How to Make Kugelhopf

How to Make Kugelhopf: A Decadent Twist on Tradition

Embark on a journey into the heart of European baking as we unravel the secrets of making Kugelhopf, a delightful cake that stands as a testament to the rich culinary heritage of the region. This Alsatian specialty, with its distinctive ring shape and exquisite blend of flavors, is a true indulgence for those with a passion for time-honored, aromatic baked goods. Join us in the kitchen as we guide you through the steps of creating your own masterpiece, elevating your baking repertoire to new heights.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raisins or currants
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds (for garnish)
  • Powdered sugar (for dusting)


  1. Activate the Yeast: In a bowl, combine lukewarm water, a teaspoon of sugar, and active dry yeast. Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes until it becomes frothy.
  2. Prepare the Dough: In a large mixing bowl, combine the activated yeast mixture with flour, softened butter, sugar, eggs, milk, salt, and vanilla extract. Knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic. Add raisins or currants and knead again until evenly distributed.
  3. First Rise: Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1-2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
  4. Prepare the Kugelhopf Pan: Generously butter and flour a Kugelhopf pan, ensuring each intricate detail is coated.
  5. Shape the Dough: Punch down the risen dough and transfer it to a floured surface. Roll it into a log and carefully place it into the prepared pan, ensuring even distribution.
  6. Second Rise: Cover the pan with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise again for about 30-45 minutes.
  7. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
  8. Bake to Perfection: Bake the Kugelhopf in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If the top is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.
  9. Cool and Garnish: Allow the Kugelhopf to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack. Once cooled, dust the top with powdered sugar and sprinkle slivered almonds for a decorative touch.

Cook Notes:

  • Make sure the milk is at room temperature to avoid slowing down the yeast activation.
  • For a richer flavor, you can soak the raisins or currants in a bit of rum or warm water before adding them to the dough.


  • Citrus Infusion: Add a burst of citrus flavor by incorporating lemon or orange zest into the dough.
  • Spice It Up: Enhance the aroma with a pinch of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom for a spiced variation.

Keto-Friendly Tweaks:

For the Dough:

  • Almond Flour Base: Replace all-purpose flour with almond flour for a keto-friendly alternative.
  • Erythritol Sweetening: Substitute granulated sugar with a keto-friendly sweetener like erythritol.

For the Garnish:

  • Chopped Nuts: Opt for chopped pecans or walnuts as a low-carb alternative to slivered almonds.

Low Carb Version:

For the Dough:

  • Coconut Flour Blend: Combine coconut flour with almond flour for a lower-carb, gluten-free option.

For the Garnish:

  • Crushed Seeds: Replace slivered almonds with crushed seeds like sunflower or pumpkin for added texture and a low-carb touch.

Kugelhopf is more than a cake; it’s a celebration of tradition, flavor, and the artistry of baking. Whether you’re following the classic recipe, exploring keto-friendly adaptations, or venturing into a low-carb version, each slice is a homage to the rich culinary history of Alsace. As the sweet aroma fills your kitchen and the beautifully adorned cake emerges from the oven, may the experience be a reminder of the joy found in creating and savoring timeless, delectable treats. So, embrace the elegance of Kugelhopf, share it with loved ones, and let this masterpiece become a cherished part of your baking legacy

Tips for Baking Brilliance:

  • Pamper the Pan: Ensure every nook and cranny of your Kugelhopf pan is well-buttered and floured to guarantee a flawless release after baking.
  • Synchronized Rising: Letting the dough rise in a warm place is crucial for achieving the perfect texture. A cozy, draft-free spot ensures a consistent and even rise.
  • Mindful Kneading: Be patient while kneading the dough. This step is not only about achieving the right consistency but also about incorporating air for a light, airy crumb.
  • Decoration Delight: Get creative with the powdered sugar dusting and almond garnish. Try shaping the powdered sugar into patterns or layering the slivered almonds strategically for an extra aesthetic touch.

Keto-Friendly Tweaks:

  • Xanthan Gum Magic: Add a pinch of xanthan gum to the keto-friendly flour mix to help mimic the gluten structure found in traditional flours.
  • Liquid Sweeteners: If using a liquid sweetener, adjust the amount of liquid in the recipe accordingly. Reduce other liquid ingredients slightly to maintain the dough’s consistency.
  • Low-Carb Fruits: Consider using chopped berries or other low-carb fruits in place of raisins for a fruity burst without the extra carbs.

Low Carb Adventures:

  • Savory Spin: Explore a savory variation by omitting sugar entirely, reducing the vanilla extract, and adding herbs or cheese to the dough for a low-carb, flavorful twist.
  • Cream Cheese Swirl: Incorporate a cream cheese swirl throughout the dough for added richness and a low-carb, decadent touch.
  • Whipped Coconut Cream: Instead of traditional whipped cream, try coconut cream as a low-carb, dairy-free alternative for serving.

Making Kugelhopf is not just a culinary experience; it’s a journey into the heart of European baking traditions. Whether you’re sticking to the classic recipe, venturing into keto-friendly territory, or exploring a low-carb twist, each variation brings forth a unique charm. As you savor the layers of flavor, the delicate crumb, and the sweet aroma, may Kugelhopf become a symbol of your baking prowess and a delightful addition to your repertoire. Share the joy of this indulgent treat with friends and family, creating moments of warmth and connection with every slice. Embrace the artistry of baking, and let Kugelhopf be a sweet masterpiece in your culinary collection!

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