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Gugelhupf: Best Kugelhopf Recipes from Austria

Classic Austrian-Style Gugelhupf Recipes


Gugelhupf (or Kugelhopf) is one of the most popular Austrian desserts, and a classic for afternoon teas and Sunday breakfasts, at home or in Vienna’s coffeehouses. When I was a kid, there was an eponymous Sunday breakfast radio show that my grandparents used to listen to. The Grand Hotel Wien, a Viennese luxury hotel, even offers its own signature Gugelhupf.

I regularly bake Gugelhupf because it’s a really easy cake, not one of those creamy calory bombs and fits perfectly with afternoon coffee and tea.

GugelhupfAmerican Bundt cake recipes share similar roots with our cake recipes: the German Bundkuchen. Here is all about our dessert favourite with some inspiration for preparing classic bundt cakes.

Essentially, Gugelhupf is a yeast or sponge cake baked in a peculiar high creased cake form with a tube in the middle, and served with caster sugar sprinkled on top. Its fine taste comes from chopped dried orange peels used in the dough. Varieties include adding raisins or creating a marble cake by blending dark dough with chocolate with the original light dough.


Wiener SchnitzelEarly prototypes of the distinctive baking form were already used by the Romans, as excavations in the Roman settlement of Carnuntum close to Vienna demonstrate. During the Barbarian Migration following the destruction of the Roman Empire the baking forms disappeared. From the 15th century, Gugelhupf recipes started to spread quickly in what is today’s France, Switzerland, Southern Germany and Austria. In the meantime, we managed to make this cake a firm part of Austrian food.

Originally the Gugelhupf was a cake of the poor. During the 19th century, Habsburg Emperor Francis Joseph himself made the cake socially acceptable among the Austrian bourgeoisie. He liked the cake so much that he ordered it for his daily breakfast. Soon, bourgeois Viennese households adopted it as their favourite cake for afternoon tea, and the Gugelhupf entered the Empire’s crownlands in Eastern Europe.

The first American bundt cake recipes originate from the early 20th century in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Instead of the classic ceramic or enamel cake forms, they are made using aluminium forms, which were patented in 1950.

Baking Forms

The characteristic baking form has ridges and a tube in the middle. This extends the baking surface and helps the dough to bake evenly. Today’s most popular baking forms are made of the classic ceramic, of enamelmetal/teflon, heat-proof glass or silicone. The classic diameter is 22 or 24 cm but there are also mini cake tins arranging 6 to 15 cake forms the size of a muffin (6 to 12 cm) or, even smaller, a petit four (4cm) on a baking tray.

How To Prepare

Gugelhupf ceramic baking formThese recipes are not only adequate for baking this Austrian cake but make great Bundt cake recipes with a Central European touch. Most people, including me, use egg-based recipes as the yeast-based cakes are more difficult to prepare.

Classic Gugelhupf

for 12 portions
300 gr (10.6 oz) butter
240 gr (8.5 oz) flour
150 gr (5.3 oz) icing sugar
150 gr (5.3 oz) crystalised sugar
60 gr raisins
4 egg yolks
4 egg white
vanilla sugar
finely chopped lemon peel
flour and sugar for the pan
icing sugar to sprinkle

  • Whisk the soft butter with the icing sugar until frothy.
  • Whisk the egg whites and blend with the butter sugar mixture.
  • Add the egg yolks, the vanilla sugar, the crystalised sugar, the flour, the lemon peel and raisins and mix well.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Coat the cake form with butter and flour.
  • Fill the dough into the form and bake for approximately one hour.
  • Let the cake cool out in the form before turning it out. This is important, otherwise you risk leaving part of the cake in the form. Be patient, this can take up to another hour.
  • If the surface is very uneven, cut it straight using a knife.
  • sprinkle with icing sugar, using a small sieve or tea strainer.

Marbled Gugelhupf

This recipe is popular because it produces a delicious moist cake.
for 12 portions
250 gr (8.8 oz) flour
250 gr (8.8 oz) icing sugar
250 gr (8.8 oz) butter
5 eggs
8 gr (0.3 oz) vanilla sugar (equivalent to one pack in Germany and Austria)
15 gr baking powder (equivalent to one pack in Germany and Austria)
7 table spoons of milk
2 to 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
20 ml (0.7 fluid ounces) rum

Separate egg yolks from egg whites and whisk the egg whites until stiff.

Whisk the butter, the icing sugar , the vanilla sugar  and the five egg yolks  until frothy.

  • Add the flour, baking powder, milk and rum and mix well.
  • Carefully stir in the beaten egg white.
  • Coat the Gugelhupf form with butter and flour.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Fill half of the dough into the baking form.
  • Mix the cocoa powder into the remaining dough and add the dough to the form.
  • Bake the cake for approximately 40 to 60 minutes. (After 35 minutes, pierce the dough with a fork to check whether it is done. If dough sticks to the fork, the cake needs to bake a little more.
  • Like in the previous recipe, allow some time to let the cake cool outin the form before turning it out.
  • sprinkle with icing sugar, using a small sieve or tea strainer.

Variations Of The Classic Recipe

There are about as many variations of the classic Gugelhupf recipe as the year has days. Essentially, they include a few extra table spoons of either chopped nuts; nougat creme; blueberries and yoghurt; ground almonds and bitter orange oil; or cold mulled wine, to name just a few. You can also pour chocolate sauce or a thin layer of icing on top, instead of the icing sugar.

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