Guglhupf Takes the Cake

Curious about the name Guglhupf, of Guglhupf Bakery and Cafe, I Gugl-ed it. Basically it’s a German fruit/nut bundt-type cake. Need to know more? Read this.

We thought we’d live dangerously and go for Sunday Brunch. Luckily the weather cooperated so lots of people chose to sit outside on Guglhupf’s expansive patio, leaving a half dozen empty tables inside. Inside seats 100 people also – just to give you some perspective. That sounds like a crowd, but Guglhupf is laid out in a way that camouflages those 200 diners with creative architecture. The feel is cozy inside and out.

When I ordered a latte with my breakfast, I was asked to wait and pick it up at the counter before heading to our table. PIC ordered a coffee and was handed a fun cup-saucer-biscuit combo. He filled the cup at nearby pots. My latte came with a biscuit on the saucer.


First to arrive at our upstairs table was a basket of fantastic Guglhupf Bakery breads. The problem with this is that it pained me not to be able to eat all it all. We did ask for a bag to take what we couldn’t eat with us since they’d have to trash it anyway. We didn’t realize there was a ramekin of butter under the bread until we’d had a couple pieces. See it peaking out from under the croissant?


So here’s my latte, identified by the word “coffee” lest I forget what’s in the cup. Just kidding – the cup was cute. Guglhupf’s barista took some time creating the rosetta on top. Lovely.

In front of that delicious, frothy latte is a bowl of Bircher Muesli ($5.25) and the seasonal fruit it’s served with.


The fruit was fresh and sweet as was the Muesli. Made with oats, apples, bananas, berries, yogurt, honey and a hint of cinnamon, this dish originally created around 1900 by Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital, is probably not like any other muesli you’ve had. More fruit than grain, as in modern mueslis, it’s a feel-good dish in more ways than one.


PIC ordered one of my favorites, Eggs Benedict ($8.95). Classically made, but notched up a bit, sliced Brioche is topped with Westphalian (German (naturally cured/smoked) Ham, poached eggs and Hollandaise Sauce. Fresh fruit also comes with this dish. The ham was fantastic and as Hollandaise goes, this was a good rendition.


And now to the bread . . . I’m a complete sucker for bread. I believe the slice PIC’s enjoying below is Guglhupf’s Walnut Raisin bread. Delicious! We snacked on more Walnut Raisin, the Croissant, Rye, and Chiabatta as we toured Durham. See the bread baking schedule here.


We were fortunate enough to meet owner Claudia Cooper. She was at our table when the most gorgeous, fabulous plate of Charcuterie we’ve ever had arrived. As Claudia began to describe each item, she hesitated and then said, “Let me get the Chef. He’ll be able to tell you exactly what’s on the plate.”

How many restaurants do you know that have a dedicated Charcuterie Chef? And one that happens to be an A-B Tech Culinary graduate?!? Chef James Naquin took a break from curing, mixing, and pickling to talk to us.

On the plate: Hard-boiled egg, traditional pickled mustard seeds, mustard, Mettwurst, Brezziola, Olli Salame, Kartwurst (pressed while fermenting), cheese (the name of which, escapes me), house-made pickles, and a fresh radish from the Durham Farmers Market.


See all menus here.

Guglhupf began life ten years ago in Claudia Coopers imagination as a Bakery. Then a Bakery/Cafe. What you’ll find as you descend the stairs towards Guglhupf’s entrance is a Bakery on the right and the Cafe straight ahead. It’s not your standard building. That has to do with Claudia’s family background in construction and architecture.

Take a few minutes to look around. Look at the details. Many architectural features like the handrail leading to the second floor are custom made. Upstairs there are artfully placed niches in the walls. Corners that would otherwise be dark or full of shadows are lit via glass blocks in exterior walls. And fun, spirited lighting hung from the ceiling “connects” the second to the first floors visually.

The exciting news is that plans for a big Guglhupf expansion are in the works. They include a bigger, better kitchen and more seating.

I took so many pictures, I decided to focus (yes, I said focus) on the food we enjoyed at brunch in the main post and add a gallery with shots of the building, bakery, folks in line, and others enjoying their meal. See end of article.


2706 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd #1
Durham, NC 27707
(919) 401-2600