Julekake – Norwegian Fruitcake.

It’s no secret that I have plenty of Scandinavian heritage in my family tree. Lefse and aeblskeivers have been typical meals in my family since I can remember. This Christmas though, I wanted to branch out with other holiday type foods…explore some more of the food aspect of a part of my heritage. That’s when I came across julekake, Scandinavian version of fruitcake.

Now I know…traditional fruitcake is in the same category as cilantro…either you love it, or you loath it. I am definitely of the loath it persuasion. That being said, when I came across julekake, I realized the only thing it has in common with the well known fruitcake is the candied fruit in it.

Julekake is a yeast sweet bread and is light and fluffy, not a paperweight with candied fruit. Personally, I really loved my version of this new Scandinavian treat. It is super easy and makes a decent size of dough so you can share this tasty treat with others.

Julekake – Norwegian Fruitcake

3 large loafs
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Norwegian, Scandinavian
Servings 36 servings
Calories 142 kcal


  • non-stick or glass bread pans


  • cups warm tap water borderline hot
  • 2 Tbsp yeast
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour approximately
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 8 oz candied fruit I prefer orange peel, but candied pineapple or cherries are tasty as well


  • 2 cups powdered sugar approximately
  • 2 tsp orange extract can substitute with any other flavor of extract, match with the candied fruit you chose
  • 2-4 tbsp tap water


  • Combine water, yeast, and ¼ c. sugar into the mixer.  Gently mix and let sit for 20 minutes to allow the yeast to activate and rise. 
  • While yeast is rising; combine ½ c. sugar, eggs, salt, and vegetable oil together in a small bowl.  Add to yeast mix once the 20 min is up.  Add in the cinnamon and cardamom, mix on low for 30 seconds. 
  • Add 3 c. of flour, mix well.  Add in the candied fruit and mix until combined. Add 3 more c. flour mix well.  You may need more or less flour depending on how humid your kitchen is at the time.  Add flour until the dough sticks to itself, pulls away from the bowl and is pliable in your hands.  Take dough mixture out of mixing bowl and kneed 5 times. Or you can use a kneading paddle if your electric mixer comes with one.
  • Place in a large bowl that has been greased and set in the preheated oven at 200° F for an hr.  Once the dough is in the oven, turn off the oven and do not open door until the hour is up.  The heat from the preheated oven should be sufficient enough to cause the dough to double in size.  If the oven is left on while rising is completing, it will begin to cook the dough.
  • Using a food scale, divide the dough into 3 equal balls. Place one in a greased bread pan. Cover with greased foil and place in a preheated 200°F oven.  Once in oven turn it off.  Let bread rise for an hr.  Cook at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes or until the top of the loaf is a nice golden brown.
  • When finished baking, let cool completely then ice the tops of the loaves. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to a week.


  • Combine the extract and powdered sugar in a bowl. Then add in the water 1 tbsp at a time. Mix between water additions until the icing is a thick, but spreadable consistency. You don’t want it too runny, that is why you may only need a couple of tablespoons of water, or if you like your icing thinner, then add more water.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 142kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 3gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 138mgPotassium: 30mgFiber: 1gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 20IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 16mgIron: 1mg
Keyword fruitcake, spice, sweet bread
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Have you ever had julekake before? Does your nationality have a different version of fruitcake? What are some of your baking holiday traditions that stem from your ancestors? Hope y’all are having an amazing holiday season. Stay safe, be kind, and hug your loved ones.

Contains affiliate links

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.