Kugelhopf

Kugelhopf recipe with step-by-step photos. A kugelhopf is a yeasted bread, similar to a French brioche, which is perfect at breakfast or morning tea. Make this kugelhopf plain, with raisins or other dried fruits.

kugelhopf on wire rack with kugelhopf mould in background

What is a Kugelhopf?

A kugelhopf is a yeasted bread which has been baked in a special mold, and it is typically served at breakfast in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The taste and texture of a kugelhopf is quite similar to a French brioche, although the butter and sugar content can vary a bit between recipes.

Rather confusingly, many cakes in this region are also called Kugelhopf or Gugelhupf if they are baked in similar kugelhopf molds or bundt pans.

kugelhopf on wire rack with ceramic kugelhopf mould in background

Kugelhopf Cake

A traditional kugelhopf cake contains a small amount of dried fruit, which makes it an ideal bread for serving at breakfast or morning tea. You can either eat it plain, or spread it with some butter and/or jam.

Our local bakery sells a rather delicious kugelhopf cake on weekends, and what I find unusual about their loaf is that there is hardly any sugar in it. Hence, you do need a bit of jam on the side.

But over the years, I have tried various kugelhopf recipes and I think the following recipe is, hands down, the best I have ever tried. In fact, this kugelhopf is the best I have ever eaten.

kugelhopf on wire rack with slice of kugelhopf on plate with dollop of jam

Kugelhopf Recipe

The kugelhopf recipe below produces a cake which 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 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. Hence, the recipe below includes prunes in the kugelhopf, but feel free to substitute with other dried fruit of your choice.

Types of Kugelhopf Molds

A kugelhopf is traditionally baked in a ceramic kugelhopf mold, but any bundt pan or brioche pan would also work.

If you canot find a ceramic kugelhopf mold, I would recommend using a non-stick bundt pan.

Ceramic kugelhopf molds are commonly sold in the Alsace region of France, where kugelhopf is very popular and thought to have orginated. You can find them in most tourist shops in the Alsace region, and your main difficulty will be choosing just one!

How to Make Kugelhopf

For a printable recipe, please scroll down.

ingredients for making kugelhopf
bowl of prunes soaked in armagnac
bowls of flour, sugar, salt and yeast
kitchenaid bowl with dry ingredients, bowl with egg, small jug of milk
incorporating butter into the kugelhopf dough
kugelhopf dough in bowl before proving
ceramic kugelhopf mould with whole almonds in the grooves of the mould
risen kugelhopf dough after proving
risen kugelhopf dough after proving with dried prunes about to be added
kugelhopf dough in ceramic kugelhopf mould
kugelhopf dough in mould with small dish of eggwash
risen kugelhopf dough in kugelhopf mould after proving
baked and golden kugelhopf in ceramic mould
baked and golden kugelhopf inverted on wire rack

More Breakfast Recipes

If you are looking for more breakfast recipes, you might also like:

Basic Crêpes Recipe

Best Scone Recipe

Bircher Muesli (Overnight Oats)

Easy Fluffy Pancakes

Raspberry Almond Scones

Print

Kugelhopf

kugelhopf

4.7 from 3 reviews

Kugelhopf recipe with step-by-step photos. A kugelhopf is a yeasted bread, similar to a French brioche, which is perfect at breakfast or morning tea. Make this kugelhopf plain, with raisins or other dried fruits.

