Viennese Raisin Coffee Cake

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Preparation info

  • Makes one 8- to 10 inch 20· to 25 cm ) tube cake, depending on the mold size, about

    16

    servings
    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

The Modern Baker

The Modern Baker

By Nick Malgieri

Published 2008

  • About

Vienna is the undisputed world capital of cake. There are layer cakes, mousse cakes, historical cakes (the Sachertorte of the Hotel Sacher has been a closely guarded secret recipe for over 200 years), and even plain cakes. I recently asked my friend Erika Lieben for her favorite. She wrote back a 4-word response: Gehruerter Gugelhupf mit Rosinen (beaten coffee cake with raisins). “Beaten” refers to the fact that this is mixed like a cake batter and is not the yeast-risen coffee cake closely associated with Vienna and made in all German-speaking countries. Though you may use any type of a tube pan for this cake, a real Gugelhupf mold has a specific shape: The top is a series of diagonal ridges and the sides may be covered with ridges in the opposite direction from the first ones, or with two bands of diagonal ridges, separated by a straight beltlike band around the circumference of the pan. They are usually smaller than typical Bundt or tube pans. Either a Bundt or tube pan will substitute perfectly well, but the resulting cake will not be quite as tall as a cake made in a Gugelhupf mold.

Ingredients

  • 1⅔ cups all-purpose flour (spoon flour into a dry-measure cup and level off)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks/8 ounces/225 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup (about ounces/160 grams) dark or golden raisins, tossed with 1 tablespoon flour
  • One 10-inch/25-cm (10- or 12-cup) Gugelhupf or Bundt pan, buttered, sprinkled with fine, dry bread crumbs, and sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray

Method

  1. Set a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350° (180°C).
  2. Stir the flour and baking powder together and set aside.
  3. Combine the butter and ¾ cup of the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Heat the mixture with the paddle on medium speed until it is soft and light, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Beat in the lemon zest and vanilla, followed by 2 of the egg yolks.
  5. Beat in ⅓ of the flour mixture. Stop and scrape down the bowl and beater.
  6. Beat in 2 more of the egg yolks, followed by another half of the remaining flour. Stop and scrape. Repeat using the remaining egg yolks and flour mixture.
  7. Pour the egg whites into a clean, dry mixer bowl. Place on the mixer with the whisk attachment and whip the egg whites until they are very white, opaque, and beginning to hold a very soft peak. Increase the speed to medium-high and whip in the remaining ½ cup sugar in a slow stream, continuing to whip the egg whites until they hold a soft, glossy peak.
  8. Fold ⅓ of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it, then fold in the floured raisins. Fold in the remaining egg whites.
  9. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
  10. Bake the cake until it is well risen and deep golden, and a toothpick or the point of a paring knife inserted midway between the side of the pan and the central tube emerges dry, 45 to 50 minutes. If the cake is baked in a Bundt pan it will be ready 5 to 10 minutes sooner.
  11. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then invert the cake onto the rack to cool completely.

Serving

Serve this cake with breakfast, brunch, or tea.

Storage

Wrap the cake in plastic and keep it at room temperature—it will stay fresh for several days. Freeze for longer storage.