Grandma's traditional yeast-risen bundt cake always tastes good! And with this recipe, baking the fluffy pastry is a breeze.
Hello everyone. This traditional bundt cake made with yeast dough is wonderfully buttery and fluffy. Even though it's neither an unusual nor hip cake, every baking household should have a classic recipe for Gugelhupf (or Kugelhopf). I'll share mine with you in this post.
Taste and Occasion
Before the classic Gugelhupf recipe, a brief explanation of the terminology. You see, it's a bit confusing. By "Gugelhupf" everyone understands something different: Some mean the shape of the pastry, which is baked in a high cupcake or wreath cake form. Sometimes it's a marble cake, sometimes a lemon cake, sometimes an eggnog cake. The others have a narrower definition. And in fact, the original Gugelhupf is made with yeast and not at all with a sponge.
While we call it a Gugelhupf in Germany, you might know it as a bundt cake or a Kogelhopf. But in the end, they all mean the same. So I'll just call it a bundt cake in this post 😉
Grandma's bundt cake tastes lovely. It is made of a comparatively lush, in my case stirred, yeast dough and it is not too sweet. Because of that, the thick layer of powdered sugar is very, very important. For those unfamiliar with the classic, it's like a mix of braided bread, oven-baked yeast dumplings and french brioche. It's not difficult to prepare - despite the dough sometimes being reputed to be complicated.
As mentioned before, you make my basic bundt cake recipe with a yeast dough that is stirred instead of kneaded. So it is similar to a sponge 😉 … Of course, it has to rise properly before baking - not in the bowl, but from the beginning directly in the pan that is buttered before and sprinkled with almond flakes.
To make the cake moist and fluffy, I like to use double-grain flour, Viennese semolina flour or type 550 flour, but in principle, it also works with standard white flour or light spelt flour. Our favorite way to eat bundt cake is with raisins. If you can't stand raisins, leave them out or replace them with other dried fruits, like some cranberries, chopped apricots, or cherries.
In case you're wondering if you can bake yeast bundt cake with dry yeast: Sure you can do this, just like with any yeast dough. Instead of 30g of yeast, use about 10g or 1.5 sachets of dry yeast. I still think using fresh yeast is better.
How to make the Gugelhupf
Let's get started with grandma's basic bundt cake: Pour the juice or the rum over the raisins. Then, crumble the yeast with the sugar into the lukewarm milk and stir until it dissolves. Let stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, grease the pan(s) and sprinkle the bottom with the flaked almonds. The dough is enough for a large pan at least 9.5 in/ 24 cm in diameter or two small ones. Now, beat the softened butter with the remaining sugar until fluffy, add the eggs one by one and mix well. Add the flour with the yeast water to the mixture and mix everything together to form a smooth dough.
Incredibly delicious classic: this fluffy bee sting made from yeast dough is filled with a custard cream, but it also tastes great without the filling as an especially quick alternative.
Now it's time to dust the raisins with a bit of flour and gently fold them into the dough. Put the dough into the prepared pan(s) and let it rise in a warm place for 1 to 1.5 hours until it has about doubled volume. Finally, preheat the oven to 360°F/180°C and bake your bundt cake for about 45 minutes. Cover towards the end if necessary. Attention: with a tiny pan, you only need about 35-40 minutes. Let cool and dust with plenty of powdered sugar.
Unlike the alternatives made from sponge dough, you should eat yeast-risen cake fresh. Or freeze it - this works wonderfully. But in most cases, there should be hardly anything left anyway…
Classic Gugelhupf (German Bundt Cake Recipe)
- 30 grams (2 tablespoons) fresh yeast
- 20 grams (1 ¾ tablespoons) sugar
- 250 milliliters (1 cup) milk, lukewarm
- 150 grams (¾ cup) butter, soft
- 120 grams (⅔ cup) sugar
- 3 eggs, medium
- 500 grams (4 cups) wheat flour, preferably type 550 or double wheat flour
- 100 grams (¾ cup) raisins
- 1 tablespoon apple juice, or rum
- 50 grams (3 ½ tablespoons) almond flakes
- powdered sugar, for dusting
- Pour the juice or rum over the raisins. Crumble the yeast with the sugar into the lukewarm milk and stir until it dissolves. Let stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, grease the pan(s) and sprinkle the bottom with the flaked almonds. The dough is enough for a large pan at least 9.5 in/ 24 cm in diameter or two small ones.
- Beat the softened butter with the remaining sugar until fluffy, add the eggs one by one and mix well. Add the flour with the yeast water to the mixture. Mix everything together to form a smooth dough.
- Dust the raisins with a bit of flour and gently fold them into the dough. Put the dough into the prepared pan(s) and let it rise in a warm place for 1-1.5 hours until it has about doubled volume.
- Preheat oven to 360°F/180°C. Bake Gugelhupf for about 45 minutes; cover towards the end if necessary. Tiny pans only need about 35-40 minutes. Let cool and dust with plenty of powdered sugar.
- The recipe is sufficient for one large or two small baking pans.
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