On Babas and Kugelhopfs

What’s the difference between the two? reader Laura asks YET AGAIN. So OK, a kugelhopf is a German version of a baba, baked in one large cake. It usually contains candied fruit, nuts and citrus peel and is sometimes iced or covered with powdered sugar. A kugelhopf is similar to a savarin in that its name is derived from the pan it’s baked in. Which is to say, a kugelhopf denotes a shape. And indeed kugelhopf pans are quite distinctive in their appearance, being quite tall with swirled fluting on the sides and top. Beneath those dramatic contours, though, it’s pretty much your classic baba. Happy now, reader Laura??? Sheesh!

3 thoughts on “On Babas and Kugelhopfs”

  1. It looks like kugelhopf pans and bundt pans are slightly different, but mostly the same thing. What’s the story there?

    1. You’re right about that. The difference is that kugelhopfs are taller and narrower, but they really are quite similar.

  2. In fact, I think it’s pretty well established that the bundt cake was a modified kugelhopf. The kugelhopf is a specialty of Alsace as well as of several German-speaking countries and it’s not clear at all who had it first. In Alsace, there’s a museum with all kinds of kugelhopf molds, which could get pretty ornate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *