Norwegian Christmas Bread (Julekake)

Julekake Norwegian Christmas bread

The Spruce Eats / Viktoriya Stoeva

  • Total: 3 hrs 20 mins
  • Prep: 2 hrs 30 mins
  • Cook: 50 mins
  • Yield: One loaf

You just can't beat the smell of bread baking. The best way to eat this holiday loaf is still warm from the oven or even better toasted with butter on it.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup margarine (or butter)
  • 2 cups milk (plus more for brushing loaves)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 cups flour (divided)
  • 2 packages rapid rise yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 2 cups mixed candied fruit​

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Julekake
    The Spruce Eats / Viktoriya Stoeva
  2. Melt the margarine or butter with milk and water.

    Butter in pan
    The Spruce Eats / Viktoriya Stoeva
  3. In a large bowl, combine 4 cups of the flour with the dry ingredients.

    Flour in bowl
    The Spruce Eats / Viktoriya Stoeva
  4. Add the butter or margarine mixture and combine with an electric mixer. Beat until the batter falls in sheets from beaters.

    Beat mixture
    The Spruce Eats / Viktoriya Stoeva 
  5. Stir in the candied fruit and gradually add remaining the flour.

    Stir in candied fruit
    The Spruce Eats / Viktoriya Stoeva
  6. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, 6 to 8 minutes.

    Knead the dough
    The Spruce Eats / Viktoriya Stoeva
  7. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place (80 to 85 degrees F) until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

    Cover and let rise
    The Spruce Eats / Viktoriya Stoeva
  8. Punch down the dough and place on pastry board.

    Punch down dough
    The Spruce Eats / Viktoriya Stoeva
  9. Shape into 2 loaves and place each in a greased 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.

    Put dough into loaf pans
    The Spruce Eats / Viktoriya Stoeva
  10. Brush the tops of loaves with milk.

    Brush tops of loaves with milk
    The Spruce Eats / Viktoriya Stoeva
  11. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, 45 to 50 minutes.

    Cover dough
    The Spruce Eats / Viktoriya Stoeva
  12. Bake at 375 F for 30 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned.

    Bake bread
    The Spruce Eats / Viktoriya Stoeva
  13. Serve and enjoy!

    Cut Julekake
    The Spruce Eats / Viktoriya Stoeva