Kugelhopf with Prunes & Armagnac


A kugelhopf is a yeasted bread, similar to a French brioche, which is perfect at breakfast or morning tea.

kugelhopf prunes 3-2

I have previously professed my love for Kugelhopf in this post. And a quick browse through this website will reveal my admiration for Rachel Khoo and her delightful cookbook, The Little Paris Kitchen. So it is no coincidence that I have been just as smitten with Rachel Khoo’s new book, My Little French Kitchen, and particularly with her recipe for Kugelhopf with prunes.

kugelhopf prunes 5

I’m not a big fan of dried fruit in bread and cakes, but I do love prunes, and even more so when they are juicy and plump with liquor. In fact, one of my favourite ways of serving prunes is to soak them in Armagnac before rolling them in a strip of bacon and placing them under the grill until crisp – a wonderful party recipe from Nigella Christmas.

Over the years, I have tried various recipes for Kugelhopf but I think this particular recipe is, hands down, the best I have ever tried. In fact, this Kugelhopf is the best I have ever eaten.

kugelhopf prunes 4

This version is much like a brioche, though less buttery and less sweet, and which, therefore, makes it very moreish. Unlike some Kugelhopf which need to rest for a few hours, or even a few days, before being consumed, this one can be eaten when still warm from the oven. But it tastes just as lovely over the next few days, if you can manage to make it last for that long; my husband and I demolished this Kugelhopf between ourselves within 24 hours.

I’m looking forward to making this Kugelhopf again. In fact, I might make two next time.

For a printable recipe, please scroll down.















Kugelhopf with Prunes & Armagnac

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 30 mins plus proving time
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 44 minute
  • Yield: Serves 4-6


  • 70 g (2 1/2 oz) soft pitted prunes
  • 50 ml (1/2 cup) Armagnac
  • 300 g (11 oz) strong white flour
  • 40 g (1 1/2 oz) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 5 g instant dried yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • 70 g (2 1/2 oz) butter, softened
  • 1 egg lightly beaten with 2 teaspoons milk
  • whole almonds


  1. Soak the prunes in the Armagnac, preferably overnight if they are really dry. Otherwise, soaking them for as long as it takes for the dough to rise should be sufficient.
  2. Chop the prunes into 1 cm pieces before or after soaking.
  3. Place the flour, sugar, salt and yeast into the bowl of an electric stand mixer and attach the dough hook.
  4. Add the egg and milk, and mix on medium speed for 6-8 minutes, or until the dough is soft, smooth and elastic in texture.
  5. With the motor still running, add the butter a bit at a time.
  6. Mix on medium speed for 5 minutes until the butter is thoroughly incorporated into the dough.
  7. Place the dough into a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover with a clean towel and leave it somewhere warm until it has doubled in size (about 1 hour). Alternatively, you can place the bowl in the fridge and let the dough rise slowly overnight. (See Kitchen Notes below)
  8. Meanwhile, generously butter a kugelhopf mould, about 20 cm or 8 inches wide.
  9. Place a whole almond in each of the grooves at the bottom of the kugelhopf mould.
  10. When the dough has doubled in size, punch it back lightly to knock out the air.
  11. Drain the prunes and lightly knead them into the dough.
  12. Shape the dough into a ball and poke a hole through the middle. Place the dough into the mould, and make sure that the middle of the mould is visible.
  13. Lightly brush the dough with some egg wash.
  14. Cover with a clean teatowel and, again, leave it somewhere warm to double in size (about 45 minutes). (See Kitchen Notes below)
  15. Once the dough has doubled in size, preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F).
  16. Brush the dough with some more egg wash and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  17. If the kugelhopf is browning too quickly during the baking time, cover it loosely with some foil.
  18. Remove the kugelhopf from the oven and leave it to cool in the mould for 10 minutes before turning it out on a wire rack.
  19. Serve warm or cool at breakfast or morning tea.

