a little bit of Austria for mother’s day

This was my beautiful, wonderful Mother’s Day gift (a gift I actually received three days before Mother’s Day, despite this post being three weeks late).


Yes, it a cookbook. Yes, I did rib Jon a little for giving me a kitchen-inspired on Mother’s Day, but I think there was less of a message and much more sentiment behind the gift. Kurt Gutenbrunner’s restaurants are some of my favorites. I’m still on their email list even though I haven’t lived in New York since 2008; I can’t bring myself to unsubscribe.

After going through the book, I decided to start with one of the easier – and more traditionally Austrian – recipes in the book: Mohngugelhupf, a lemon poppyseed bundt cake. Gugelhupf was a favorite of Emperor Franz-Josef and as such became hugely popular during his reign.

Here’s mine fresh from the oven:


And here’s the insides. I don’t have any photos to show you of the whole cake. Unfortunately,  I lack a sifter and my powder sugar sprinkling was not very pretty.


The cake, however, was delicious… but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be willing to let Herr Gutenbrunner’s team do the cooking next Mother’s Day!


If you’re interested in trying Gugelhupf yourself. Here’s the recipe

(adapted from Neue Cuisine by Kurt Gutenbrunner)

You’ll need:

2 sticks of butter, melted

1/2 c flour

2/3 c sugar

1 whole egg

8 egg yolks

zest of two lemons

1/2 c cornstarch

1/2 poppy seeds

powdered sugar, for dusting

First, prep your bundt pan and pre-heat oven to 350F.

Beat sugar along with the eggs (remember, one whole egg and 8 egg yolks) at medium speed until they become pale and creamy. Gradually fold in the zest along with the flour and cornstarch.

Last, but not least, add in the poppy seeds. Now you’re ready to bake! My oven gets really hot, so I leave mine in for 35 minutes, but the recipe suggests 45.

Substitutions: Because liquid fats can be replaced by liquid fats (and solid fats for solid fats), I sometimes make this cake with olive oil to make me feel a little less guilty. The result is extra moist, but be aware of your cooking time. The first time I did it, my crust burned; although, the insides were still tasty.

Note: Don’t throw away the egg whites! They can stay  in your fridge in an air-tight container for a few days. I usually end up having scrambled eggs for lunch the day after making this cake, but you could get more adventurous and try a meringue.