Yulekake - Norwegian Christmas Bread

"This recipe has been in my husband's Norweigan side of the family for generations. It was passed on from his great grandmother to his grandmother and so on. I noticed two recipes already posted in Recipezaar (julekake), but this one is prepared a bit different. It's a very dry fruit bread. Definitely used for dunking in your coffee or slathered with butter. I am not a big fan of it, but I make it at Christmastime for my husband as he adores it."
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Ready In:
4hrs 30mins
2 loaves




  • in a heatproof bowl, put all raisins together and cover with approximately 5 cups of boiling water to soften. set aside.
  • mix the 2 packages of dry yeast with 1/2 cup of warm water. mix well and let sit.
  • boil 2 cups of milk until scalded. turn down heat to medium and add the 3/4 cup of butter until melted. remove from heat and set aside.
  • in a large bowl measure 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 of the container of cardamom. mix well.
  • add the two beaten eggs to the dry mixture. then add the milk/butter mixture. gradually add 6 of the 8 cups of flour and the dissolved yeast.
  • drain the raisins. add the raisins and citron to the mix. now add the remaining 2 cups of flour.
  • time to knead the bread! i use my heavy-duty mixer as it is easier on my hands and back. if manual knead, place dough on floured breadboard and knead completely.
  • once the bread is kneaded, place into a large pre-floured bowl and cover with a dish towel or cloth allowing it to rise for 1 hour.
  • after the dough has risen, cut it into two loaves. place each into a pre-greased, pre-floured baking loaf pan.
  • again, cover each loaf pan and allow to rise for another hour.
  • before placing the loaves into a pre-heated 300 degree oven, cut the top of each loaf with an X design, or a fancy cut design of your choice, and brush with 1 beaten egg.
  • bake the loaves for 45 minutes at 300 degrees. increase the heat to 325 degrees for the next 30-45 minutes (test after 30 minutes with a toothpick for doneness - make take longer, make take less depending on your oven temperature).
  • remove the loaves from the oven and brush with 2 tablespoons of melted butter.
  • let loaves cool completely before removing from pans.
  • note: if you choose to omit the citron, which i do often, use 2 cups each of the golden and regular raisins instead.

Questions & Replies

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  1. You're a great Wife! I've been making this for years every christmas holiday season for myself and my wife. We love it. Very similar recipe has been in my family for generations as well. I make it in the bread machine now using the dough setting and raisin bread setting which beeps to let me know when to add the fruit. We love to eat it sliced and toasted, buttered and with our morning coffee. Thanks!
  2. Good traditional Christmas bread. This Scandinavian recipe is a bit bland and not very sweet (but I think that is what is expected and what this traditional bread is supposed to be!). I think others enjoyed the bread more than I did. Next time I would add an extra 1/4 cup of sugar and maybe 1/4 tsp more salt. This bread definitely needs to be served with butter... not a good stand alone recipe. I'll continue to make it because my SIL wants this to be part of the yearly Christmas Swedish Smorgasbord that she hosts. Thanks for the recipe!
  3. Great-r-r !!!!!!!!!!11


  1. I adapted it for the bread machine using dough setting and raisin bread setting which beeps during the second knead cycle indicating when to add fruit. I adapted by using raisin bread recipe (1 1/4 cup of milk, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp butter, 1 tsp salt, 3 1/2 cups bread flour, 1pkg yeast) and adding 1 beaten egg, 1/4 cup more sugar, 1tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cardamom, (nut meg can be substituted but not the same). Before adding the fruit I mix a little flour with 1/2 cup of citron and 1/2 cup of raisins. This keeps it from clumping and it mixes better in the machine. When dough cycle is finished it has raised once. I divide it into two loaves and let it rise again in the bread pans before baking it for 50 minutes to an hour at 325 degrees.


i'm married with three teenage boys in kenosha, wisconsin. love to cook and bake when i have the time. always searching for easy to prepare recipes. got hooked on RecipeZaar when vacationing in Kansas earlier this year and needed a chocolate zucchini bread recipe. found one and even got my sister hooked on this site, too. i love comedy, romance, and "who-dun-it" suspense movies. i'm known for helping those in need when i really need all the help i can get! i don't use cookbooks as i have many friends and family, and RecipeZaar, that have passed along their recipes over the years that my family and i totally enjoy. i enjoy every minute of quiet time that i can get, even if that means locking myself in a closet and playing hide-and-seek so no one will find me...of course, i eventually give up.
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