The Fresh Loaf

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Kugelhopf - lemon cranberry

happycat's picture

Kugelhopf - lemon cranberry


My wife saw Yippee's stunning kouglof and she asked me to bake one.

Having no experience with this kind of bread, I chose a simpler instant-yeast-based version to see if I could pull it off.


I modifed the recipe as follows

  • used dried cranberries instead of raisins
  • soaked cranberries in fresh lemon juice instead of liquor
  • added fresh nutmeg and vanilla bean seeds
  • used instant yeast (SAF red) instead of cake yeast, and adapted amount
  • incorporared fruit using a spread and roll up method
  • used silicone tube mould instead of a proper kugelhopf "flowerpot"


adapted from:



  • 500g flour
  • 10g instant dried yeast
  • 200g milk, lukewarm
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 100g sugar (I food-processed to caster fine)
  • 1/2 Tahitian vanilla bean seeds
  • zest 1 small lemon (I would use a lot more)
  • juice 1 small lemon (24g)
  • 1.4g fresh ground nutmeg
  • 80g dried Sultanas or cranberries (soak in the lemon's juice)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature, beaten
  • 50g almonds
  • 10g salt
  • tube pan (silicone worked fine)



  1. Set out eggs, milk, butter to come to room temp
  2. Soak fruit in lemon juice or rum  
  3. Add yeast to 100g of warm milk, add 100g of flour and mix and let rise
  4. In separate bowl, mix 400g flour, eggs, 100g milk, sugar and salt for 10 minutes until doesn’t stick
  5. Add butter, lemon zest, vanilla, nutmeg, doubled levain 
  6. Cover and let rise one hour
  7. Stretch dough into recranglemon work surface
  8. Sprinkle dough evenly with fruit
  9. Roll up dough into long cylinder
  10. Roll cylinder in sliced almonds
  11. Butter mould, coat with sliced almonds
  12. Fit cylinder into mould and pinch ends together
  13. Let dough rise second time, until above edge of mould.
  14. Preheat oven 180°C (350f) 
  15. Bake 40 minutes (note: for a tube pan, might want to reduce by 5 mins?)


Here are the main parts of the recipe (except butter which was softening a bit in the microwave and missed the photoshoot... maybe the non-name butter was a little annoyed that I keep praising that butter I tasted once in Limerick...)

Here's the dough after incorporating the above ingredients

I stretched the dough out like you would with pizza and sprinkled the soaked cranberries over it.

I rolled up the dough, then rolled it in sliced almonds

I fit the dough into my silicone mould. I wasn't expecting the dough to fill all those soft grooves. I had no idea what it would look like.

Surprise! The dough filled all those whirls and sharp edges just fine. Wow, I was surprised and delighted. The bread came out pretty easily... just used two hands to stretch the silicone here and there to free it up.

Decent crumb on this one. It was WAY easier to slice next day with a smooth knife after spending overnight in a plastic bag. And it had more flavour.

I'm a convert to brioche breads with inclusions. I can't really handle high fat croissants and kouign amman anymore. This bread was moist, light tasting, had a freshness from the lemon. And I love the lemon juice-soaked cranberries. Really wonderful flavour.

The vanilla and nutmeg and lemon zest didn't come through strongly so I would use a lot more in the future.

I would also put in more fruit... delicious and not cloying... fresh lemon juice plus dried cranberry is surprisingly balanced. And the juices left over would have made an amazing glaze or spread with the fruit.



Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

 Wow, happycat, that loaf is very attractive. Congrats :)

happycat's picture

Thanks. Natural light has a way of making things look dramatic, especially with the design of that silicone mould. A dusting of powdered sugar might've set off those peaks nicely but we decided we liked the au-naturel sweetness.


albacore's picture

What a great looking bake; I could just eat a slice.

Simpler bake or not, David, that is a fair old ingredient list!



happycat's picture

Thanks. I've got an order to make it again, maybe next time with a frangipane swirl.

pmccool's picture

And equally delightful for flavor, I would expect.  


happycat's picture

Thanks. It really tastes "more" the next day. I gotta learn to wait before tasting :)  I gotta say soaking fruit in lemon juice delivered way more impact than I expected.

Benito's picture

David, that is just absolutely gorgeous, I love it.  I definitely need to try to bake one of these after seeing both you and Yippee make your versions.  Do you think it tastes like panettone at all?  I certainly looks like a pandora.  I need to upgrade my Bundt pan.


happycat's picture

Hi Benny

Thanks. Yes, it seems I can make something with aesthetic appeal :) with the help of a mould. 

Good question about taste. I only ever had dried out pannetone decades ago from a shop that gave them out to show thanks to regular customers. I had a Gioia pandoro during xmas.. it was ok but had a background industrial flavour to it. I preferred this kugelhopf. The plump, lemon juice soaked cranberries really hit the spot for me. And this is so much easier to make.

trailrunner's picture

I don’t have one of those pans but I have a Bundt and angel food cake pan. Sounds like a delicious cake. 

happycat's picture

Thanks! I don't usually manage to do pretty but it's nice to pull it off.

Any tube pan would work fine I think. Hope you give it a try and put your own spin on it :)

trailrunner's picture

I don’t have one of those pans but I have a Bundt and angel food cake pan. Sounds like a delicious cake. 

Yippee's picture

Beautiful bake, HC!  I bet it tastes as good as it looks! Mrs. HC must be very happy!  Never occurred to me to soak the fruits in the citrus juice. Another ingenious way to enhance the lemon flavor! Thanks for sharing!



happycat's picture

Thanks Yippee. You were the inspiration. Yours looked amazing.

The citrus-soaked dried fruit created an amazing juice that I think would be an incredible glaze or liquid to spread over the dough before rolling.