Dr. Kristina Gremski uses this recipe to bake traditional Czech Vanocka during the holiday season.

Christmas Cake (Vanocka)

Dr. Kristina Gremski, Upper School Science Department Chair and Biology Teacher, enjoys baking Vanocka, a traditional Czech Christmas cake, during the holiday season.


  • Four cups of flour
  • One egg
  • One-half cup of butter
  • One teaspoon of salt
  • One-half cup of sugar
  • One tablespoon of lemon rind
  • One tablespoon of vanilla
  • One cup of warm milk
  • One package of dry yeast, softened and raised in one-fourth cup of warm water
  • One-fourth cup of blanched almonds, cut in slivers
  • One-half cup of raisins


1) Mix all dry ingredients.  Then, add in the butter. 

3) Add the slightly beaten egg to warm milk, and stir in raised yeast.

4) On a floured board, work the liquid into the flour mixture, kneading the dough for ten minutes until it has risen in bulk.

5) Return the dough onto the board and knead in almonds and raisins.

6) Divide the dough into nine parts.  Roll each part by hand in strips 20 inches long.  Make three layers of twists, the bottom one out of four strands, the middle one out of three strands, and the top one out of two.

6) Have a greased baking sheet ready and form the cake on it, stretching and shaping the twists so that they sit firmly on top of each other.  If necessary, secure with toothpicks.

7) Let the cake rise again.  Then, brush with a mixture made of part egg and part milk.  Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes until done.

8) Do not cut until the following day.

Featured Image Courtesy of food.com