Alsatian Gugelhopf

This recipe is another one that I copied from a cookbook checked out from our local library maybe 30 years ago, and pasted on an index card. I have no idea what its origin, but I know there are many similar variations of festive gugelhopf and kugelhopf from France and Germany, with many different spellings, and probably in many more countries. In fact, it’s not too different from Italy’s Panettone or Pandulce, as far as ingredients go.

This particular recipe is a moist yeasted sweet bread with dried fruits, topped with nuts. Obviously, there can be many variations. I made this one specifically for Christmas morning, so I used only dried tart cherries and pistachios.

Alsatian Gugelhopf

1 cup dried tart cherries, cut in half if they’re large, about 5 ounces
1/2 cup golden raisins, about 2 1/2 ounces
4 tablespoons Kirsch or ruby port
1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons dry yeast
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
1 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon orange oil
3 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup tepid whole milk
3 1/2 cups white flour
1/2 cup ground pistachios or almonds

Mix the dried fruits and the Kirsch in a medium bowl. Do not be tempted to add any more Kirsch; it could kill the yeast. Allow to sit for 15 minutes, then drain and set aside.

Combine 1/4 cup warm water and 1 teaspoon sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle yeast over; stir to dissolve. Let sit for 10 minutes or until yeast foams to top.

In large bowl beat 6 tablespoons of butter, 1 cup sugar, egg yolks, zest, vanilla, and salt until well blended. Add yeast mixture, milk, and 1 cup of flour. Beat until smooth.

Add in plumped fruits and gradually add remaining flour and beat until dough forms.

Cover and let sit for 15 minutes.

Butter a 10-cup Bundt pan with 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the nuts, tilting pan to coat bottom and sides.

Spoon dough into pan. Cover with plastic wrap and damp towel. Let dough rise in warm place for 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake about 35 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes.

Turn onto rack to cool.

If desired, make a glaze for the Gugelhopf by combining 1 cup powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons of Kirsch and 1 tablespoon of cream. Whisk until smooth, then pour over the cake.

Personally, I don’t love powdered sugar glazes, and this bread is sweetened already, but I made a glaze for half the gugelhopf.

I love gugelhopf slightly toasted with butter.

By Published On: December 22nd, 202116 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

16 Comments

  1. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen December 22, 2021 at 8:53 AM - Reply

    What a beautiful cake Mimi! the addition of the dried fruits is always so festive.

    • chef mimi December 22, 2021 at 10:02 AM - Reply

      I know. I love them all!

  2. Jeff the Chef December 23, 2021 at 8:51 AM - Reply

    I feel the same way as you about powdered sugar glazes – only if necessary. I love the idea of combining pistachios with cherries! And I also love yeasted sweet breads. Thanks for saving this recipe!

    • chef mimi December 24, 2021 at 7:04 AM - Reply

      Thanks, Jeff! Usually those glazes are just way too sweet for me!

  3. Liz @ spades, spatulas, and spoons December 23, 2021 at 3:00 PM - Reply

    This looks like perfect holiday fare. Thank you.

    • chef mimi December 24, 2021 at 7:04 AM - Reply

      It’s really a treat for me, because I try not to eat many pastries! Merry Christmas!

  4. Hannah Kaminsky December 24, 2021 at 9:38 AM - Reply

    What a glorious, gorgeous, and sweet way to celebrate! Merry Christmas, Mimi!

    • chef mimi December 24, 2021 at 12:19 PM - Reply

      Thank you!

  5. Karen (Back Road Journal) December 25, 2021 at 10:08 AM - Reply

    I love your Alsatian Gugelhopf. It would be a lovely way to start the day toasted with a cup of coffee. Have a wonderful Christmas Day,

    • chef mimi January 9, 2022 at 7:38 AM - Reply

      Sorry, I just found your comment! Thank you, and happy new year!

  6. Greg Henry December 25, 2021 at 4:21 PM - Reply

    Yes I love all sweet “breads” toasted with butter too. Even plain ole banana bread. This is far more elegant. Merry Christmas. GREG

    • chef mimi January 9, 2022 at 7:39 AM - Reply

      I prefer yeasted sweet breads over quick breads, myself. But they’re all good!

  7. Frank Fariello December 30, 2021 at 7:23 AM - Reply

    Sounds lovely, Mimi! Love the flavorings, so I bet I’d enjoy this. Have a wonderful New Years.

    • chef mimi December 30, 2021 at 10:03 AM - Reply

      Happy New Year Frank!

  8. Raymund December 30, 2021 at 2:49 PM - Reply

    Lovin this recipe, definitely a nice change over the usual fruit bread that we know of

    • chef mimi January 9, 2022 at 7:40 AM - Reply

      I prefer yeasted breads like this over quick breads, but they’re good, to!

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