Raisin Bread Cake {Rosenkuchen}

Raisin Bread Cake {rosenkuchen}

In my attempts to clear through my baking ingredients, before the van goes into storage, I’ve revisited a favourite swiss recipe, rosenkuchen, this week. I discovered this yeasted cake while visiting Lauterbrunnen last winter. In the original recipe the sweet, heavenly soft bread was filled with chopped nuts which I have replaced with sultanas/raisins and creme patissiere. Think of this bake as a Swiss inspired pain aux raisins cake.

Raisin Bread Cake {rosenkuchen}

Most of the creme patissiere bakes into the bread making it wonderfully moist, with a delicious custard flavour. The raisins/sultanas are tossed in cinnamon before adding, and a dusting of nutmeg scent the cake with warming spice. The dough is rolled into swirls and baked in a flower formation, and a sweet glaze and some toasted slivers of almond give an attractive finish. It is perfect to serve with a cup of coffee or tea, or how about a naughty slice for breakfast!

Rosenkuchen is much, much lighter than bread yet it is made in very much the same way. The dough is enriched with butter, egg, sugar and milk and is really easy to bring together. I make it by hand so you really don’t need expensive equipment to bake something impressive. The creme patissiere in also very easy and, dare-I-say, foolproof.

Raisin Bread Cake {rosenkuchen}

Raisin Bread Cake {Rosenkuchen}

The dough {recipe from Saison-küche magazine, November 1996}:

a large round cake pan, sides and base buttered and floured. I have also successfully baked it in a Pyrex casserole dish.

  • 300 g { 2 + 2/5 cups } plain flour
  • pinch of salt {I used a 1/4 tsp}
  • 60 g { half a stick } cold butter, grated
  • 21 g fresh yeast, or 7 g sachet instant, fast acting dried yeast { 1 tbsp}
  • 50 g  { 1/5 cup } light muscovado or caster sugar
  • 100 ml { 2/5 cup } milk
  • 1 free range egg

Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre then scatter the grated butter around the edge.

Place the yeast, sugar, egg and milk into another bowl or jug and whisk it briefly to dissolve the yeast and the sugar. You should start to see the odd bubble appear on the surface as the yeast starts working but no need to wait for it to froth up. Now pour this mixture into the well in the flour.

Use a wooden spoon to start to mix in the yeasty milk then switch to your hands to bring it together into a dough. Knead for around 5 – 10 minutes until the dough becomes soft and smooth, adding a bit more flour if the dough won’t come together. Place into a clean, roomy bowl, cover with cling film or a tea towel and leave to prove somewhere warm for about an hour until it has more than doubled in size.

In the mean time, make the Creme Patissiere {adapted from this recipe by Donal Skehan}:

  • 3 free-range egg yolks
  • 60 g {1/4 cup} golden caster sugar
  • 22 g {3 tbsp} cornflour {cornstarch}
  • 225 ml {1 cup} milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar to prevent a skin forming

In a bowl, beat the egg yolks, sugar, cornflour and vanilla extract with a whisk until thick.

Put the milk into a saucepan and gently bring up to the boil. Once it reaches boiling point, take it off the heat and pour it over the egg yolk mixture and whisk it together. Pour it back into the pan over a medium flame, continually stirring with a wooden spoon until it becomes a very thick custard. Transfer it into a clean bowl and cover with cling film or a disc of parchment touching the surface and leave to cool. If it is left to go very cold it will set, just whisk it to loosen.

assembling the rosenkuchen :

  • 100 g { 3/4 cup } raisins or sultanas
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • freshly grated nutmeg

Toss the raisins or sultanas with the cinnamon.

Once the dough has risen and doubled in size, knock it back. Roll it out with a rolling-pin, on a lightly floured surface, to about a 5 mm thick rectangle.

Spread the creme patissiere over the surface of the dough leaving a border around the edge. Give it a light dusting of freshly grated nutmeg then sprinkle over the cinnamon coated raisins/sultanas.

Roll up from a long side into a long cylinder, some of the creme patissiere will squish out but don’t worry. Use a sharp knife to cut 4 cm deep pieces, you should look to get 8 or 9 of them. Place one into the centre of your buttered and floured tin or dish, on its side so the spiral is facing uppermost. Evenly position the other pieces around it in a flower shape.

heat the oven to 180 c / gas 4 / 350 F

Now cover the tin or dish with cling film or a tea towel and leave to prove again for another half hour or so until the pieces are nice and plump.

Bake for 40-45 minutes. Keep your eye on it towards the end to prevent it catching and burning on top.

Prepare the glaze while it’s baking:

  • 50 g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp water
  • handful of flaked almonds {toasted until lightly golden in a dry frying pan}

Stir the icing sugar and lemon juice together.

Once the cake has baked, remove it from the oven, leave to cool for a few minutes in the tin then carefully turn out right-side-up on a wire rack. While it is still warm,  brush the glaze over the top of the cake then quickly sprinkle over the flaked almonds so that they stick.

Leave to cool on a wire rack before slicing.

Store as you would bread, in an airtight container.

Pin this recipe for later:

Raisin Bread Cake


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By Rachel Davis

4 Responses

  1. This raisin bread cake looks beautiful! will have to try making it sometime. Thanks for sharing!

  2. bakeaffairs says:

    Looks delicious and beautiful!