinnamon sugar or some other topping.
  6. Bake at 160C (320F) fan on for 20 minutes. Turn to get an even bake.

Enjoy whilst warm and fresh!


Keep in mind that the conditions in each kitchen are different, so fermentation times may vary for you. It is up to the baker to control the bread and react accordingly.

Your oven may be different too, so your baking time may vary.

Watch The Video Here

More Posts In This Category