Danish Kringle Recipe
Larry Gjenvick Makes His Famous Danish Kringle, So Delicious, Incredibly Flaky, A Slice of Heaven on Earth. GGA Image ID # 1fe4946ac0
Old Danish Kringle (Dansk Smørekringle): This old Danish pastry is legendary. It symbolizes the "hygge, " a "comfortable and good" life. There is a secret to Kringle baking: the butter is rolled into the dough -- not mixed or blended with a fork or pastry blender. The recipe for the Butter Raisin Nut Filling follows at the end.
List of Ingredients
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of milk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cakes compressed yeast OR 2 packages of dry yeast
- 1-1/2 cups of soft butter
- 2 cups of flour or more
- 1/2 teaspoon of grated lemon rind
- A few cardamom seeds
- butter filling
- ground nuts
- granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- ground, slivered almonds
Take 1/2 of butter (3/4's c.) and roll between 2 sheets of wax paper until very thin. Chill.
Mix the salt and sugar. Add 3/4 cup of milk with the eggs. Add yeast soaked in 1/4 cup of milk heated to lukewarm.
Add butter, and cream all ingredients together with fingers.
Add enough flour to make a medium stiff dough.
Add grated fresh lemon rind and cardamom seed.
On a lightly floured board, spread the dough to an 8 x 12" rectangle.
Place chilled rolled butter sheet on half of rectangle.
Fold the unbuttered half of the dough over the buttered half.
Roll out to 8 x 12" again. Fold in half again. Roll again to an 8 x 12" rectangle. Fold in half.
Chill dough 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Resume Preparing the Danish Kringle
Cut in 4 strips lengthwise. For 4 kringle's, roll strips out to 18 x 2-1/2".
Spread Butter Raisin Nut Filling (see recipe below) in the middle and fold ends over.
Sprinkle with ground nuts and granulated sugar.
Form in pretzel shapes and let rest in a warm place 45 minutes to rise.
Brush with a mixture of equal parts egg and milk; sprinkle with sugar and ground slivered almonds.
Bake in a preheated 375 oven for 12-15 minutes or until a delicate brown.
Yield 4 kringle's.
These freeze well.
-- Larry Gjenvick
- 1-1/2 c. water
- 2 c. brown sugar
- 1-1/2 c. golden raisins
- 2 Tbsp. cream
- 1/2 c. soft butter
- 1/2 c. chopped almonds OR other nuts
- 1/2 tsp. cardamom seeds
Bring to a boil water and raisins.
Drain off the liquid.
Cream butter until very soft; add cardamom and blend well.
Add brown sugar and enough cream to enable you to spread mixture easily.
Mix in raisins and chopped nuts and blend well.
Finished Danish Pastry Known as Kringle. A Gjenvick Family Favorite for Decades. This Kringle Made with Love by Larry Gjenvick. GGA Image ID # 175e292aba
The Gjenvick-Gjønvik Family has a long history in our love of pastry, especially the Danish Kringle. My father, Larry Gjenvick, would go with his father to the Egeqvist Bakery in Minneapolis during the early 1930's.
Egeqvist Bakery was known for its unique and incredibly delicious Kringle. My dad remembers the pleasant aroma of the vast array of freshly baked rolls, cakes, bread, and other baked goods. Like many other folks during the Depression, they had little money to spare for these goodies.
My grandfather, Ludvig, somehow purchased the incredible Danish Kringle from Egeqvist on special occasions. As my father's culinary and baking skills improved, he always believed he could make Kringle.
He found a recipe from Olesen's Danish Bakery in Racine, Wisconsin that he modified through trial and error until he was satisfied that his adapted recipe closely resembled the delicious Kringle from Egeqvist Bakery.
My efforts are not always perfect, but it's Scandinavian "soul food" that is always so special and satisfying. Here is my version of Danish Kringle. Try it and enjoy!
- ¾ cup of butter -- Use 2 sticks of butter, but leave in fridge so they are very firm (see instructions below)
- 1 package of yeast
- ¼ cup of warm water (about 100 degrees)
- ¼ cup of lukewarm half and half cream
- ¼ cup of sugar
- ½ tsp of salt
- 1 teaspoon of lemon extract (or almond extract or vanilla)
- 1 teaspoon of ground Cardamom
- 1 egg
- 2 cups of sifted all-purpose flour
Chill two sticks of unsalted butter so they are very cold and firm. Sift the flour and add the salt and Cardamom to the 2 cups of sifted flour, and then re-sift about three times to blend well. Set aside.
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and a tsp. of sugar in at least a 2-cup measuring cup or bowl and let it set until the yeast is all bubbly and almost fills the container.
