Traditional Norwegian Julebrød (Julekake)

There are very few things as Christmasy as homemade Norwegian Julebrød. In fact, Julebrød means “Christmas bread”. It is traditionally made with raisins, succades & cardamom, and the addition of wort or beer makes it extra special!

This super easy bake is called Julebrød or Julekake, depending on where in Norway you are. It is exquisite on its own, or with some good butter, but we prefer it with Brunost or ideally Geitost, the brown, Norwegian goat’s cheese that’s not really a cheese, but made from the whey left overs from cheesemaking.

Wet mix:

  • Melt 50 g butter in a pan
  • Add 400 g whole milk to the pan when butter is melted

Dry mix:

  • 550 g wheat flour
  • 100 g spraymalt/DME*
  • 100 g raisins
  • 100 g succades (candied citrus peel)
  • 15 g sea salt
  • 12 g dry yeast**
  • 1 tsp cardamom powdered

*You can source Dry Malt Extract (DME) from any half decent home brew supply store.

If you’re a home brewer, you can of course use fresh wort, and if you can’t find DME at all, you can add 50g demerara sugar and use a caramelly, weak and very low hop beer (like an English Mild or Bitter) and a dash whipping cream as liquid instead of milk. Use a small 330 ml bottle beer, and 70 ml cream.

**Most of the time I make a sour dough version of this. My starter is 100% hydration, so I use 100g starter, and reduce the flour and liquid by 50g each.


Start by making the wet mix, then the dry mix. This will allow the cold milk to warm up a bit as you make the dry mix. Knead the two mixes together at slowest setting for roughly 10 mins using a dough hook, or mix by hand.

Gather the dough into an approximate ball, cover with flour all over, cover with a lid and let rise till double size.

Tip into an oven pan and shape into a loaf. Cover with a lid again and let rise till double in size.

Brush with egg wash.

Bake for 35-40 mins @ 180C. 80% steam if you have it.


    • Hi Val! And thank you 🙂 This loaf was baked in our dirt dwelling where we have a Gaggenau combi steamer oven. It is magnificent 🙂 On our boat we have a Dometic-something two-burner, which is good, but it’s a bit tricky too since it hardly has any under heat, and it’s a bit hotter in the back than in the front. The uneven heat front/back is easily solved by turning the loaf 180 degrees half way in the bake, and I will try to get a baking steel to compensate for the under heat. That means I have to preheat the oven to preheat the steel, and then put the loaf directly on top of that to make it bake better.

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