This Easter Kugelhopf recipe is a raisin studded German Austrian yeast cake that’s much like a golden coffee cake with a rich buttery flavor. Baked in a Kugelhopf pan, or a Bundt pan, it’s a special holiday or anytime cake you’ll love.
Widely popular throughout Central Europe: Germany, Austria, and most especially in Alsace, Kugelhopf (also known as Gugelhupf) is often known as Sunday Cake.
The fascinating history of Kugelhopf is further explored in this brilliant article from the New York Times.
The Alsatian version is distinct from the German or Austrian cakes in that an almond is placed in each depression of the tall, fluted pan. When the cake is turned out, a perfect pattern of whole almonds encircles the top. Regardless, studded with raisins and flavored with orange and vanilla it is the perfect yeasted treat to enjoy any time of the year.
Sometimes Kugelhopf is generously dusted with confectioners’ sugar to finish it off once the sugar glaze you’ve added right out of the oven has hardened (if you want to do this it is up to you!), and it is delicious sliced alongside a nice cup of coffee. It makes a lovely change if you don’t fancy making Hot Cross Buns this Easter, and it is something you’re sure to love if a slice of Italian panettone is something you enjoy at Christmas time.
As I’ve already mentioned, this Kugelhopf uses ingredients common to any yeasted, fruited bake common to Europe.
- I like to use instant yeast as it is the easiest to work with for the home baker.
- As you’re already zesting an orange use it’s fresh juice in the recipe too. But if you’re going down the zested lemon route instead, you can use fresh orange juice from a carton.
- Whole milk always creates a richer crumb in bakes, but you can just use what you’ve got open.
- Use European butter if you can find it as it contains roughly 2% more butterfat than American butter, which will provide a richer crumb.
Which tin should I use?
Any cake pan with a hole in the middle will do, be it a traditional Kugelhopf pan or a bundt tin.
If you’re buying one for the first time I’d recommend a still pretty, but more rounded Kugelhopf pan like the one I’ve used in these pictures rather than one of the ones with dramatic ridges and swirls. They look stunning, but even experienced bakers sometimes have trouble getting their bundt cakes out intact!
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