James Beard

Author and Educator

According to James Beard, this recipe was supposedly one that Marie Antoinette took with her from Austria to France, where it became a treasured staple of Alsatian cuisine. Similar to a Bundt cake or brioche, Kugelhopf is traditionally baked in a special pan, sometimes called a Turk’s head or turban. Serve it as you would a coffee cake; it’s delicious with butter and honey, topped with fresh fruit, or toasted.


  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water, approximately 100ºF to 150ºF
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds


Preheat oven to 475ºF.

Dissolve the yeast with the sugar in the warm water and let it proof. Sift the flour, putting 2 cups in each of two bowls. Set one bowl aside. Work together 2 cups of flour and the soft butter; this can be done with an electric mixer. Mix in the salt and the eggs, one at a time, beating until very thoroughly incorporated. In alternate batches, add the remaining 2 cups of flour and the yeast mixture. Mix together with the electric mixer or with a wooden spoon until thoroughly blended and elastic, and then stir in the raisins. Put in a large, lightly floured bowl, cover with a towel, and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Punch the dough down. Heavily butter a standard 10-inch Kugelhopf mold or a 10-inch tube pan and sprinkle half the sliced almonds around the bottom of the mold. Pour or spoon half the dough into the mold, sprinkle in the rest of the almonds, and add the remaining dough. Let rise again until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350° and continue baking until nicely browned, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for 3 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a cooling rack.


1 Kugelhopf