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Gugelhupf, a little history

The history of the Gugelhupf is related to the development of the shape which goes in fact back to the Romans. Baking forms in the shape of rills and a cone in the middle have been discovered in Carnuntum, just outside of Vienna (I was there on a school trip), Budapest, France and the Rhein valley in Germany. They were made of bronze and copper. It was known then that due to the shape and structure it gave a bigger surface and would bake more even. How clever they were those days!

Researchers thought that the shape symbolized the rotating sun.

In 1686 a sweet yeast recipe was found in the shape of a hat cut into slices in an Austrian cookbook. The Gugelhupf had certainly a triumph in the Biedermeierzeit when emporer Franz Josef I. had a Gugelhupf for breakfast. He visited his mistress regularly in his summer residence Bad Ischl. The famous coffee shop Zauner delivered the Gugelhupf and that’s when the recipe of the ‘Kaisergugelhupf’ a cake based creaming with eggs and raisins. From old cookbooks there was not really a standard recipe for a Gugelhupf. Depending on the country and status it could have been really simple or with added almonds, lemons, chocolate and dried fruits.

There are two legends around the origins of the Gugelhupf

One is that the Duchess of Austria and Queen of France Marie Antoinette (yes, the one who got beheaded) brought it from her homeland to France.

The other one reads that the three holy kings on their way home from Bethlehem via Alsace baked their hosts a cake based on their turban. Still today every 2nd Sunday in June the little village Ribeauvillé have a fete du Kougelhopf.

The name can come from Gugel = Kugel = cone = round = high; hupf = jump (from the rising of the dough). It is also thought that it comes from the medieval head wear ‘cuculla’ which was worn by farmers women.

There are many varieties of shapes but the most popular one is a role model of a Turks turban (french: bonnet de turc). Many historic gugelhupf recipes have a description of making a TĂĽrkenbund. I guess that’s were the name Bundt is coming from.

In the 1950 the American company Nordic Ware trademarked the name ‘Bundt’ for their shapes.

Enough of history and lets get baking. Here is a marble Gugelhupf/Bundt Cake.

Marble Bundt or Gugelhupf Cake

Marble Bundt or Gugelhupf Cake

You might think the measurements are odd to your usual recipes but this is scaled down from making 3 Bundt Cakes. The Tin measuring 200mm diameter with 95mm height. If your bundt tin is bigger, take one and a half the ingredients.



  1. Butter, wheat starch/corn starch, icing sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and salt mix in a bowl until very fluffy. Add the egg yolks in stages Whisk the egg white to a foam and then add the caster sugar and keep whisking until a creamy meringue Combine the butter mixture with the meringue in stages and then fold in the flour. In a separate bowl combine cacao, sunflower oil and the hot water until very smooth. Take a third or if you want more choc mixture, take half of your dough mixture and fold it through your cacao paste.
  2. Grease your tin with butter and dust with flour. Fill all your pale dough first and then your chocolate dough. Take a fork and swirl the dark dough around to make a marble effect. You can fill drops of each and make a pattern your choice.
  3. Bake in the pre-heated oven at 160 degrees C fan for approximately 60 minutes. This is depending on your oven! Check after 40 minutes at closed oven door.


In Commercial baking ingredients are always stated in metric because it is precise. Like for eggs there can be a rather big difference if you take a small egg that weighs under 53g and a large egg weighs 63-73g. An egg white weighs 2/3 and the yolk 1/3 roughly. So for the above I would suggest 4 medium eggs. It is more important to get the 140g of egg whites!!

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