Christmas Kransekake: A traditional Norwegian dessert, with a little Christmas flair for the holiday season.
What is Kransekake?
Kransekake is the signature cake of Norway, typically made for weddings and special occasions. This type of cake, which translates to “wreath cake,” is made by stacking 18 cookie rings into a tall, beautiful tower. Between each layer of cookies is a drizzle of royal icing, which acts as “glue” and decor.
Ingredients You Need for Kransekake
- Powdered sugar
- Almond flour
- Peppermint extract (optional)
- Vanilla extract
- Egg whites
- Meringue powder
- Crushed peppermint (optional)
Tools You Need for Kransekake
- Kransekake pans
- Piping bag
- Wilton #2 tip
The idea for this cake came about from my ancestry DNA test I did a couple years ago. When I first got my results back, which showed 50% Scandinavian with nearly all of that being Norwegian, I decided to make a dessert to celebrate my heritage. That first traditional Norwegian dessert I made was Verdens Beste: World’s Best Cake. You can check out that recipe here: Verdens Beste
I loved making my own version of a Verdens Beste cake. I turned it into a layered cake and it’s become one of my favorite desserts!
For Christmas this year, I went back to my Norwegian roots and decided to turn a Kransekake into a Christmas Kransekake!
How to Make Kransekake
A traditional Kransekake recipe calls for blanching whole almonds, peeling some of them and then grinding them yourself. Doing this adds a great texture and a beautiful speckled look to your cookie rings.
If you want to simplify the process a bit, like I did, you can use super-fine almond flour – something you can buy straight from the grocery store. You can use blanched and whole almond flour, or all blanched almond flour. I used blanched almond flour only.
Make the Dough
The first step for making Kransekake is to make the dough. This is done by mixing your almond flour with your powdered sugar until the two are well combined. Next, you’ll add your flavorings and egg whites, and then stir until you can form a dough.
Let the Dough Refrigerate Overnight
Once you’ve made the dough, form it into a ball, place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. I liked making my dough the day before and just refrigerating overnight. Before you roll your dough, let the dough sit at room temperature for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Roll Out the Dough
When you’re ready to roll your dough, divide the dough into fourths. Start with one-fourth of the dough, while re-covering the rest of the dough until you’re ready to use it. Gently roll the dough into 1/2 inch ropes. Making sure your dough is exactly 1/2 inch is very important. I even used a ruler to make sure my dough was the right width. If you don’t roll your dough enough, the ropes will be too thick and you’ll run out of dough for all of your pans.
Place your dough in each size ring, bringing the ends together and slightly pinching them to hold together. You’ll then bake the dough at 375 degrees F for about 10 to 12 minutes, just until the tops have a hint of golden brown. If you need to bake your dough in batches, just make sure to cover the dough that sits out so it doesn’t dry while you bake the first batch. I could only fit three pans in my oven at a time.
Make the Royal Icing
To make the royal icing, combine the meringue powder, powdered sugar and water. When you dip a spoon into the icing and lift it out, the icing should take a few seconds before dripping off the spoon. If your icing is too thick, just add a little more water.
If you want a colored icing, you can use a small amount of food coloring to tint the royal icing.
Stack and Decorate
Once the cookie rings are cooled completely, you can stack and decorate your Kransekake, starting with the largest ring and working your way up to the smallest ring. Between each layer, pipe the royal icing in a squiggle pattern. You can also sprinkle some crushed peppermint between each layer, as well.
How Do You Serve Kransekake?
To serve Kransekake, you’ll remove each cookie from the tower and break it apart.
Hallmark Home and Family TV
You can catch my full Kransekake tutorial on Hallmark Home and Family TV tomorrow, December 14th.