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A couple of years ago I already posted a yeasted guglhupf cake recipe on this site. Back then I was of the opinion that replacing eggs is difficult. So I added a bunch of weird ingredients to the dough. Maybe I also wanted to cut out some fat. Today I know that most of the time you really don’t have to bother with eggs, especially if you’re making baked goods that are made with yeast dough. Here the gluten in your flour and a little bit of extra liquid will do all the work for you. Oh and don’t cut out that fat. As you hopefully can see from the picture, it really makes the cake fluffy and moist. (Telling that to myself, really.)
A guglhupf, also called Elsässer Guglhupf, is a yeasted cake often made with raisins. It is baked in a special guglhupf pan. The American bundt pan is very similar to the guglhupf pan and in fact another name for guglhupf is bundkuchen (bund means bundle, belt, or cord). The word guglhupf may have been derived from the Middle High German word gugel (pronunciation just like “google”) which means hood. The shape of the cake looks like a hood worn for example by the Friars Minor Capuchin. “Hupf” may have been derived from the verb lupfen meaning “to uncover or to lift something”. Therefore a gugelhupf can be translated as “lifted hood”, if you like. The word gugelhupf or guglhupf is used in Southern Germany and Austria from where it apparently came to Alsace.
In Alsatian dialect the spelling changed to kuglof or kouglof. You might recognize the word kugel here, which in today’s German means ball (referring to the shape) but the word kugel for the dish is probably as well derived from gugel meaning hood. In fact the Jewish kugel is semantically related to the gugelhupf. In Northern Germany we often call the guglhupf napfkuchen (Napf = bowl, pan; Kuchen = cake). Today a guglhupf doesn’t have to be yeasted anymore, the name only refers to the shape of the pan. Guglhupf recipes are legion and the cake has many relatives in different countries like Poland where it is called babka.
So lots of history here (couldn’t help myself) but Guglhupf is also a very delicious and simple weekday cake. If you eat cake on weekdays. (I know I do!) It’s best eaten on the day you made it, but since I added lots of raisins to this and a very unusual marzipan log, this will also be fine after a second day. (All of my coworkers will vouch for me here.) Just make sure to wrap it airtight. Oh, and if you should have any leftovers, you can make awesome French toast or fancy bread pudding with them.
Please note that this recipe needs a little bit of preparation as you have to soak the raisins on the previous evening!
Cover and let sit to soak.