Norwegian Christmas Bundt Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing
Updated: Dec 20, 2018
Buttery yeast Bundt Cake filled with candied or dried fruit, spiced with cardamom and saffron.
The recipe is egg-free but the cake manages to hold airy and fluffy texture. Lemon cream cheese icing with dried fruit and pistachios is complementing the spices really well.
Yield: 2 medium size Bundt Cakes
Time: 30 minutes prep + 2 hours rest + 40-45 minutes baking
Tin: Bundt form
- 6 cups* all purpose flour (divided into 4+2)
- 2 cups full-fat milk
- 180g unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 2/3 cups granulated white sugar
- 2 teaspoons cardamom
- 1/5 teaspoon saffron (optional)
- 50g active bulk dry yeast or 2 packets active dry yeast
- 1 cup dried fruit or candied fruit - dried cranberries, candied sweet orange peel, candied ginger, candied cherries, raisins, chopped dates, chopped prunes - all work well in this recipe.
*cup=250ml tea cup
- 1 large egg mixed with two tablespoons of full-fat milk
Lemon Cream Cheese Icing:
- 2 tablespoons Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon full-fat milk (+1 more if the texture is too thick)
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed clear lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- roasted pistachios (7min @ 170C) and cranberries to decorate
1. If you are using dried fruit - pour some hot water on the fruit and let it rest to soften the skins.
2. Melt the butter on low heat. Add milk, teaspoon of sugar and warm up to 35C. Add dry yeast to the mixture or if you work with active dry yeast mix it with 25ml warm milk until smooth consistency is achieved and then add to the mixture. Cover with dry clean kitchen towel and set aside for 10 minutes.
3. Sift 4 cups of flour, salt, sugar, cardamom and saffron into a large bowl. Add lukewarm yeast mixture (from Step 2). Start mixing the dough. It will be loose at this stage but you want the mixture to blend in nicely before adding more flour. Once mixed in start adding more flour - 1/2 cup at a time. You have 2 cups of flour left-over to add to the dough. Knead for about 8-10 minutes by hand (or 5-8 minutes if using stand mixer with dough hook). After that time the dough should be shiny and pull away from your hand (it will be still slightly sticky but should pull away easily from your hand - don’t add more than 5 cups of flour in total). Cover the bowl with clean and dry kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes. The dough should double in size.
4. Once the dough doubles in size transfer onto lightly floured work surface and knead again for 2 minutes - you want to stretch the dough and then fold in three (same as when folding a letter) and knead. Repeat that move twice. As a last step add your dried or candied fruit and knead gently for 1-2 minutes to incorporate all the fruit into the dough. Grease Bundt form with non-stick baking spray or thin layer of butter. Transfer the dough into Bundt form and make sure to gently press with your fingers so that the batter fills in all the corners. Cover with dry kitchen towel and let it rest for 1 and 1/2 hours before baking. You want the dough to fill in the Bundt cake to the top (leaving 1/8th free). Once the dough triples in size press again with your fingers all the corners to spread the dough into the Bundt form edges. Apply egg wash just before baking.
5. Preheat the oven to 180C.
6. Bake at 180C for 40-45 minutes. Once baked let it cool for 20 minutes before applying Icing. For the Icing: mix all the ingredients to form fairly thick but spreadable Icing.
1. Before baking this Bundt cake you may opt to read this post with few hints on baking bundt cakes and working with yeast:
2. This Bundt cake is egg-free. It loves kneading - so take your time to knead and then to let the dough rest (especially in the Bundt form). It will pay off with buttery and airy texture.
3. Be fairly conservative with the fruit if you like soft and airy texture - 1 cup should suffice. If you like your cake dense then you can go with up to 3 cups of fruit. Also - make sure to cut bigger fruit (like prunes, dates) into smaller pieces to avoid underbaked/soggy batter around the fruit.