Monday, February 25, 2013

Baking Cakes with Potatoes I - Potato-Raisin Gugelhupf

Today, I am posting a recipe to start off my new series, namely “Baking Cakes with Potatoes". The first recipe of this series is the Potato-Raisin Gugelhupf (Kartoffel-Rosinen Gugelhupf). It is a cake with a yeast based dough, with finely grated cooked potatoes to keep the cake extra moist for quite a few days. You can either dust the baked cake with some powdered sugar or even glaze it with unsweetened chocolate, either way, it is quite wonderful with a noticeable taste of vanilla and rum soaked raisins.

No matter whether you are planning to bake breads, rolls, or cakes with potatoes, they can be used in a whole variety of baked goods. In times of dire need caused in the past by many shortages including bad harvests, potatoes had to act as "stand-ins" for other food items that were not always readily available such as butter and flour or eggs. And a lot of people had potatoes in their gardens or could easily get some from a farmer in their neighbourhood. That was the time the creative ideas for some of  these "old-fashioned" recipes were born and I have always loved these kinds of simple yet delicious recipes.

The recipes in my series can be re-created very easily and especially if you are looking for cakes that are not overly sweet and have this "old world" kind of look, you might want to try your hand at one or the other recipe.

Recipe for the Potato-Raisin Gugelhupf

Ingredients for the Gugelhupf

  • 400 grams (14.10 ounces) waxy (russet) potatoes - cook the potatoes with the peel unsalted water, let them cool, then peel and grate them on the small grates of your box grater. Or peel the potatoes while they are stiill warm and push them through a potato ricer and then let them cool them completely. NOTE:  after you have peeled them, you will be left with about 300 grams/10.5 ounces of potatoes
  • 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
  • 2 tsps of homemade vanilla sugar (you can also use 1 package pure vanilla sugar  or 2 tsp pure vanilla extract instead)
  • 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
  • some powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Ingredients for the Butter Glaze
  • 50 grams (1.7 ounces)  unsalted butter, melted 

  • 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.

When looking at these recipes, you should remember that adding cooked, mashed or riced potatoes to your recipe makes the cake extra moist. The potatoes add texture and help to keep the cake from drying out without adding "potato flavor" to it.




  1. This type of old world recipes are the reason I love baking so much. Beautiful gugelhupf, and I´m in love with those painted molds! Are they ceramic? they are gorgeous

    1. Thanks so much, Paula - aren´t these recipes the most delightful of all?! These baking molds came from an Alsatian pottery called "Poterie Lehmann", they are handmade and hand painted (enamel paint) and come in many wonderful colors and designs - the material is ceramic. If you would like to see more pictures, you can go to their website

  2. Ok, make this three must-make potato cakes! I have a gugelhupf pan - it looks different than yours, but I love the shape and haven't used it in awhile. Your molds are beautiful and your cake turned out perfectly! The recipes in this series will be perfect for my husband as he doesn't care for overly sweet cakes and I know that I will enjoy them with that lovely tea you sent! :)

    1. Elaine, you are the best, thanks so much for all the wonderful comments - the thing with these potato cakes is that they are not too sweet which is what we prfer in our cakes and this Gugelhupf is our very favorite, it tastes like vanilla and it is moist and just so delicious with the addition of the rum-soaked raisins.

  3. The cake moulds look great, and love the recipe. Having tried the TWD potato post, I am keen to try other potato recipes. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you very much - these hand-painted French molds from Alsace are rather pretty and I love the way they look like. The recipe for the potato Gugelhupf is quite delicious and the cake is moist and stays moist for a few days, making it ideal to bake in advance if need be.