While I was doing my research on the origin of the gugelhupf I came across a gugelhupf recipe from the pastry store Zauner in Bad Ischl. This gugelhupf recipe claims to be the gugelhupf that the Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria used to have for breakfast. You can read my blog entry about the story behind the gugelhupf here.
The town Bad Ischl (located in Upper Austria) was the summer residence of the Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria (1830-1916). Franz Joseph built a villa for his mistress Katharina Schratt (1853-1940) and the villa of his mistress was very close to the residence of Franz Joseph and his wife Empress Elisabeth of Austria (better known as Sisi and they got engaged in Bad Ischl). There was a secret path from his residence to the mansion of his mistress and it is said that he visited his mistress every day while he spent the summer months in Bad Ischl (in fact the relationship between Franz Joseph and Katharina Schratt was supported by Sisi).

Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria, 1898. His mistress Katharina Schratt.

During Franz Joseph’s daily breakfast visits his mistress made a gugelhupf or she ordered a gugelhupf from the pastry store Zauner. The inhabitants of Bad Ischl used to say after the emperor left the villa of his mistress in the morning time “Now the emperor just had his daily gugelhupf” (“Jetzt hat der Kaiser grad wieder sein’ Steinkogler Gugelhupf verspeist!”)

Bad Ischl during the k. und k. Empire. 
Who knows if this story is true or not and who knows if this is the original gugelhupf recipe of Franz Joseph but who does not like a good story, right?
I tried out the recipe and it turned out that this was one of the best gugelhupf I ever made: so moist and flaky and the right amount of sweetness. It is the perfect Sunday breakfast treat. I will never make another gugelhupf recipe than the Franz Joseph Gugelhupf recipe below

 Katharina Schratt and Franz Joseph in 1895.

Makes one gugelhupf


  • 180 ml milk
  • 20 g fresh yeast
  • 350 g all-purpose flour
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 120 g granulated sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Lemon zest of half of an organic / untreated lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 100 g raisins
  • A handful of almond flakes
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted melted butter
  • Powdered sugar


  • Heat the milk in a small saucepan until lukewarm.
  • Crumble the yeast into a big bowl. Pour the lukewarm into the bowl and stir until the yeast is dissolved in the milk. Add 1/3 of the flour to the yeast mixture and mix well. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let it rest in a warm and draft-free place. 
  • In the meantime whisk butter and sugar until creamy. Add egg yolks and whisk for another minute; then add a pinch of a salt and lemon zest to the mixture.
  • Add the yeast mixture and the remaining flour to the egg mixture. Knead the dough with your hands until the dough is smooth. If the dough is too sticky add more flour.
  • Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let the dough risefor 30 minutes in a draft-free and warm place.
  • Butter and flour a gugelhupf mould. Sprinkle the bottom of the moulds with almond flakes.
  • Take the dough out of a bowl and knead on a well-floured surface. 
  • Roll the dough into a square (about 2 cm thick). Sprinkle the square with the raisins and cinnamon. Roll the square into a roll and place the roll into the gugelhupf mould.
  • Brush the surface of the gugelhupf with melted butter. Cover the mould with a kitchen towel and let it rest for about 20 minutes or until the dough has risen to the edge of the gugelhupf mould.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
  • Bake the gugelhupf for 20 to 25 minutes. After ten minutes baking time, check your gugelhupf. If the top is already golden brown, cover with aluminum foil.
  • Let the gugelhupf cool for 15 minutes. Remove from the mould and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  • The gugelhupf tastes best while still warm (with butter and homemade jam).

Update: A few days after I wrote this blog entry I went to Baden (a little spa town outside of Vienna). Can you imagine what happened to me? While  I was strolling around the little alleys of the town I suddenly saw a little sign on a run-down building which said:"This is the Schratt House and here the actress Katharina Schratt was born". I was standing in front of the house a few minutes and the people who walked past me must thought I was a little meshuge. But I do not blame them because how could they know that I just wrote an article about the Franz Joseph Gugelhupf and his mistress Katharina Schratt? I did not know that Katharina Schratt was born in Baden and it was purely coincidence that I passed this house. For a moment (or two or until today) I could not believe the coincidence. Those moments make me happy. 
If you ever visit Baden (it used to be a famous spa town in the past, you can visit the Beethoven house where Beethoven wrote his 9th symphony) the "Schratt House" is located in the Theresiengasse (street number 1).

The photographs are taken from herehereherehere and here. The gugelhupf photos and the photos of the Schratt House in Baden are taken by me. 
The recipe can be found here.