Kugelhopf – a word I had heard only recently, on Freda’s blog and was immediately taken by a feeling of incredible excitement. I just HAD TO make this, I knew that for certain. So come Easter, I decided to treat my family to this wonderful cake-bread.
But what is Kugelhopf? Wikipedia says this – A Gugelhupf, Guglhupf or Gugelhopf is a southern German, Austrian, Swiss and Alsatian marble cake or Bundt cake. Gugel- is supposedly a variation of the Middle High German gugel (‘hood’), while -hupf is a variation of Hefe (‘yeast’). Popular etymology says that the -hupf part comes from the German word hüpfen (to jump), as the yeast dough literally “jumps out of” the cake pan. It is spelled kuglóf in Hungarian, kuglof (Cyrillic: куглоф) in Serbo-Croatian and Macedonian, Kugelhupf in Alsatian, kouglof in French and guguluf in Romanian. In Western Slovenia, it is also known as kuglof, and in Central and Eastern Slovenia, kugluh. In Upper Austria it is known as Wacker or Wacka. It is called bábovka in Czech and Slovak, and babka in Polish. In Slovenia, the standard word is šarkelj.
This cake, which is more like a bread, is traditionally made in a Kugelhopf pan, but the lack of one doesn’t mean you can’t make it. Use a Bundt pan, and you’ll have the same effect…well almost.
My Kugelhopf was nice, moist and quite soft, but I wish I could have browned the top a little more. Oh well, there’s always next time. The Kugelhopf is best eaten hot, right out of the oven, lathered with some butter, peanut butter, or jam, with a hot cuppa tea or coffee. But if you need to store it, wrap a soft cloth or plastic wrap over it, and warm it when you eat it 🙂
- All-purpose Flour – 3 & 3/4 cup or 470 gm
- Active dry yeast – 1 & 1/2 tsp
- Warm water – 1/2 cup
- Whole milk – 1 cup
- Unsalted butter – 7 tbsp + extra for greasing, cut into cubes and softened
- Granulated sugar – 6 tbsp
- Salt – 1 tsp (skip if using salted butter)
- Eggs – 2 large, room temperature
- Golden raisins – 1 & 1/2 cups
- Finely grated lemon or orange zest – 1 tbsp
- Blanched almonds or halved walnuts- about 20 (for decoration, optional)
- Powdered/Icing sugar – for sprinkling on top of cake
Special equipment: a standing electric mixer with paddle attachment or hand beater with dough hooks; an 11-cup kugelhopf mold (9 1/2 inches in diameter) or an 11- to 12-cup/ 23 cm bundt pan. ( I used a standard bundt pan)
- Proof the yeast; warm 1/2 cup of water, and sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of sugar on top. Let this stand for 10 to 15 minutes, until you see bubbles/froth or foam on top. (If mixture doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
- Sieve the flour and salt into a large bowl.
- Heat the milk in a sauce on a low flame, and add the butter (cut into cubes) and sugar, until it is entirely dissolved.
- Use an electric beater (or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment) and set it on low. Make a well in the flour and pour the yeast, and start the mixer/beater.
- With the beater on, add the milk-butter-sugar mixture in a slow, steady stream, and then the eggs, one by one.
- Mix everything well. The dough will be very sticky.
- Add the raisins, and give the dough a final mix.
- Meanwhile, keep your Kugelhopf or Bundt pan ready by greasing it very well with butter.
- Using a ladle or scoop, place the dough inside the pan. The dough will be very elastic, so take your time and fill the pan well.
- Tap the pan on the counter a few times, and then, cover the top with a damp kitchen towel or oiled parchment paper.
- Leave this to rest for 2 hours in a warm, draught-free place of your kitchen.
- After 2 hours, the dough will have doubled in size.
- Pre-heat oven to 400 F or 200 C, and bake the cake for 15 mins, and then, covering it with a foil, bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Check with a skewer, and when done, cool in pan for 5 minutes and invert on to a serving plate.
- Dust spiced sugar or powdered or brown sugar on top. Serve warm with butter or jam on the side.
Note: The walnuts are just for decoration. You can use almonds too. Place one piece in each depression of your bundt pan.