Kugelhopf (also spelled as Gugelhupf, Kouglof, Kougelhopf, and in various other ways) is a traditional yeast-based cake that’s well-known in regions such as Alsace in France, Germany, Austria, and other parts of Central Europe.
The cake is usually baked in a distinctive circular Bundt mold, giving it a characteristic tall, ring shape with a hole in the middle. The dough is enriched with eggs and butter, and often contains raisins, nuts, and sometimes a hint of brandy or rum. Before baking, the mold is typically coated with melted butter and dusted with flour or almonds.
After baking, the Kugelhopf is sometimes dusted with powdered sugar, and it’s traditionally served sliced, often for breakfast or dessert, with coffee or tea. The outside of the cake is slightly crispy, while the inside is soft and light.
As with any traditional recipe, there can be numerous variations of Kugelhopf, both sweet and savory, depending on the region and personal preferences.
The Kugelhopf recipe featured below has been graciously shared by a native Alsatian, ensuring its authenticity and true reflection of Alsace’s culinary tradition.
The Kugelhopf, or Kougelhopf in Alsatian, is a sweetened bread, flavored with raisins and almonds, baked in a ring-shaped mold (like a bundt cake), and usually dusted with powdered sugar before serving.
We don't really know when and where it first appeared: Alsace, Austria, Poland... What is certain is that according to the legends, its unique shape would represent the turban of a Magi King. It is this shape that makes it possible to make very large brioches, the center of which is always well cooked thanks to the “chimney” in the center of the mould.
Today the Kouglof is one of the symbols of Alsace, and being Alsatian I will offer you a recipe for traditional Alsatian Kugelhopf! Here in a sweet version, but know that there is also a savory version with bacon and walnuts.
Mix up the ingredients and add the yeast after it had doubled in volume. Beat well.
Let it stand to make the dough rise.
Tap to have it take its original volume.
Put in a buttered cake tray and leave for one hour at ambient temperature.
Bake in oven at low temperature.
You can add marc spirit 20 ml.
If you're interested in baking your own Kugelhopf and want an authentic experience, you can find beautiful, traditional Kugelhopf molds made in Alsace on the official website: https://www.poterie.alsace/categorie-produit/moule-kouglof/. These molds will help ensure your Kugelhopf has that classic shape characteristic of this Alsatian delicacy.