  • Author: eatlittlebird.com
  • Prep Time: 30 mins plus proving time
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4-6
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: French

Ingredients

  • 70 g (2 1/2 oz) soft pitted prunes (or raisins or other dried fruit)
  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) Armagnac (or warm water)
  • 300 g (2 cups) strong white bread flour
  • 40 g (3 heaped tablespoons) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 5 g instant dried yeast (please see Kitchen Notes below)
  • 1 egg
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • 70 g (2/3 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg lightly beaten with 2 teaspoons milk
  • whole almonds

Instructions

  1. Soak the prunes (or other dried fruit) in the Armagnac (or warm water), 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.
  8. 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)
  9. Meanwhile, generously butter a kugelhopf mould, about 20 cm or 8 inches wide.
  10. Place a whole almond in each of the grooves at the bottom of the kugelhopf mould.
  11. When the dough has doubled in size, punch it back lightly to knock out the air.
  12. Drain the prunes and lightly knead them into the dough.
  13. Shape the dough into a ball and poke a hole through the middle.
  14. Place the dough into the mould, and make sure that the middle of the mould is visible.
  15. Lightly brush the dough with some egg wash.
  16. Cover with a clean teatowel and, again, leave it somewhere warm to double in size (about 45 minutes). (See Kitchen Notes below)
  17. Once the dough has doubled in size, preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F) (without fan).
  18. 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.
  19. If the kugelhopf is browning too quickly during the baking time, cover it loosely with some foil.
  20. 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.
  21. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Kitchen Notes

DIFFERENT TYPES OF YEAST
* Please note that there is a difference between instant yeast (also called instant dried yeast or fast-action dried yeast) and dried yeast (also called active dry yeast). If you are not sure what type of yeast you have, please check the packaging for instructions on how to use the yeast.
* With instant yeast, you can add it directly to the flour mixture without having to activate it first.
* With dried yeast, you will need to activate it first as per the recipe above.

ELECTRIC STAND MIXER
Given the butter content, it is easiest to make this kugelhopf using an electric 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.

VARIATIONS
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 or even warm water.

LETTING THE DOUGH RISE
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).

USING A LOAF PAN
If you don’t have a kugelhopf mould, you can also use loaf pan. I would go one step further and proceed to bake them in a loaf pan as you would make brioche. That is:
* Line the loaf pan 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 pan.
* Brush the dough with egg wash.
* Cover with a clean tea towel 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.

RECIPE CREDIT
This recipe is adapted from My Little French Kitchen by Rachel Khoo.

OVEN TEMPERATURES
All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.

CONVERSIONS
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.

Nutrition

  • 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

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment below and share your photos by tagging @eatlittlebird on Instagram and using #eatlittlebird

kugelhopf in loaf tin 2

Update

This recipe was first published on 13 December 2013. It has been updated with new photos and more comprehensive recipe notes.

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30 comments

  1. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar 14 December 2013

    This is stunning, and looks totally perfect! LOVE!

    Reply
  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 😛

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
  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!

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  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!

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
      • 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!

        Reply
        • 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!

          Reply
  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.. ;))

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
    • 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 🙂

      Reply
      • 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 🙂

        Reply
  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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  7. 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!

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  8. 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

    Reply
  9. stacy 26 November 2017

    Your mould is beautiful! Do you remember where you got it?

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 26 November 2017

      Hi Stacy,
      I bought this Kugelhopf mould in Colmar, France. It is in the Alsace region of France where Kugelhopf is quite popular. There are many tourist stores in Colmar – and also in Strasbourg – which sell moulds like these in a variety of colours and patterns. The difficulty is trying to limit yourself to buying just one!

      Reply
      • stacy 26 November 2017

        many thanks!!!!!!!!!!

        Reply
  10. Julia 12 April 2018

    Oh my goodness this look absolutely amazing! It truly looks delicious!

    Reply
  11. Claude 21 April 2018

    Hi, was wondering if you could share where you purchased your mould? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 21 April 2018

      Hi Claude,
      I bought this ceramic Kugelhopf mould from a tourist shop in Colmar, France. Kugelhopf is very popular in the Alsace region and you will find many stores selling beautiful Kugelhopf moulds everywhere. You will have trouble choosing just one ?

      Reply
  12. Claude 22 April 2018

    Thank you for the information, would you remember the shop name or address you bought this particular mould really love it. I was hoping I could find someone to purchase for me as I’m in Australia.

    Reply