Cover the raisins and candied peel (if using) with orange juice or rum. Let sit overnight, or warm for about a minute in the microwave and let cool to room temperature. Set aside.
Dissolve yeast in lukewarm milk with about 1 teaspoon of sugar and proof for about 15 minutes, or until bubbles form.
Mix butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time. It's best if all ingredients are room temperature.
Add vanilla, salt and lemon zest, then beat in flour and proofed yeast mixture and beat until a sticky batter forms. Add more milk or cream, if necessary, to thin the mixture and allow it to drop from the spoon.
Drain raisins and lemon peel and fold them together with the almonds into the batter.
Butter a bundt form, a Gugelhupf mold or a ring pan with a 9 or 10 cup capacity and sprinkle the inside with breadcrumbs.
Spread the batter into the prepared Bundt pan or Gugelhupf form. Let it rise in a warm spot until almost doubled. Because my ingredients and house were at 60°F, this took over an hour.
Bake in a pre heated oven (350°F) for 40 - 50 minutes.
Let cool for about 10 minutes, then turn the cake out onto a rack to cool completely. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top or cover in chocolate couverture (or chocolate glaze).
Note:Sometimes, a Gugelhupf is served as a birthday cake with a bouquet of flowers placed in the middle. Traditionally, the "Geburtstagskind" (birthday child, irrespective of age) is responsible for entertaining any well-wishers who drop by, and this is a perfect cake for that: a festive form which requires no refrigeration and has enough fat that it will not dry out during a long day on the side board.