Strawberry Jam Runny Kuka

runny kuka
  • Yield : 2 9" kukas
  • Prep Time : 0m
  • Cook Time : 0m
  • Ready In : 0m

Kuchen, or Kuka, as it is known in the Louisville, Kentucky area are breakfast or brunch coffee cakes with or without fruit. Some are made with yeast dough (the best in my opinion), or a quick dough leavened with baking soda, or baking powder.  The runny kuka is a “secret” recipe of a locally owned bakery.  Hating the term “secret”, I made it my mission to figure out the runny part of the topping. Success! I share the recipe for your baking enjoyment.


  • Dough:
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 TB unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup strawberry jam, warmed (makes spreading over dough easier)
  • Runny Topping:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 TB all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted; cooled to room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 TB heavy cream (yogurt or sour cream thinned with water work too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Step 1

To make dough: Heat milk in a medium saucepan until lukewarm; add butter, sugar, and salt. Pour warm mixture into a large bowl. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Let sit until bubbly, about 5 minutes. Pour into milk mixture. Beat in eggs: then beat in flour. The dough should be soft and somewhat sticky. If it is wet and impossibly sticky, add a little more flour. The texture of the dough is dictated by humidity in the air. Cover bowl and let rise overnight in refrigerator. The next morning, remove bowl from refrigerator. Spray 2 9” cake pans with nonstick spray. Divide dough in half. Place halves in prepared cake pans. Push dough half way up sides of pan and lightly press down in the center. Cover pans with a lint free dish towel and set aside in a warm place to rise again until puffy, about 30-45 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together topping by stirring together sugar, and flour until combined. Then stir in butter until smooth. Finally, stir in eggs, heavy cream, and vanilla. After dough has risen, divide jam and lightly spread over tops of dough. Pour topping over jam. Push dough up sides wherever it seems a little shallow. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until dough is a golden brown. Let cool completely at room temperature before cutting. (I never wait until completely cool; cutting into it and eating it warm is fun and messy) Note: Sometimes while baking, the dough pushes the topping. Leave off jam for a plain runny kuka. Note to those who have never had a runny kuka: If cut at room temperature, or soon after baking the topping is very runny like a sauce. If refrigerated, the topping oozes down the sides rather than running. Remember though, it’s a runny kuka not an oozy kuka.

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