|Alternative names||Gugelhopf, Guglhupf, Kugelhopf|
|Place of origin||Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Alsace|
|Region or state||Central Europe|
|Main ingredients||Yeast dough with raisins, almonds and Kirschwasser|
A Gugelhupf (also Kugelhupf, Guglhupf, Gugelhopf, and, in France, kouglof, kougelhof, or kougelhopf) is a yeast based cake (often with raisins), traditionally baked in a distinctive circular Bundt mold. It is popular in a wide region of Central Europe, including southern Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Croatia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland and Alsace.
In late Medieval Austria, a Gugelhupf was served at major community events such as weddings, and was decorated with flowers, leaves, candles, and seasonal fruits. The name persisted through the Austro-Hungarian Empire, eventually becoming standardized in Viennese cookbooks as a refined, rich cake, flavored with rosewater and almond. Many regional variations exist, testifying to the widespread popularity of the Gugelhupf tradition.
The old South German name combines the Middle High German words Gugel (see also gugel, a long-pointed hood) derived from Latin cucullus, meaning hood or bonnet, and "Hupf", which literally means "to hop" or "to jump". The Brothers Grimm wrote that the "hupf" may be a reference to the "jumping" of the dough caused by the yeast, but no firm etymological evidence exists for this. The earliest known Gugelhupf recipe, in Marx Rupolt's 1581 cookbook, describes a "Hat Cake" with the distinctive shape and ornamentation recommendation, suggesting a similarity or intentional imitation of the shape of a medieval hat.
It is spelled kuglóf in Hungarian, kuglof (Cyrillic: куглоф) in Serbo-Croatian and Macedonian, Kugelhopf in Alsatian, kouglof in French and guguluf in Romanian. In Western Slovenia, it is also known as kuglof, and in Central and Eastern Slovenia, kugluh.
The American Pennsylvania Dutch preserve the Gugelhupf tradition, referring to it as Dietscher Kuche (German Cake).
Gugelhupf is made with a soft yeast dough, baked in a high, creased, toroidal pan. Depending on the region it can contain raisins, almonds or sometimes also Kirschwasser cherry brandy. Some regional varieties (Czech, Hungarian and Slovak) are filled with a layer of sweetened ground poppy seeds. Sometimes a regular pound cake or a marble cake made without yeast but baked in a Gugelhupf pan is also called Gugelhupf.
The special circular pan with a central tube was originally made of enameled pottery.
Similar pans are used for making Bundt cakes, a cake baking pan shape in the US derived from the Gugelhupf.