Norwegian Almond Kringle
A kringle (also called klippekrans in Norway) is a yeast based pastry filled with cinnamon sugar, sort of like a wreath of connected cinnamon buns. In fact I developed this recipe from my kanelboller (Norwegian cinnamon rolls) recipe. This almond kringle is also filled with ground almonds, though you can omit the almonds, or add chopped apple or another filling instead. I’ve also seen them filled with vanilla cream and/or berry jam. Feel free to get creative!
Norwegians (and Danes) like to serve kringle at coffee time with guests. It’s quite easy to make, but its beautiful shape makes it look quite impressive. You can slice up the kringle or let everyone simply pull it apart in pieces.
My kringle recipe is almost identical to my kanelstang recipe, with the only big differences being the way I shape the dough and the almond filling. And so I’ll say the same thing about this kringle that I said about the kanelstang: you need to make this if you like cinnamon rolls.
The kringle is essentially a bunch connected cinnamon rolls, and since they’re all connected, it’s like the whole kringle is the center of the cinnamon roll, which we all know is the best part of any cinnamon roll. This kringle is extra soft and buttery and it won’t dry out as quickly as cinnamon rolls.
Kringle vs kringla
I’ve seen lots of debate amongst Americans over the difference between kringle and kringla. Some Norwegian Americans say that kringle is a large round pastry and kringla is a small pretzel shaped cookie. But in Norway, kringle and kringla are simply different declensions of the same noun. Ei kringle translates to a ring, and den kringla translates to the ring.
So actually, kringle/kringla simply refers to the shape of the pastry or cookie. Usually a kringle is shaped either as a ring or circle, or sometimes the top pieces are folded into a pretzel shape.
Kringles are especially popular in Wisconsin, but here I’m sharing the version we make in Norway.
I’ve made this both with and without almonds and while I prefer the almond version, the plain cinnamon version is also delicious.
I grind the almonds quite fine for this, and then I sprinkle coarsely chopped almonds on top of the baked kringle at the end.
I spread the filling all the way down to the bottom and sides of the square of dough, but leave a couple of inches free at the top.
Here I made fifteen cuts in the kringle, but you can make more slices if you want thinner folds.
The kringle will look quite brown when you remove it from the oven. Check the dough in the creases to make sure it’s fully baked and not still gooey – though you definitely don’t want to bake the kringle too long, as then it will get dry.
To decorate the kringle, I spoon the icing onto the plastic wrap that was covering the kringla earlier and I cut a small hole and drizzle the icing over the kringle. You can of course use a small plastic bag instead, but I like to reuse the plastic wrap, plus this way makes for a messier drizzle, which personally I think looks extra cool on the kringle – like modern art!
Norwegian Almond Kringle
- Rolling Pin
- mortar and pestal (for grinding cardamom seeds)
- 1 cup milk (lukewarm)
- 2 tsp instant yeast (or 25 g fresh yeast)
- 1 tsp cardamom seeds
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 9 tbsp butter (room temperature)
- 3 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup ground almonds (optional)
- 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp corn starch
- 2 tsp milk
- 1 egg
- 6 tbsp powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds (optional)
- Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm milk.
- Grind the cardamom seeds into a powder with a mortar and pestle. Add the sugar and ground cardamom to the milk and stir until dissolved.
- Add the butter and about half of the flour and mix until smooth. Slowly add the rest of the flour and the salt, until you can knead the dough without it sticking (you may need less flour). I use the last bit of flour to flour my counter before kneading. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until it's elastic.
- Cover and let the dough rise until double in size, about one hour.
- Grind the almonds (if using) and in a small bowl combine with the softened butter, sugars, cinnamon, cornstarch, and milk, mixing until smooth.
- Roll out the dough into a large square.
- Spread the filling evenly across the square of dough, leaving a couple inches free from filling at the top. Then slowly roll the square up from the bottom to the top.
- Carefully transfer the roll onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper, forming it into a circle. Pinch the dough on the bottom of the end of the circle together.
- Cut about fifteen evenly space slits in the roll, cutting almost down to the bottom of the roll but not all the way through. Twist the first section of dough to the right, the next to the left, then to the right, and so on, alternating each section. Then push all the sections forward (see video).
- Cover with plastic wrap and let rise again for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F). Whisk the egg with a splash of water and gently brush onto the top of kringle.
- Bake the kringle for about 25 minutes in the lower section of the oven (I bake mine in the row between the middle and bottom row) until deep golden brown.
- Mix powdered sugar with a bit of water until you get a thick glaze. Spoon it into a plastic bag or in a bit of plastic wrap and cut a small hole. Drizzle the glaze over the kringle. Top with some chopped almonds, if you like.