A German dessert classic: Gugelhupf

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Gugelhupf is the cheesecake of the German food world: there’s the classic that everybody can whip up at home, but there are also so many variations to choose from. It can be made with yeast or baking powder. If it’s made with baking powder, then it could be a Gewöhnlicher Backpulver Gugelhupf, a Rahmgugelhupf (that’s made with cream), or a Marmor Gugelhupf, which is marbled with chocolate.

For special occasions, there’s the Sacher Gugelhupf, which is coated in chocolate icing after baking and excludes the standard almonds and raisins.

This recipe is typical of the gugelhupfs baked in homes in Germany and Austria. It’s not terribly complicated or expensive (I spent about $8 on the ingredients). Just make sure you butter the Bundt pan liberally so it doesn’t stick. 

Ingredients:

  • Nonstick vegetable cooking spray (or 1 1/2 tablespoons butter)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Cake:

  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup seedless raisins
  • 1/2 cup golden seedless raisins
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • Finely grated zest of a lemon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup finely ground blanched almonds
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Liberally spray a 9-inch Bundt pan, add the 2 tablespoons flour, and tilt the pan until all surfaces are evenly coated with flour. Tap out any excess flour and set the pan aside.

Mix 1/4 cup of the flour with the raisins in a small bowl, toss well to coat, and set aside. Sift the remaining flour, baking powder, and nutmeg onto a piece of wax paper and set aside.

Cream the butter, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, and lemon juice in a large electric mixer bowl at highest speed for 5 minutes, until it’s light and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the egg yolk and almonds. Add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry, and beating by hand after each addition just enough to incorporate. Finally, fold in the raisins and dredging flour. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.

Bake the cake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the cake has pulled from the sides of the pan, is springy to the touch, and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool the cake upright in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Loosen around the edge and around the central tube, turn out on the rack, and cool to room temperature.

Set the cake, still on the rack, on a wax paper-covered surface and sift the confectioners’ sugar evenly over all. Cut the cake into slim wedges and serve.

Personally, I would recommend refrigerating this cake for a day before eating. It’s just as good hot but it tends to stick together better when it’s cold. Maybe that’s just how I’m used to eating pound cake, but I liked it much better on day two.

Prep time: 40 minutes
Bake time: 90 minutes
Makes: 1 Bundt cake (approx. 12 servings)

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2 responses »

  1. We have spent the last three Christmases in Germany and Austria. Now I can make the wonderful cake I enjoyed there. Thank you for the recipe.

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