Put the yeast mixture into a mixing bowl and add the warm milk, sugar, flavoring of your choice, and the egg (which has been lightly beaten). Mix well, add the 2 cups of flour, and continue to mix until smooth. The dough should not be sticky but smooth and silky to the touch.
Roll out the dough on a well-floured board to about an 8 x 12-inch rectangle. Now take one of the well-chilled butter sticks and, using a cheese slicer, make as thin slices of butter as possible, placing the butter slices on 2/3 of the rolled-out dough.
Fold the uncovered third of the dough over the middle third, then fold the remaining third over the top.
Now repeat the process by slicing more butter over 2/3 of the dough and repeat the folding process so that you have a roughly square piece of dough nine layers thick.
Wrap the dough square in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. You should have used approximately 2/3 of the stick of butter. Just set it aside for later use.
Now roll the dough again to about an 8 x 12 inch rectangle.
Using the 2nd stick of chilled butter, repeat the process of adding slices of butter to 2//3's of the dough, folding the same way, adding the butter slices and folding, thus making a square of 18 layers of dough and butter.
Again, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Recipe for the filling:
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup butter (use the rest of the leftovers from the sticks you sliced above)
- Pinch of salt
- ½ of an egg white
- Cream together until smooth and well mixed and set aside.
Now, you can add chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans work well).
Putting it All Together
- Cut the dough into two equal pieces.
- Lightly roll one piece at a time until the piece is about 6 inches wide and about 20 inches long.
- Spread the center third of the dough with the butterscotch filling, then add fruit, nuts, and raisins. Alternatively, use less butterscotch filling and fill in with jam such as raspberry or strawberry.
- Fold one of the long edges over the filling in the middle, moisten the other edge, and fold over the top to cover the filling, sealing well.
- Put the Kringle on a greased baking sheet (use one with a raised edge in case the filling breaks out and leaks onto the sheet). Form the Kringle into an oval shape, pressing the ends of the Kringle together to form a continuous circle – or you may leave it in one long strip.
- Cover the Kringle with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place for about an hour. Brush the top with a mixture of the rest of the egg (you saved it, didn't you?), beaten with a dash of half and half.
- Sprinkle the top with chopped nuts, sliced almonds, and a light sprinkle of sugar.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown, and place on a rack to cool.
This recipe recreates the Kringle that I remember from my youth. Be creative with the recipe and adjust it according to your taste. Use a variety of fillings or bake it without any topping, and when cool, lightly frost with a Buttercream frosting and top it off with chopped nuts if desired.
Use 1/2 stick of softened butter, a teaspoon of flavoring such as Almond or Vanilla, and enough powdered sugar to make a smooth, spreadable frosting.
Now, after how many hours, it's time to pull up a chair, get out the knife, and slice into your own home-baked Kringle- indeed a treat fit for a king or queen- you are all royalty, you know – enjoy!
Making Danish Kringle in Photographs
Kringle Ingredients. Butter, Yeast, Half and Half Cream, Sugar, Salt, Lemon Extract, Ground Cardamom, Egg, and All-Purpose Flour. GGA Image ID # 175ae4aec2
Step 1: Kringle Dough, Ready To Roll Out Sitting on a Bed of Flour. GGA Image ID # 175b17edd9
Step 2: Kringle Dough Rolled Out. GGA Image ID # 175b1a8e9a
Step 4a: Adding Butter to the Kringle Dough. GGA Image ID # 175b5af00a
Step 4b: Folding the Additional Butter Into the Kringle Dough. GGA Image ID # 175ba20e82
Step 5: Folding and Adding More Butter To the Kringle Dough. the Cheese Cutter Is Used To Slice off the Butter. GGA Image ID # 175bd2eb77
Step 6: The Kringle Dough is Ready to Roll Again. GGA Image ID # 175c02758d
Step 7: Rolling the Kringle Dough Flat Again. GGA Image ID # 175c18e422
Step 8: Adding More Butter Again to the Kringle Dough. GGA Image ID # 175d25200e
Step 9: Fold and Add More Butter to the Kringle Dough. GGA Image ID # 175d535a88
Step 10: Add More Butter and Fold the Kringle Dough Again. GGA Image ID # 175d616573
Step 11: Cut the Folded Kringle Dough in Half and Place in Plastic Wrap. GGA Image ID # 175d61a05b
Step 12: A Side View of Folded Kringle Dough, Layered with Butter. The Many Layers of Butter Gives the Kringle its Flaky Texture. GGA Image ID # 175d79a849
Step 13: Rolling Out the Kringle Dough One Last Time. GGA Image ID # 175e0e0312
Step 14: Adding the Filling to the Kringle Dough. GGA Image ID # 175e26fe95
Photographic Instructions Courtesy of Larry Gjenvick.