How to Make Glazed Kugelhopft, a Delicious Christmas Sweet Bread

Tender sweet bread, filled with all kinds of goodies, glazed and dusted with icing sugar...

Image: Christmas sweet bread with a thick glaze icing
Image: Christmas sweet bread with a thick glaze icing | Source

Favorite Xmas Treat

Out of all my Christmas recipes, this one is my all-time favorite. The blending of flavor is unbeatable.

How Do You Make Kugelhopft? Is it Hard to Do?

Kugelhopft is a wonderful sweet bread to include in with your list of annual Christmas treats. I make this every year and enjoy it every bit as much each time.

It looks fantastic braided and glazed and is hard to resist! You and your guests may find you have a hard time staying out of it.

When people see pictures of my Kugelhopft, I'm always asked two questions: how do you make that? Is it hard to do?

This hub will walk you through how to make this delicious Christmastime treat. It is no harder than putting up a batch of bread and the glaze makes up in minutes.

If you have kids, they will love drizzling the glaze on and putting the "snow on top." Adults enjoy doing this too.

Making Kugelhopft Dough

  1. Into a large bowl, add 1/2 cup of warm water.
  2. Add 1 tsp. of sugar and stir.
  3. Add 1 tbsp. of yeast.
  4. Allow to sit 5-10 minutes until yeast is foamy.

Into Second Bowl...


  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup real butter
  • 1/2 tsp. salt


  • 2 cups lukewarm water and stir until sugar and butter are melted.

Then add:

  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla


Add yeast mixture in first bowl to ingredients in second bowl, and stir.

Start adding flour, at first stirring mixture with a wooden spoon and then as mixture becomes heavier, kneading.

Continue kneading and adding flour until dough is no longer sticky.

Adding Those Yummy Extras to Your Dough

Now for the fun part. Once you've made your Kugelhopft dough, add in:

  • Cinnamon and ground cloves to taste.
  • Multicolored peel (make sure there's green peel in there).
  • Sliced red and green cherries.
  • Soft red cranberries if you can find them at your market.
  • Raisins.
  • Chopped walnuts.

Add these ingredients to preference. Mix them through the dough and if desired, add more.

Mix into dough until evenly distributed.

Setting Your Dough to Rise

Smooth oil over the top of your dough and cover with a tea towel and set in a warm place to rise.

  • Punch down and allow to rise again.
  • Punch down and cut into three portions.

Braiding Your Kugelhopft Dough

Roll out three portions into a logs about 1-2" thick.

Braid these and form into either rectangular loaves or round loaves.

Place into greased pans to rise.

Baking Tips for Perfect Kugelhopft

*Place a cookie sheet into the bottom of your oven. This extra sheet prevents the bottoms of your loaves from over-browning as they cook.*

Bake in a 325 degree oven and reduce heat towards end of cooking time. Allow 40-60 minutes cooking time, depending on the size of your loaves, and check to make sure that loaves don't over-brown. You want tender loaves and overcooking can make the outside crust tough and chewy.

When you remove your Kugelhopft from the oven, also remove loaves from pans, so that the steam does not make the bottoms soggy.

Fresh Out of The Oven

Photo Unglazed Xmas Bread
Photo Unglazed Xmas Bread | Source

Baked Kugelhopft

Image: Sweet Bread Before Glazing
Image: Sweet Bread Before Glazing | Source

Making Glaze Icing

In a frying pan, add

  • Butter (2-4 tbps.)
  • Can milk (a splash. More can be added if glaze becomes too thick)
  • Icing sugar (1 cup or more)

These amounts are largely to preference depending on how sweet or buttery you want your glaze to be. Any of the ingredients above can be adjusted.

Stir together with wooden spoon or a metal whisk on a moderate heat setting. Keep stirring until no lumps of icing sugar remain. As it gently boils, glaze will start to thicken.

If you desire a thinner glaze, do not cook as long. If you want a thick glaze boil until thick.

Lovely Glaze

Glazed Christmas Bread
Glazed Christmas Bread | Source

Now For The Fun Part!

Drizzle the glaze over your loaves in a back-and-forth motion. Be generous with it.

The glaze will set up quickly, so while it is still soft, you may choose to make cuts in the top of your loaves, so that when slicing all the way through later, glaze (if thick) doesn't break off in chunks.

When this glaze is drizzled over your loaves, you will notice just how impressive and tempting it looks.

Glazed Kugelhopft--Who Can Resist?

Image: glazed sweet bread
Image: glazed sweet bread | Source

Sprinkling "Snow on Top"

A neat Christmastime ritual, if you have kids or teens, is to put "snow on top." Using a sifter, sprinkle icing sugar over the tops of loaves.

"Snow on Top"

Image: Kugelphopt Dusted With Sifted Icing Sugar
Image: Kugelphopt Dusted With Sifted Icing Sugar | Source

I'll Take a Slice or Two...

Image: Sweet Bread on Plate for Christmas
Image: Sweet Bread on Plate for Christmas | Source

Well Worth it to Make This Delicious Sweet Bread

This is one of my most requested recipes. It is so worth it to make this sweet treat each year, and it's a delight to all who taste it.

5 stars from 1 rating of Kugelhopft

© 2014 Athlyn Green

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randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 21 months ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

What a great holiday recipe! I love the customization options. Thanks for the details instructions and photos.

Darla Dollman 21 months ago

I was looking for a recipe for this bread! My daughter and I were discussing it over Christmas. It looks delicious.

ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 21 months ago from New Delhi, India

This looks yummy and your instructions and pictures are quite helpful. Would like to try this for sure. Thanks for sharing the details!

vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 21 months ago from Peru, South America

Wow! This looks wonderful! I´d like to try this recipe next weekend. We love sweet bread. I have dried cranberries, blueberries and cherries. I might soak them in some rum and then knead them into the bread. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. : )

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