Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Apple Chestnut Gugelhupf with Calvados Glaze

You know when you have an idea in your head that should stay in your head and never make it out? Yeah, the red glaze on this cake was one of those ideas. 

I thought the result would be a bright, fresh pop of color. Instead, the glaze makes the cake look like a cross between a badly dressed drag queen and a Halloween nightmare.

Oh well.

Disastrous glaze aside, the cake is absolutely scrumptious and I am looking for an excuse (other than to redeem my glaze goof) to make it again in the future. Today is my birthday so I'm giving myself a pass. 

Next time I will leave out the food coloring entirely and instead add a tablespoon of ground cinnamon for extra flavor and a more sane color. I suggest you do the same. You can also just add a drop of food coloring to slightly tint the glaze.

So I apologize for the glaze, which still tastes great, but this dessert is a winner. A brown sugar based cake filled with chopped apples and chestnuts. The secret is to caramelize the chestnuts before adding them to the batter. If you are alcohol adverse, substitute water to liquify the glaze.

Don't get intimidated by the word Gugelhupf. It's just another word for a cake. I promise this will be a huge hit on your holiday table. 

Apple Chestnut Gugelhupf 
with Calvados Glaze
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 45 minutes
Yield:  12 pieces

  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup vacuum-packed chestnuts, chopped
  • 2 small apples (sweet-tart variety)
  • 2+1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons Calvados or apple brandy
  • Red food coloring (optional) 

  • Heat the three tablespoons of brown sugar in a skillet. Add the chestnuts and toss and cook to caramelize. Remove from heat and let cool
  • Peel and core the apple. cut the flesh into small pieces.
  • Toss the apple pieces with the caramelized chestnuts.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees f.
  • Grease and flour a bundt pan.
  •  In a separate bowl whisk together the flour,  salt, and baking powder.
  • Cream together the cup of brown sugar and the butter. Beat for 3 minutes.
  • Add the eggs one at a time making sure each is incorporated fully into the batter before adding the next.
  • Beat in the vanilla extract. 
  • Add the dry ingredients to the butter and beat until just combined. 
  • Mix in the caramelized chestnuts and apple pieces.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared bundt pan.
  • Place the pan in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven. Let the bundt cool in the pan for 15 minutes. 
  • Remove the cake from the pan and transfer it to a wire rack fitted over a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
  • Let the cake cool completely.
  • Add the apple brandy to the powdered sugar one tablespoon at a time, whisking to combine. Stop adding the brandy when the mixture reaches a pourable glaze. 
  • Add the red food coloring, if desired. 
  • Drizzle the glaze over the cake.
  • Let the glaze harden completely before slicing and serving. 

Like a good Gugelhupf? Try these other Gugelhupf recipes:


  1. I love that you included your pictures with the AMAZING glaze anyway... so many people would make it all over again so they wouldn't have to share something that wasn't totally "perfect". Kudos :) Anyway, the cake sounds fab and looks amazing, glaze included - I've never seen one moulded like that before.

    1. Thank you Christie! I probably would have made the cake again but I was so crunched for time. I do plan to make it again for Christmas sans food coloring. The pan is called "Jubilee" from nordic ware, btw.


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