Monday, October 22, 2012

CAKES & VEGETABLES - PART V - POTATO - Old-Fashioned Potato-Raisin Gugelhupf

Part V of my October Series entitled "CAKES AND VEGETABLES” features the extremely versatile potato and a delightful "Old-Fashioned Potato-Raisin Gugelhupf". Potatoes are tubers that are a staple food in many parts of the world. They are commonly categorized according to when they are harvested, early, mid-season or late as well as their characteristics, whether waxy in appearance, or floury once cooked. Around here, the main potato season begins in October. Although potatoes are available until early spring, towards the end of storage in March, the starch in potatoes turns to sugar and for example fried potatoes made from stored varieties will tend to be sweeter.

When you shop for these veggies, despite the potato´s wide popularity, you will generally have little choice about what types of potatoes to choose from. But a lot of supermarkets and some farmers' markets are increasing their range of old and new potato varieties, with myriad tastes and textures. Whichever kind of potato you choose to buy, they should be firm and well-shaped with no so-called eyes or green patches. Some Europeans, such as the British, tend to prefer white-fleshed potatoes, whereas the Germans, Dutch and Spanish like yellow-fleshed potatoes, but the color makes little difference to the taste.

Once cooked, the texture of potatoes can range from smooth, waxy-textured flesh perfect for salads to floury-textured flesh ideal for fluffy mashed potato, so it is important to know what type of potato you have bought before you decide how to cook them. Certain cooking methods suit different potatoes best such as baking, boiling, frying, mashing, or roasting. Be sure to store your potatoes in a cool, airy, dark place. And if you are looking for a potato recipe that is different from the usual savory ones, why not bake this super moist and utterly delicious Old-Fashioned Potato-Raisin Gugelhupf.

Recipe for the Old-Fashioned Potato-Raisin Gugelhupf

Ingredients for the Gugelhupf

  • 400 grams (14.10 ounces) waxy potatoes, cooked with the peel on.and cooled, then peeled and grated on the small grates of your box grater - (after you have peeled them, you will be left with about 300 grams/10.5 ounces)
  • 300 grams (10.5 ounces) plain/AP flour, plus some for the pan
  • 1 package instant yeast 
  • 100 grams (3.5 ounces) superfine white sugar
  • 1 package pure vanilla sugar (such as Dr. Oetker Natural Vanilla Sugar) or 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • one pinch fine salt (I used fine sea salt)
  • 3 eggs (M), preferably free range or organic, room temperature
  • 100 grams (3.5 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus some for the pan
  • 125 grams (4.4 ounces) raisins soaked in warm rum or apple juice for about twenty minutes, drained

Ingredients for the Butter Glaze

  • 50 grams unsalted butter, melted 

Ingredients for the Chocolate Glaze

  • 100 grams (3.5 ounces) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup (or light corn syrup)
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract


  • one 10 cup Gugelhupf or Bundt pan
  • pastry brushes

Preparation of the Gugelhupf

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit).
2. Butter and flour the Gugelhupf pan, knocking out any excess flour.
3. In the bowl of your mixer, carefully whisk together the flour with the instant yeast.
4. To the flour mixture add the sugar, vanilla sugar (or extract), salt, eggs and butter and mix for about two minutes until the cake batter is smooth.
5. Switch to a spatula and gently add the grated potatoes and raisins to the batter.
6. Transfer the batter to the pan and with a small offset spatula, smooth the top of the batter.
7. Bake for about 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the cake comes out clean, or with only a few crumbs attached.
8. When the cake is done, transfer it to a wire rack to cool for about ten minutes.
9. After ten minutes, turn out the cake, heat the remaining butter, just until melted and brush the warm butter over the warm cake. Cool the cake completely on the wire rack.

Preparation of the Chocolate Glaze

1. In a double boiler over hot, but not boiling water, combine chopped chocolate, butter, and golden syrup.
2. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, then add vanilla.
3. Spread warm glaze over top of cake, letting it drizzle down the sides.

PART VI of my CAKES AND VEGETABLES SERIES will feature a delicious cake that contains PARSNIP, a sweetly flavored root vegetable that resembles a bulky, beige carrot.


  1. A beautiful cake! I know that potatoes are a great addition to breads, so why not cake? And who could resist with that chocolate glaze?

    1. Liz, thank you for your comment - the kids have actually declared this to be their new favorite cake, it tastes like vanilla, it is moist and simply delicious - I just love baking these old-fashioned cakes.

  2. I love bread doughs with potatoes, it adds such a wonderful texture. I just love this bread, especially with the chocolate glaze. The perfect gift!

    1. Paula, thank you for your lovely comment - actually this is not a bread but a cake. A Gugelhupf a.k.a. a Bundt cake that tastes like a moist vanilla cake studded with rum (or juice) soaked plump raisins and finished with a dark chocolate glaze.

  3. Now that you write that it tastes like vanilla, I have to try it. Your pictures are so good. I love how the chocolate glaze looks.

    1. Marlise, I guess because there is potato in this cake, peolpe assume that it is a savory cake but it definitely is not, it is an old-fashioned sweet cake and the kids adore it (me too), actaully I am baking one for a birthday child today (upon request) with candles and all.

  4. Dear Andrea, your cakes and vegetable cake collection is unbelievable... I mean, I do believe you made them! :-) You are great and the recipe you have chosen are the top of the top.

    I've sent you a private message in FB (on your page). Could you please have a look?
    Maybe it has landed in "spam".

    Have a wonderful baking weekend!
    Liebe Grüsse


    1. Liebe Carola, many thanks for your adorable comment - yes, I actually make all the cakes that I feature...and I do have many happy taste testers.

      Regarding the FB comment, it must have disappeared into no-man`s-land. I cannot find it but other comments and likes have magically disappeared as well, so I am not surprised but rather sorry - you can also contact me via my e-mail address:

      Liebe Grüße aus Bonn!

  5. Sigh... such a beautiful cake! As I love vegetables so much, I actually love that vegetables are in the sweets. It seems like win win situation... I only wish that I have baking skills like you so I get to experiment with all kinds of dishes you make. I keep telling myself when I have more time... hopefully soon... Now that I know you have 4 kids, I think it makes sense that you keep making lots of wonderful treats (but they won't last too long haha!).

    1. Nami, thank you so much for all your lovely comments and mails - yes, it makes life a bit easier to keep some treats around the house at all times and to my great surprise, the kids adored this cake, might be the vanilla, or the chocolate or the fact that it is moist and not heavy at all. A simply delicious cake that keeps well.

  6. I have never had potato in a cake before! It looks wonderful, Andrea. I like your cake mold.

    1. Thanks, Elaine, this is a vintage Gugelhupf mold that is part of my ever-growing collection of vintage cake pans, I bought it a few years back and I love the "rustic appeal" that it has.