• Preparation time: 45 minutes
  • Baking time: 55 minutes
  • Makes 16 servings.


  • Ingredients for the cake:
  • 2 cups (= 4 sticks = 40 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (175 grams) firmly packed dark-brown sugar (10% molasses)
  • In France, use "sucre complet" or "sucre intégral"; second choice: "cassonade" ( = sucre roux de canne); note: "sucre vergeoise" is just beet sugar ( = sucre de betterave) that has been sprayed/coated with caramel coloring!
  • 1 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 8 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoons ground nutmeg, preferably freshly ground
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (D: Backnatron, Backsoda; F: bicarbonate de soude)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (D: Backpulver; F: levure chimique)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups (450 grams) all-purpose flour (D: type 550; F: type 55)
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

  • Ingredients for the cinnamon cream:
  • 1 cup (240 ml) whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • Ring-mold pan, or a Bundt pan (D:Gug(e)lhupf, Middle German for "yeast hood"); F: kougelhopf, kougloff - obviously derived from the German word)
  • The pan should have a capacity of about 10 cups (2.4 liters)
  • Ring pans are typically shallower than Bundt pans
  • Ring pans are easier to un-mold than Bundt pans, as you can slide a knife between the pan and the cake, all the way around
  • Kitchen machine (stand-mixer) with a paddle attachment (i.e., not the dough hook or the regular whisk attachment)
  • Wire whisk
  • Some butter (to grease the pan)
  • Spatula
  • Cake cooling rack
  • Medium sized bowl, chilled in the refrigerator (for the cinnamon cream)
  • Plastic kitchen film (cling wrap)


A ring-mold pan (left) and a Bundt pan


  • Instructions for the cake:
  • Pre-heat the oven to 175 °C (350 °F)
  • Grease the pan with some butter and set aside
  • In the mixer bowl, with mixer on medium speed and with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (appr. 2-4 minutes)
  • Add the vanilla and mix
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix well each time
  • Put  the ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour into a separate large bowl, and mix well with the wire whisk
  • Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and mix at low speed until the flour has been incorporated
  • Pour the batter into the greased pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
  • Bake until a cake tester (e.g., toothpick or skewer) inserted into the middle comes out clean (about 50-55 minutes)
  • Transfer the pan to wire rack to cool completely, then turn over onto a serving platter and dust with powdered sugar

  • Instructions for the cinnamon cream:
  • Put the cream, sugar, and cinnamon into the chilled bowl
  • Whip the cream until soft peaks form
  • Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use


  • Serve the cake with a generous dollop of the cinnamon cream
  • Can also be served with poached pears

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©2000 M. Stewart