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).
Usually the icing is piped on in zig-zag fashion (like in the Sprinkle Bakes book), but this time I wanted 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 I used some melted almond bark.
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 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 meal
- 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.