Julekake # Eggless Baking Group

Julekake is a Norwegian Christmas bread flavored with cardamom, raisins and candied citron. It is usually sweeter and flatter than a regular bread and like most holiday breads its dough is enriched with milk, butter and eggs. Traditionally this bread made with all purpose flour, but when Priya Srinivasan of Enveetu Kitchen challenged us, the Eggless Baking Group, to bake an eggless version of it, I decided to get ahead of the challenge and make a whole grain eggless version of it..

I had initially decided to make the bread using whole wheat and all-purpose flour in the ratio 2:1.. With that proportion the dough felt tough so I adjusted by adding extra water and all-purpose flour till the dough texture felt just right. Following the pointers from The Kitchn on How to make Softer and Fluffier Whole wheat bread, I added an extra tablespoon of butter to the dough, kneaded the dough first with hand, allowed the hand-kneaded dough to rest for 20-30 minutes before kneading and poofing it in the bread machine. I am not sure which of the above tricks had worked but I was delighted with the way the loaf turned out... soft and delicious.

Candied citron or citron were unavailable in the stores so I substituted that with homemade candied lemon peel...

Homemade Candied Lemon Peel 
The candied lemon peel were a wonderful addition and I am so glad that I decided to make some at the last moment. Along with the cardamom and raisins, they made the bread slices taste like slices of a holiday cake. Though most Norwegian sites suggested a dab of butter on Julekake, we, at our place loved the bread as it is. Toasted.. but with no extra butter.

Julekake (#Eggless # Bread machine)

Recipe adapted from Outside Oslo
Prep time: 3 hours                                                                                     Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 4 hours                                                                         Yield: 9 inch round loaf

  • ⅝ + ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 tbsps unsalted butter
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup yogurt
  • 2 ¾ tsp instant yeast
  • 1 ¾ cups whole wheat flour
  • ¾ + 4 to 5½ tbsp all purpose flour
  • 4 tbsps milk powder
  • ½ tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • ¾ cup raisins (I used golden raisions)
  • ⅓ cup candied citron (I used candied lemon peel*)
  • 2 tbsps of milk for milk wash
* I made the candied lemon peel following instructions from The Kitchn.

Cooking Directions
  1. Bring  ⅝th  cup of water to a boil.
  2. Add the sugar, butter and salt to the boiling water and stir until the butter melts. 
  3. Turn off the heat and whisk in the yogurt to the sugar-butter mixture and keep aside.
  4. Meanwhile mix the yeast, whole wheat flour, ¾th cups of the all purpose flour, milk powder, ginger powder, cardamom powder, raisins, candied citron (or candied lemon peel) in a big container.
  5. Gradually add the sugar-butter-yogurt mixture to the dry ingredient mixture and mix till the dough comes together and forms a ball. (At this point the dough may feel tough.)
  6. Keep the prepared dough in a well greased container, cover and let the dough rest on the kitchen counter for 20-30 minutes. (According to the article in The Kitchn, "the resting time allows the flour to absorb the water and soften the grains of whole wheat.")
  7. Now put the dough in the pan of the bread machine and program it for the dough cycle. After five minutes, check the texture of the dough. Adjust the water and flour proportions till the dough feels soft and smooth. (At this point, adding a little at a time, I ended up adding ½ cup water and 4 to 5½ tablespoons of all purpose flour to the dough. You may need more or less water and flour depending upon weather, season and your way of measuring the ingredients.) 
  8. Let the dough poof in the bread machine pan for an extra 30 minutes after the end of the dough cycle, then turn it out on a lightly greased surface.
  9. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, lightly grease it and keep aside.
  10. Punch the dough down, shape it into a round loaf and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  11. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel, keep the baking sheet in a warm corner of the kitchen and allow the dough to rise for a second time.
  12. In the meantime center the rack and preheat the oven to 350°F. 
  13. Once the dough doubles, in about an an hour, brush the surface with milk and transfer to the preheat oven.
  14. After 25-30 minutes tent the loaf with an aluminum foil and continue baking till the bread looks deep golden brown about 25-30 minutes. (It took my loaf  60 minutes to reach that stage. )
  15. Cool the bread completely before slicing and serving.
Thanks to Priya  and Gayathri for suggesting this holiday bread. Check out Gayathri's Cook Spot to see see the other variations of the Norwegian Julekake.

Yeastspotting this loaf, also sharing it at the following parties...


  1. this is so lovely bread :) i love it seriously :) it turned out so good :)

  2. The julecake sounds delicious Tanu. The candies lemon peel in there must have been so good. Beautiful captures too :)

    1. Thanks Priya ! Hearing from you always feels like hearing from an old friend. Missed your visits while you were on a break.

  3. Butter and rests between kneading the dough are my two favorite methods for softening the dough and this bread looks very soft! I love the added candied peel and this would make a delicious breakfast...


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Best, Tanusree

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