The main reason for using a bundt pan was to find an excuse to write about the history of the gugelhupf. If you have folowed me on this blog for a while you know about my bundt pan love affair.
I might become a cake historian sometime in the future and I might be the first cake historian in the history of humanity. I might exaggerate (I am not even sure if the profession of a cake historian exists but do not worry I will invent this new profession). I blame my guglehupf delusion the current heat wave that is haunting Europe.
If you do not care about cake history - which I fully understand - jump to the blueberry recipe. It is a simple cake but I promise that you won’t be disappointed of this utterly delicious and moist blueberry cake.
As is often the case in history there are two legends of origins and nobody can really verify the truth.
Regarding the gugelhupf origin there are two stories as well.
One story of the gugelhupf origin says that the Three Holy Kings were on their way home from Bethlehem and while they were travelling through the Alsace region which is located in Eastern France. The Holy Kings stopped in the little town Ribeauvillé where the residents were so delighted that they made a cake for them. A cake in the shape of a gugelhupf was made in honor of the Three Holy Kings because it should resemble the shape of the kings’ turbans. The French call their gugelhupf le kouglof.
A gugelhupf festival (Fête du kougelhopf) takes places in Ribeauvillé every year on the second Sunday in June in honor of the invention of the gugelhupf. I have to make a note in my cake diary about this special festival and one day I will visit this gugelhupf festival (I visited Colmar a long time ago which is just a few kilometers away from Ribeauvillé).
The other legend of gugelhupf origin says that Marie-Antoinette brought the cake from Vienna to Paris and introduced the cake to the court of Versailles.
Before Marie-Antoinette brought the gugelhupf to Paris the history of gugelhupf goes back to the Romans. There is evidence that the Romans used gugelhupf pans (although we do not know if the Romans made gugelhupf cakes with yeast or eggs) because gugelhupf pans has been excavated in Carnuntum which was an army camp of the Romans and is located outside of Vienna. I think this is really fascinating that people used the gugelhupf pan 2000 years ago. It is believed that the gugelhupf shape symbolized the rotating sun for the Romans.
Over the years (hundreds of years) the gugelhupf tradition of the Romans got lost and first during the Biedermeier period (1815-1848) (during this time period the Sacher Torte started to become popular) the gugelhupf started to experience a renaissance. It was a cake for the poor people and for the farmers since the gugelhupf contained only ingredients which were available to farmers.
Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria (1830-1916) made the gugelhupf socially acceptable for the bourgeoisie in Austria and the cake became even a status symbol of the bourgeoisie.
Franz Joseph of Austria used to visit his mistress Katharina Schratt - who was an actress – while he was at his summer residence in Bad Ischl. His mistress used to make a gugelhupf every day for Franz Joseph and in case her cake failed she ordered every day a gugelhupf from the pastry store Zauner (this pastry store invented the delicate Ischler cookies, my recipe is here).
This is how the gugelhupf became so popular and is still popular until today. Every bakery sells gugelhupfs in Austria and it is a popular treat for a Sunday breakfast.
There was never a single recipe for the gugelhupf. However, the traditional gugelhupf was always made with yeast. Nowadays there are a variety of different gugelhupfs. Yeast is still used for traditional gugelhupfs but nowadays baking powder is used as well. Before baking powder was invented eggs were used as leavening and raising agents. Hence, older recipes contain a lot of eggs. This is an intersting fact (at least I think so).
Makes one bundt cake (diameter 16 cm / 6 inches)
- 75 g unsalted butter
- 2 eggs
- 200 g granulated sugar
- 180 g pastry flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 100 g plain yoghurt
- 150 g fresh blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 175 °C.
- Grease and flour a gugelhupf pan.
- Melt the butter and let it cool.
- Whisk eggs and sugar until creamy (until it has a pale yellow).
- Mix flour with the baking powder.
- Take 2 teaspoons of the flour and coat the blueberries with the flour. This helps that the blueberries spread out evenly in the cake batter and do not sink to the bottom of the cake batter.
- Add the melted butter and the flour to the sugar-egg mixture.
- Fold in the blueberries and yoghurt.
- Pour the batter into the cake pan.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Put a toothpick in the centre of the cake; when the toothpick comes out clear the cake is done.
- Let the cake cool completely. Carefully remove the cake pan.