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sliced julekake on a cutting board
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5 from 2 votes

Julekake: Norwegian Christmas Bread

This delicious Norwegian bread is a traditional treat served at Christmas.  It’s full of raisins and citron, and has a fluffy texture.  You’ll enjoy the festive aroma and taste of this Scandinavian dessert!
Prep Time35 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: Norwegian
Keyword: julebrod, julekake, julekake recipe
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 317kcal
Author: Emma

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Pour the flour into a mixing bowl and add the salt and yeast on opposite sides.  Stir each one in with your finger.
  • Mix in the sugar, cardamom, butter, and eggs until well combined.
  • Warm the milk to 115°F in the microwave or a small saucepan, then gradually add it to the flour mixture.  Stir and crush the ingredients together with your hand and continue adding milk until a somewhat sticky dough forms.
  • Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is no longer sticky and passes the windowpane test, about 10-15 minutes.  Do the windowpane test by pulling off a lump of dough and stretching it as thin as you can.  If it stretches to be translucent without tearing, it's kneaded enough.
  • Shape the kneaded dough into a ball, place it in a buttered bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Let it rise in a warm place until at least doubled in size, about 1 ½ hours.
  • Punch down the dough, then turn it onto a lightly floured surface and pat the dough flat.  Knead in about half of the raisins and citron until it's evenly distributed, then add the rest of the dried fruit.
  • Shape the dough into a large round loaf and pick off any pieces of dried fruit on the outside crust of the bread.  This will prevent the fruit from burning in the oven.
  • Place the loaf on a parchment-covered cookie sheet and cover it with plastic wrap.  Let the loaf rise in a warm place until it's springy to the touch, about 30 minutes.
  • Bake the julekake at 375°F for 40-45 minutes, covering it with foil halfway through the baking time if needed.  The julekake is done when a meat thermometer registers 190-200°F inside.
  • Let the julekake cool for at least 1 hour on a wire rack, then slice and serve with butter, brunost (Norwegian goat cheese), and hot coffee.

Notes

  • Always use bread flour to get a high rising, fluffy julekake.
  • Grind your own cardamom for the best flavor.
  • Using fast-action yeast eliminates the need for blooming the yeast before you make the dough.
  • A stand mixer makes it faster to knead the fruit into the dough.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 317kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 428mg | Potassium: 190mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 208IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 1mg