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A friend posted a picture of several loaves of Julekake that he had made and I remembered my mother making it at Christmas. I’ve been in Nevada over a month, visiting my parents for the holidays, and we have been unable to lay hands on candied red cherries, so Mom got maraschino cherries instead. I thought I would give Julekake a try with what we had on hand. It turned out delicious! I made it in a loaf pan so that it could be easily cut and toasted later.

  • Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 package (2-1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. orange zest
  • 3-4 cups flour, divided
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 cup mixed candied fruit and raisins

Heat butter, milk, and water together until it’s hot to the touch, but not scalding. Sprinkle yeast over and let it dissolve, stirring once in awhile. Stir orange zest into the sugar, mashing it around to get the sugar infused with the orange oil. Stir the sugar-zest mixture into the yeast mixture. Stir in about 2 cups flour, salt, and cardamom. Stir and stir and stir to build up the gluten. When it’s stretchy, start adding flour, one half-cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When it becomes too hard to stir, take it out of the bowl and start kneading on a lightly floured surface. At this point, use as little flour as possible. Knead for about five minutes. Once the dough ball is smooth and springs back when touched, press it flat. Sprinkle about a third of the mixed fruit over the surface. Roll up the dough and knead a little bit. Press flat again and sprinkle another third of the fruit over, then roll it up and knead it again. Do that one last time with the remaining fruit. The fruit should be well incorporated into the dough.

Place the dough into a greased bowl and turn the dough over so that the top of it is also greased. Let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled, 1 to 1-1/2 hours should do it. You can leave it longer if you don’t have time to deal with it.

Punch the dough down and shape into a loaf and place into a greased loaf pan 8-1/2 x 4-1/2. Let rise until just over the top edge of the pan. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Once the oven has heated, place the loaf into the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Notes: I used about a third cup of chopped green candied cherries, a third cup of raisins, and a third up of chopped maraschino cherries. Maraschinos have too much liquid, so I let them drain onto a paper towel and chopped them on the paper towel. It wouldn’t hurt anything to let them sit out for quite awhile to lose more moisture and get tacky.

You should be able to make this into different shapes: rings or rolls and also you can drizzle icing over, an almond icing would be great. I knew we could not eat this all while it was fresh, so my goal was to be able to toast it in the toaster later, thus no icing. It’s been really delicious toasted and slathered with butter. Yum!

This recipe comes from fixfeastflair.com. I love the look of these and they taste amazing. That being said, I’d like to see a fluffier roll as these seem a bit dense to me. I’m probably doing something wrong. But it’s all good!

  • Dough Ingredients
  • 1 cup warm milk, heated to 110 degrees F
  • 1 envelope (2-1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3-1/4 cups flour (I use bread flour)
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 5 Tbsp. butter, softened

In the bowl of a stand mixer, pour milk and sprinkle yeast over the top of the milk. Stir in a teaspoon of brown sugar. Let activate for about 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining brown sugar, about 2 cups flour, ground cardamom, salt, and butter. Using the dough-hook attachment, mix for several minutes to build up the gluten, scraping the bowl down every so often. Add flour a half-cup at a time until the dough comes away from the side of the bowl and is smooth to the touch. Let rise in a warm place until the dough is doubled, at least an hour.

  • Filling ingredients
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. ground cardamom

While the dough is rising mix together the filling ingredients into a spreadable paste. Also prepare two or three baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.

Once it’s risen acceptably, punch the dough down and roll out on a floured surface into a rectangle 21″ by 13″. Spread the filling over all the dough, all the way to the edges.

Fold the long side of the dough evenly into thirds toward the center (each third is 7″). Run the rolling pin over to compress slightly. Turn the dough so that the open ends are on the right and left sides. Starting at either left or right, cut the dough into thin strips. When finished, you should have 15 to 20 strips. Please go look at fixfeastflair.com to see how to do this next part. She’s got a gif that shows how to make the rolls. You take each strip and roll it around your hand, making sure the ends are firmly tucked underneath.

Set the rolls on the prepared baking pans and cover with plastic or a kitchen cloth. Let rise for about 30 minutes. The pictures are showing two different times I baked these, so don’t let that throw you off. I did it the same both times.

  • Topping Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp. ground cardamom

While the rolls are rising on the pans, in a small saucepan mix together water and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract. Set aside. In a small dish, stir together 1 Tbsp. sugar and 1/2 Tbsp. ground cardamom. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake rolls for 8 to 10 minutes or until quite brown and baked through completely (don’t burn them, however).

While they’re still hot, brush with topping syrup and then sprinkle with sugar mixture. Remove to rack to cool. Serve while warm. Or not. These are so, so yummy!