Scrumptious Scandinavian Delight: Homemade Kransekake Recipe for Festive Celebrations

Origins of Kransekake

Tracing the Birth of a Traditional Scandinavian Delight

Kransekake, a traditional Norwegian and Danish cake, has roots dating back to the 18th century. Its origin is believed to be in Denmark, where it was first created as a confection for special occasions like weddings, Christmas, and New Year’s celebrations.

The cake’s distinctive ring shape and almond flavor are central to its history. Originally, it was made with ground almonds, sugar, and egg whites, creating a marzipan-like dough. Over time, it became a symbol of celebration and is often presented as a towering cake, with the rings stacked on top of one another to form a cone or pyramid shape.

Kransekake’s significance grew within Scandinavian culture, becoming a cherished dessert for festive gatherings and important events. Its elegant appearance and delicious taste made it a centerpiece in celebrations, marking it as a traditional and beloved dessert in both Norway and Denmark.

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How to Make Kransekake

Kransekake, Kransekage, Kranskaka, New Year's Eve Cake, Nordic Christmas, Norwegian Christmas Cake, Nordic cuisine min

You need

for the Dough

2 cups sliced blanched almonds

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

½ teaspoon coarse salt

2 large egg whites

Unsalted butter, softened, for molds

Do like this

Start by putting almonds into a food processor. Give them a whirl until they turn into fine crumbs, should take about 2 minutes. Next, toss in the sugar and salt. Process it all together until it’s nicely combined and resembles powder, about 1 minute. Then, add the egg whites. Keep processing until it all comes together into a dough, kind of like cookie dough. Wrap this up tightly in plastic wrap and pop it into the fridge. Let it chill overnight.

Now, get that oven preheated to 150°C (300°F) and make sure your oven rack is in the middle position. Grab 6 kransekake molds and give them a light brush with butter. Split the dough in half. Take one half at a time and cut it into smaller pieces. Roll these pieces into ropes that are a bit thicker than a pencil, around 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch thick. Fit these ropes into the rings of 3 molds, trimming as needed. Place these on a baking sheet without rims and bake for about 30 minutes until they puff up and get a light golden brown color.

Once they’re done, move the molds to a wire rack and let them cool down completely while they’re still on the baking sheet.

Repeat this shaping and baking process with the other half of the dough and the remaining 3 molds.

Carefully take off the rings from the molds once they’re done cooling.

for the Royal Icing

2¼ – 2½ confectioners’ sugar

3 large egg whites or 5 tablespoons meringue powder mixed with ½ cup water

Paste or gel food coloring (optional)

Do like this

In an electric mixer bowl with the paddle attachment, mix confectioners’ sugar and egg whites until they combine and thicken. This takes about 8 minutes on medium-high speed. If you’re using different colors for decorating, split the icing into batches. Use a toothpick to add food coloring until you get the shade you want.

To put it together:

Arrange the rings by size. Put the icing into a piping bag. Pipe a few dots of icing onto the base of the biggest ring and stick it onto a cake plate. Add icing to the base of the next biggest ring and stack it on top of the first one. Keep repeating this, stacking the rings from largest to smallest to create a tower with 18 rings. Decorate it however you like. Let the icing set before serving.

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