Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Bread...Julekake

My Grandma Lyons always made many wonderful baked goods around Christmas.  Lots of cookies were always available for enjoyment at her house, and she always gave them away by the tin to friends and family members.  But that wasn't the only thing she made around the holidays, she made a Scandanavian Christmas bread, called Julekake as well.  It was studded with jewel like fruits and had subtle hints of cardamom, only slightly sweet, but delicious!  She has been gone for a few years now, and I haven't had a slice of julekake since, so this year I decided to make myself some!  I do not have her recipe, so I created my own. 

It is different than hers in that I did not use the neon bright candied fruit with the red and green food coloring, I opted for the more natural dried fruit.  Also, she used to put a powdered sugar glaze atop hers, and I went for simply sprinkling sugar on top to simplify but still give sweetness.  I am sure in hers she used butter milk, and eggs, but mine contains only coconut milk and oil to give it richness.  It was fun making the bread, and imagining what my Grandma would have said if we had been making it together. 

As different as it ended up being from her bread, it was good, and still remeniscent of hers.  It still had the little pops of flavor from the jewel like fruit, the subtle sweetness and hint of cardamom.  I think Grandma Lyons would have been proud!  Here is my recipe if you would like to make some!

My Julekake
makes 2 loaves

1/2 cup coconut oil
2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
3 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups bread flour
2 pkgs rapid rise yeast
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup dried apricots, quartered
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup crasins
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dried currants
coconut oil
turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Warm coconut oil with coconut milk and agave nectar and extracts. In a large bowl, combine 4 cups of flour with dry ingredients. Add milk mixture and mix until well combined. Stir in fruit, and gradually add remaining flour; knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Shape dough into a ball, and place in a greased bowl. Cover. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch dough down and shape into 2 loaves. Place each in a greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Brush tops of loaves with coconut oil, and sprinkle with sugar. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, 45 to 50 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees F for 40 to 50 minutes or until lightly browned and internal temperature registers 190 degrees.


  1. Great recipe..and you did fantastic job. I am sure your Grandma' would be proud of you!

  2. This bread is full of goodness and lots of festive moods. Very nice :D

  3. I've never heard of this kind of bread, thanks for introducing me to it! I love breads with dried fruits so I was very excited that you decided to use dried fruits instead of the red/green neon fruits. The bread looks soooo delicious. You did an amazing job with the recipe! :)

  4. I am a little scared to try making bread but this recipe seems very doable. Maybe it is time to jump right in and give it a try. This looks so inviting and I love the mix of fruit you chose.

  5. Look at that! it's just soooo awesome goodlooking bread! I bet those breads suit with my hot tea to warm chill day.. thx for sharing :D

  6. This bread looks amazing! It looks like it would be very yummy toasted with some fresh jam. Yum!

  7. It looks wonderful! I have never heard of this type of bread, butI will definitely have to test this out. Love the dried fruit instead of the candies ones.

  8. This bread looks beautiful! And I totally applaud your decision to leave out the neon-colored dried fruit. :) I always thought it was awful in the 80s when they would turn up in fruitcakes!

  9. I am sure that your sweet grandma would have been thrilled! I love taking family recipes and then adapting them to suit my tastes/current trends. This bread looks so delicious...I love all that fruit! I hope you have a wonderful end to your week. Thank you for brightening my day!

  10. How cool that yo were able to recreate your Grandma's recipe but add your own flare to it! Looks yummy!

  11. Gorgeous! I hope you submit to food gawker, they would totally dig your photos!