My Mom's Julekage

Merry Christmas!

Posts may be random and sporadic over the next week because I'm in Minnesota with my family. Here's a little snippet from today's goings on. . .Every year for as long as I can remember, my mom has made a loaf (or three. . .or five. . .) of Julekage.

Norwegian Julekaga
Adapted from the recipe from Scandinavian Classic Baking by Pat Sinclair as published in the 12-20-12 St. Paul Pioneer Press.

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 pkg yeast
  • 3-4 cups bread flour
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup candied fruit (citron, red and green cherries)
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted + extra
  • 2-3 T milk
  • dash of vanilla
  • extra red and green candied cherries
  1. Add all the dough ingredients to a bread machine according to your machine's instructions.
  2. If you have a sweetbread cycle that beats for the addition of fruits, set it to that and add the candied fruits and raisins at that time.
  3. Let it go through the first raising cycle, and at the end of the cycle, remove it from the pan and shape it. . .My mom braids it: cut it into three equal parts and loosely braid it. However, I think it's traditional just to shape it into a round loaf.
  4. Let it raise until double in size, then bake at 375F in a preheated oven for 30 minutes. A little longer if you do a round loaf. You'll want it lightly brown and it should sound slightly hollow when you tap it. If it's still soft enough to take an indent, it's not done.
  5. As soon as it's out of the oven, mix the milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add more powdered sugar if necessary to achieve a drizzle-able consistency. "Between gravy and pudding," my mom interjects. You'll want it a little on the thick side because when it hits the hot bread it will get thinner and run off.
  6. Drizzle it back and forth over your loaf, then arrange halved  and quartered candied cherries into rosettes.

Does your family have any traditional recipes?