Kransekake is a Norwegian wedding or Christmas Cake. It is more cookie-like than cake-like, and is often presented as a centerpiece with a bottle of wine in the center of the rings.
I’ve been completely smitten with the towering kransekake ever since I laid eyes on it years ago. Some people know it as Norwegian Wedding Cake, or Wreath Cake. It’s made in Scandinavian countries for weddings, Christmas, and other important celebrations.
Take a look inside my first book on page 128 and my fandom is evident. I included a recipe for ‘Viking Wedding Cake’ – a tall kransekake with zig-zag piping and two fair weather Viking flags on top. I’m not sure what I love more, the concentric circles, the cookie-like texture of the ‘cake’, or the fact that the hollow interior can hold a bottle of your favorite bubbly. One thing is for sure, it’s a great party centerpiece and a good conversation-starter, too.
The kransekake molds can be purchased online here, along with the Norway flag toothpicks. The forms are not a necessity, though. You can mark the rings on parchment paper, beginning with a 10-inch ring, and decreasing the size by 1/4 inch, until you reach a 2 inch ring. Then, just pipe the batter onto the drawn rings and bake.
Making the batter is so easy – just mix up the ingredients and pipe. Waiting for the many rings to bake can be a bit time consuming, but it seems to go more quickly with holiday music playing in the background while addressing Christmas cards (smile).
A flurry of powdered sugar.
Usually the icing is piped on in zig-zag fashion (like in the Sprinkle Bakes book), but this time I went for a snowier effect. So I spooned it onto the rings and stacked them. I sprinkled over a few dragees while the icing was still sticky, and then dusted the entire cake with powdered sugar.
Cellophane-wrapped candies and Christmas crackers are usually attached to the kransekake with hard caramel. But quick drying almond bark works just fine!
I’m including one mini kransekake on each of my giveaway Christmas cookie trays this year. (Which is like getting 6 cookies in one!) Serving this cake is as much fun as assembling it. It’s a matter of separating the rings one by one. And then breaking them into smaller pieces.
I love when this takes place at holiday gatherings. Because you are literally breaking bread and sharing it with your loved ones. It creates a spirit of unity. It’s not bad with coffee, either.
- 1 lb. almond flour
- 1 lb. powdered sugar
- 3 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Mix all the cookie dough ingredients together in a large bowl; the mixture will be thick. Transfer batter to a large piping bag fitted with 1 1/2 inch opening. Grease the kransekake ring forms with baking spray and pipe the mixture into the rings. Place on baking sheets.
- If you don’t have the kransekake forms, you may draw the rings on parchment paper and pipe the batter onto the rings. For a large kransekake, mark off 18 rings starting at a diameter of 10 inches and making each subsequent ring 1/4 inch less in diameter, down to 2 inches. If making the mini kransekake, only mark off the first 6 rings: 2 inch, 2 1/4 inch, 2 1/2 inch, 2 3/4 inch, 3 inch, and 3 1/4 inch.
- Preheat oven to 300 F. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden. Remove rings from pans while still warm. Let them cool on wire racks before frosting.
- For the icing, mix the powdered sugar and lemon juice together, adding drops of milk a little at a time until a thick glaze is formed. Spoon or pipe the icing onto the rings and stack them Sprinkle with dragees or sugar pearls and dust with additional powdered sugar, if desired.
I think I was from a Scandinavian country, in a former life, haha! I love the designs and the food. Can't wait to try this?
And in Denmark it's traditionally served on New Years Eve, at midnight!
Sometimes with a nougat or pistachio filling.. But always with stripe-drizzled frosting 🙂
Yum. Takk og god jul! Ardith
So pretty! I wish i would know where to find those moulds.
if you can't find Almond Meal (where would one find this) are there any substitutions?
Hi Sarah, Almond meal, or 'almond flour' can usually be found in the health foods section at grocery stores. If you're coming up empty handed at your local stores, then you can buy 1 lb whole almonds and blanche them (blanche = soak in hot water for 7-10 minutes, then squeeze the skins off – they pop right off!). After blanching, toast them in a low temp oven (about 170F) until the almonds are dry. This could take around 8 to 10 minutes, maybe longer depending on how much water the almonds absorbed. After they're dry and toasty, grind them… Read more »
So so pretty!
Oh my gosh!! I have a picture of my one of my early birthdays – I want to say 3 – with a cake and I always wanted to know what exactly it was. It was kransekake! My great aunt made it for me. I grew up in a really small town that began with Norwegian settlers, so we celebrated all big Norwegian holidays and ate lots of Norwegian foods – although lefse is still my favorite 🙂 I would love to make this cake and see what it tastes like. I was much too young to remember what it… Read more »
Ooh, I remember that Viking wedding cake! It looked divine, and so do these 🙂 I may have to try these someday!
Hmmm, my dough was definitely not able to be piped …. soooo thick. I contemplated adding an extra egg white. I will have to experiment again 🙂
The mixture is quite thick, but if it's too thick as you experienced, you can heat the batter in a saucepan over low heat until the batter is loosened. You don't have to heat it for very long, and it shouldn't be hot when you put it in the piping bag. I've had to do this on occasion. I'll add this note to the recipe. Thanks for your feedback!
Our family has made this every year for the 32 years I've been married. That and Jamaican Plum Pudding!
Giving it a shot this year. Food 52 has great step by step,& they introduced me to it. I do sacher torte, so I may be international. P.S. the one on food 52 is rolled, not piped. This seems simpler to me!!!
I looked for the tins but they are spook expensive! I'm delighted you tell how to draw your own on parchment and pipe the ring onto them. Thankyou so much. Can't wait to have a go now!