Kitchen Notes

Given the butter content, it is easiest to make this Kugelhopf using a stand mixer or a food processor fitted with a dough hook. However, you can, of course, make the dough by hand if you don’t mind a bit of an upper-body workout.

You can substitute the prunes for the same quantity of other dried fruit.

You can also substitute the Armagnac for another liquor. The original recipe calls for Cognac, rum or brandy. If you prefer not to use alcohol, you could instead use fresh orange juice.

The original recipe instructs you to leave the dough in the fridge overnight for the first session of proving. This method often produces a dough with a better texture. I’m an impatient person and prefer to let my dough rise in an oven at the lowest possible heat, around 50°C (120°F).

If you don’t have a Kugelhopf mould, Rachel Khoo suggests making the cake in a loaf tin. I would go one step further and proceed to bake them in a loaf tin as you would make brioche. That is, line the loaf tin with baking paper and scatter the base with whole almonds. After the first session of proving, divide the dough into four pieces and place them side-by-side in the in. Brush with egg wash, cover with a clean teatowel and leave to rise in a warm place as per the recipe. Before baking, use a sharp pair of scissors to make a deep incision in the middle of each section of dough (to create 8 pieces in total), brush with more egg wash and proceed with the recipe.


  • Serving Size: 6
  • Calories: 422
  • Sugar: 17.8g
  • Sodium: 439.6mg
  • Fat: 13.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 65.8g
  • Fiber: 1.4g
  • Protein: 7.6g
  • Cholesterol: 63.4mg

kugelhopf in loaf tin 2


  1. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar 14 December 2013

    This is stunning, and looks totally perfect! LOVE!

  2. Paula 15 December 2013

    Did you prefer little Paris or little France? This week my book should arrive, and I’m getting nervous 😛

    Ladurée recipe is awesome, but a little hard, too much time to wait 😛
    And although an original recipe is great, making at home I prefer something less buttery and sweet, as you say 😛 Wow, then, we’ll eat the entire Kugelhopf, jaja

    I saw the molds in Alsace this summer, silly me, I didn’t buy one, they were so pretty! I’ll have to use the bundt 😛

    I love the idea of adding Armagnac, otherwise, Marnier or Cognac seem the best choice to replace 😛

    • eat, little bird 17 December 2013

      So far, I’m really enjoying My Little French Kitchen and the special twists which Rachel Khoo is so good at creating. I still cook a lot from The Little Paris Kitchen so … it’s hard to say which is better. But I think the first book will always be a bit more special 😉

      If you don’t have a special Kugelhopf mould, you can, of course, use a Bundt tin. In fact, Rachel even suggests using a normal loaf tin.

      I think this Kugelhopf recipe is one of the best recipes I have tried this year and it’s worth buying the book just for this recipe!

  3. Laura Dembowski 15 December 2013

    I just made stollen and now I’m craving all kinds of Christmasy yeast breads. Can’t wait to try this!

    • eat, little bird 17 December 2013

      I love Stollen but I have never attempted it at home. A colleague gave me her special recipe so I ought to try it soon.

  4. Penelope 21 December 2013

    Hi there! I discovered you website 2 days ago and just baked this in mini kugelhopf moulds – it is so delicious, rly wonderful recipe (next one will be queen of sheba!)! A warning, though: we southern europeans don’t usually own a stand mixer (I don’t even know anyone who has one) but to do this by hand is quite the struggle! The dough glues to everything and I had to add at least 2 extra tbsp of flour to be able to knead it! Very hard dough to work with… But certainly worth it – mini kugelhopf are the cutest!

    • eat, little bird 23 December 2013

      Hi Penelope,
      I’m so glad that you also enjoyed this recipe! I love the idea of making mini Kugelhopf with this recipe – they must have looked so cute.

      And kudos to you for doing everything by hand! My great-aunt makes Kugelhopf by hand, which puts me to shame because my arms get tired after just a few minutes, not to mention the sticky mess. But your Kugelhopf probably tasted that much better with all of that extra love you put into it 🙂

      I hope you will enjoy the Queen of Sheba.

