Eggless Julekake or Julekaga (Norwegian Cardamom Scented Christmas Bread) -We Knead To Bake #23

Julekake (or Julekaka/ Julekaga) is a rich holiday bread flavoured with cardamom which is traditionally served at Christmas in many Scandinavian countries. It is particularly popular in Norway and Denmark. Incidentally, Julekake means “Yule Bread” in Norwegian. This bread is more cake-like in texture and sometimes it is dusted with powdered sugar or glazed with a white sugar icing. If it is not glazed or left plain, then it is usually served warm at breakfast with butter or a goat milk cheese called geitost/ brunost.

In Norway, Julekake traditionally only a lime green citrus peel called sukat is added along with the cardamom. Nowadays many people also add red and green cherries to reflect the colours of Christmas. Other popular additions are raisins, candied orange peel, and coloured candied peel. Some recipes for Julekake also feature almonds, but the main flavour in this bread comes from cardamom.
You may choose to omit the candied fruit/ peel if you do not like it or cannot find it. Julekake must however feature raisins and cardamom.

This was the bread that Aparna challenged us with this month. I made this for the first time and due to some faulty measurements, the bread tuned out to be an unappetizing and huge mass .Disheartened, I cut it open and tasted it .Though it did not look good, the taste was great.So the kids and me had it that evening.

Not to be deterred by the failure, I made this once more and followed a slightly different method and Lil Angel and me literally kept our fingers crossed until the bread was out of the oven! And luckily, this time, it came out perfect!

I used:

All purpose flour - 2 cups
Instant yeast- 1 1/2 teaspoons
Butter- 60 grams
Water- 1/3 cup
Milk-1/3 cup
Sugar- 2 tablespoons
Cardamom powder- 1/2 teaspoon
Salt- 1/4 teaspoon

To brush on top
Mix together Milk-1/4 cup and Sugar- 2 teaspoons

For the Glaze

Powdered sugar - 1/4 cup
Milk 3 tablespoons


 In a pan heat milk, softened butter, water. When it just starts boiling, remove from heat and let it become lukewarm.

In a bowl take flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Whisk to combine. Add the milk mixture and knead the dough till smooth and elastic. Let it sit in a well oiled bowl for 45 minutes / double in size.Remove the risen dough from the bowl and punch out the air.

Flatten the dough to a rough circle and spread the dry fruits in the center. Roll it like a swiss roll and knead gently to incorporate the fruits into the dough evenly.Shape into a ball.

Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees.

Brush the ball with a mixture of milk and sugar.Let it sit on the tray for 10 minutes. Bake at 180 degrees for 40 minutes/ till the top turns brown.[Oven timing will vary. Keep an eye out after half an hour]

Once the bread is done, remove from oven and let it cool in a wire rack.

Let the bread cool completely. Mix milk and sugar for the glaze and pour it over the bread.

Set some dried fruits on top of the glaze and the bread is ready to be served!!!

We loved the texture and the taste!

Bon Appetit...

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