Celebrating with Austrian Marbled Pound Cake

Austria has an intense tea-and-coffee tradition, and Josef, our namesake, had a special afternoon treat that was his favorite: Marmorgugelhupf. Yes, it’s a mouthful to say, so here at Josef’s Vienna Bakery, we call it Gugelhupf.

Gugelhupf, pronounced google-hoopf (not so hard, right?) is a traditional Austrian and German pound cake made in a special bundt pan, called a gugelhupf.  “Gugel-” is a variation of the Middle High German word gugel (hood), and  “-hupf” is a variation of “Hefe” (yeast). Marmorgugelhupf is the marbled variation, specific to Vienna. This is what Josef grew up eating in the konditoreis of his hometown.

Originally Gugelhupf was a cake for the poor, as it was quick and inexpensive to make. But during his reign in the 19th century, Emporer Franz Joseph started requesting it for his daily breakfast. Soon it caught on and all of Vienna’s bourgeoisie had adopted it as their favorite cake for tea and coffee. Iconic Viennese bakery Demel has been around for more than 200 years and still makes them to this day. You can even order one online.

But why go all around the world when you can have it baked fresh and local? Josef spent years fiddling with the recipe in his shop until it came out of the oven exactly as he remembered, and it quickly became a staple in his product line. But for years after his passing, this wonderful recipe was lost to us. And last year, a revelation showed up on our doorstep: Miguel was a baker who worked in our shop and trained with Josef for almost 6 years, back when The Cold War was just ending, and Lionel Richie topped the charts. With him came an old recipe book, in Josef’s handwriting. And thus, Gugelhupf made it back in to our hearts and pastry cases.

Next Wednesday, March 4th is National Poundcake Day, and while it may not be a traditional American pound cake, we want to take the opportunity to share this Viennese treasure with you.

Starting friday morning, we will be sampling Gugelhupf at our bakery counter and in our cafe. Come in over the weekend to try a bite and take one home at a discounted price.

Then next wednesday, on Pound Cake day, they will be 50% off!!

We think you’ll love it as much as Emporer Franz Joseph and pastry chef extraordinaire Josef Pasa did!