      • Penelope 24 December 2013

        They were certainly very tasty! And so pretty to look at… Everyone who saw them immediately let out an ‘awww!’. I ended up baking your ‘very good brownies’ (with 70%lindt!) and were choco-perfection! Beautiful crust, nicely done edges and a choco-kick to get everyone in the Christmas mood! One thing I did notice was that it did not sink in the middle (like yours) which I’d have preferred…. I think it was due to accidentally using self-rising flour instead of plain :\ Anyway, double thanks for your perfect recipes and happy Christmas!

        • eat, little bird 24 December 2013

          Oh that brownie recipe is always a winner! I’m so happy to hear that everyone loved them. And it’s good to know that the recipe still turned out well despite using self-raising flour … you will just have to treat yourself to another batch with plain flour to compare 😉 Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  5. Parisbreakfast 26 December 2013

    I love how you set these up!
    Bravo. I’ve been looking like crazy for a recipe ever since I ate Pierre Hermé’s little kugloph last week…
    He uses crystalized sugar on top instead of powdered and it gives a delightful crunch to the cake plus orange water and a TON of butter inside. My picture is here although I decided I better not make this or I would be toast, eating the whole thing myself.. ;))

    • eat, little bird 26 December 2013

      Pierre Hermé’s Kugelhopf sounds like a treat! I think Rachel Khoo’s recipe is rather restrained and in a good way. I can’t wait to eat it again!

    • Michaela 28 January 2014

      Pierre Herme’s kugloph is one of the food highlights of my trip to Paris in June. Absolutely incredible! I hope to learn how to recreate it. I can’t wait to go back this summer to relive it 🙂

      • eat, little bird 29 January 2014

        Hi Michaela,
        It sounds like I need to try Pierre Hermé’s Kugelopf the next time I am in Paris. I’m always distracted by the macarons, though! Thanks for the tip 🙂

  6. Elissa 4 February 2014

    Love…. my first encounter with this delicious pretty little cake was at a chateau B&B in the Loire Valley. I’ve been trying to trace down what it was called until now. Where did you get the pretty mold from? Just ordered one from France, but it wasn’t as adorable as yours. Thanks for sharing.

    • eat, little bird 4 February 2014

      Oh I love the Loire Valley! It’s such a picturesque and romantic part of France, plus the food and wine in that region is just amazing. I actually have a little travel post on the Loire Valley planned … hopefully it will be published soon.

      I bought my Kugelhopf mould in Colmar, which is a town in the Alsace region of France. It’s not far from Strasbourg, which is another popular town in the Alsace. These Kugelhopf moulds are quite commonly found in the Alsace region, especially in the touristy shops. The only difficulty is choosing from the many lovely colours and patterns on offer!

      If you can’t find these proper Kugelhopf moulds, the non-stick versions work just as well.

  7. […] on Eat, Little Bird, Rachel’s Kugelhopf and Ham and Vegetable Pastry Puffs have been a big hit, as well as some other recipes which will be […]

  8. […] attempted with much success from her latest cookbook, My Little French Kitchen, include the Kugelhopf with Prunes & Armagnac and Prune & Custard Tartlets. And now I have these Semolina Burnt Creams with Prunes to add to […]

  9. […] se nahaja na strani 254 v knjigi My Little French Kitchen. Najdete pa ga tudi tukaj – klik – opisan je izjemno […]

  10. Siara Berkeley 27 March 2015

    Have you (or anyone) made Rachel Khoo’s Spinach and Cheese Kugelhof? I’m curious what they thought and how it worked…Thank you!

    • Eat, Little Bird 2 April 2015

      I haven’t tried the savoury kugelhopf yet but I hope to soon. I think it would be perfect for a brunch or to have alongside something warming like a soup.

  11. Philip 25 June 2015

    I’m no cooking expert, however, I followed your recipe to the letter and I produced the finest looking and tastingKugelhopf, well done me for trying it, and you for supplying such an easy recipe, I AM THE GREATEST ,!!!!!!!’mm


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