Saturday, January 19, 2008

Banana Gugelhupf

Banana Gugelhupf

Banana Gugelhupf

I find bananas very motivational. You can buy them, ignore them, and then discover they're perfectly ripe for baking. Some of my favorite recipes involve bananas: Abigail Johnson Dodge's banana cake with chocolate frosting, Bill Granger's banana upside-down cake, Pichet Ong's banana bread, Flo Braker's banana cake with espresso caramel frosting...

I loved this banana gugelhupf from Kaffeehaus as soon as I tasted it. It's very delicate- that's not a word I usually associate with banana desserts. More often I call them hearty, comforting, rich, rustic, or indulgent.

Powdered sugar and heavy cream give this cake a very fine crumb that slices beautifully. The lemon zest makes the cake wonderfully fragrant and unique tasting. I'm tempted to try adding some lavender in the future, or a lavender glaze like my friend at Cookworm has used.

I wish i'd made this for an occasion; it makes me so crazy when I bake something fantastic and I can't find people to share it with. I gave huge pieces to a neighbor on the seventh floor and my old roommate's boyfriend, but there's still half a cake looking lonely on my counter-top.

adapted from Rick Rodgers' Kaffeehaus

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium bananas)
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
grated zest of 1 lemon

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 F. Butter the inside of a 9 to 9.5 inch Gugelhupf mold or fluted tube pan. Coat with flour and tap out the excess. (I just used PAM.)

2. Beat the butter in a medium bowl with a hand held electric mixer on high speed until smooth , about 1 minute. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the confectioners' sugar. Return the speed to high and beat until very light in color and texture, about 2 minutes. One at a time, beat in the eggs, beating well after each addition.

3. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside. In another medium bowl, whisk the bananas, brown sugar, cream, vanilla, and lemon zest until the sugar is dissolved. With the mixer on low speed, one third at a time, alternately beat in the flour and banana mixtures, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, until the batter is smooth. Pour into the pan and smooth the top.

4. Bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 50-60 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert onto the rack and cool completely. The cake can be made up to 1 day ahead, covered with plastic wrap, and stored at room temperature.


natalie said...

That looks gorgeous, as usual! I think the lavender glaze would definitely work.

How are you finding Kaffeehaus? I should reserve it from the library and have a look...

Does the Gugelhupf freeze well? Ahhh, how I wish I was your neighbor ;-)

Brilynn said...

That cake is gorgeous! Just stand on the street corner and offer pieces to passers by... I think that's what I'm going to have to start doing, I bake way more than I should ever eat and I don't know what to do with it all. January is an especially hard month to give things away, stupid resolutions...

Siobhan said...

Isn't Gugelhupf a skill required for retrieving information?

Bad joke, I know. Couldn't resist. That does look delicious!

Lisa Campbell said...


This is the first recipe i've made from Kaffeehaus- there's a great thread on it at with lots of photos and comments. I think I am going to buy a copy, finally.

I think this cake would freeze well. I'll throw a piece in the freezer and see how it fares.

JEP said...

Ingredients sound like a winner!

Koren said...

Oooh, I wish I could come by and have a slice of your cake! I would gladly share some. It looks gorgeous, although I usually prefer heartier banana breads myself. I'm a sucker for a nice bundt cake though - that form makes every cake look more elegant.

I love you blog, I read it frequently and love the things you bake and the way you present and photograph. I adore your wood dining table.

Lisa Campbell said...


I adore the dining table too. Unfortunately, it belongs to my roommate!

When I get my own place I hope to find something equally nice... probably on craigslist or through a friend.

Kelly Anne said...

Any time you have leftover food, you can send it my way. Mmm baked goods.

And seriously? This cake looks AWESOME. Perfect color...