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“I got this recipe out of the Salt Lake Tribune years ago and made it and I loved it! I lost it, requested the paper for it around Christmas time and they have finally found it and reprinted it...and it's now Easter time! It's moist, delicious and rich. Originally it was printed in Sunset magazine.”
2hrs 45mins
3 loaves

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, combine yeast with warm water, soften for about 5 minutes. In a 1- to 1 1/2 -quart pan, combine butter and milk; warm over medium heat until milk is 110 degrees. Butter does not need to melt. (Or heat butter and milk in a microwave-safe bowl, uncovered, in a microwave until mixture is 110 degrees.)
  2. Add milk mixture, whole eggs, granulated sugar, vanilla, lemon peel, cardamom, salt and 3 cups flour to yeast. Beat at medium speed until dough is stretchy and shiny, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in 2 1/4 cups flour.
  3. With a dough hook attachment, beat at high speed until dough pulls cleanly from sides of bowl, 5 to 8 minutes. If dough still sticks, add flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough pulls free. (Or scrape dough onto a lightly floured board and knead by hand until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.)
  4. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  5. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350 degrees and make filling. Place slivered almonds in a 9-inch pan and bake until golden, about 10 minutes.
  6. Soak 1 cup golden raisins in orange juice and brandy or vanilla until plump, about 30 minutes.
  7. In a food processor, finely chop raisin mixture, almonds, chopped apple, dried apricots, cinnamon and grated orange peel.
  8. When dough is ready, punch dough down. On a floured surface, roll into a 10-by-36-inch rectangle. Spread fruit filling over dough to within 1/2 inch of long sides. Roll from a long side, jelly roll-style. Cut into three equal-sized loafs. Pinch and smooth ends of loaf to prevent filling from falling out.
  9. Place seam-side down on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place until puffy, about 25 minutes. Mix egg yolk and water. Brush over tree.
  10. Bake in a 350-degree oven until golden brown, 40 to 45 minute. If necessary, cover loosely with foil the last 10 minutes of baking to prevent over browning.
  11. Remove from oven and cool. Mix powdered sugar with orange juice until smooth.
  12. Spoon glaze over bread. Slice when warm or cool and wrap in plastic.
  13. Makes 3 loaves.
  14. Christmas tree variation: Before rolling out dough, set aside 1/3 cup. Roll and fill remaining dough as directed. Take the long piece of dough, seam-side down, and zig-zag it into a stacked "S" shape to make a tree that is narrow at top and broad at base. Form reserved 1/3 cup dough into a ball and attach it to the base of tree as the trunk. Continue to rise and bake as directed above. Makes 1 large loaf.

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