Julekake: Norwegian Christmas Bread
January 11, 2013, 3:23 am
Filed under: recipes | Tags: ,

Pronounced yoo-leh-kahga (emphasis on first syllable), this beautiful, sweet yeast bread is a part of our traditional Christmas Day brunch. My husband bakes this bread on Christmas Eve and makes our house smell so good! I love that our children are experiencing a part of his family’s Norwegian heritage. The recipe comes from his mom, Barbara Moody.


  • 1 cup milk, scalded
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamon
  • 1/2 cup warm water (105 deg. F.-115 deg. F.)
  • 2 pkg. active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup mixed candied fruit
  • 1 tbl. flour
  • 4-1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbl. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon


  1. Pour scalded milk over butter, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, and cardamon in a bowl. Stir until butter is melted. Cool to lukewarm.
  2. Sprinkle yeast over water and stir until dissolved. (Do not mix yeast with water in a metal bowl.)
  3. Toss raisins, nuts, and mixed fruit with 1 tbl. flour, and set aside.
  4. Add about 2 cups flour to the milk mixture and beat until smooth. Stir in dissolved yeast, egg, and the fruit-nut mixture. Beat in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough.
  5. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough until smooth and elastic, 5 to 8 min. Form into a ball and place in a buttered bowl. Turn dough to bring buttered surface to top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (about 80 deg. F) until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.
  6. Punch down dough and turn onto lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half and shape each into a round loaf. Place on a buttered cooking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm place until the dough is doubled, about 1 hour.
  7. Bake at 350 for 25 min. Brush tops with softened butter and sprinkle with a mixture of the sugar and cinnamon. Remove loaves to wire racks to cool. 


In this picture, you can see that the loaves are shaped and starting to rise. The loaf in the upper right corner was shaped first.


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