Norwegian Almond Ring Cake (Kransekake)



1 cakes



Traditional Almond Paste Dough

1 lb. blanched whole almonds
1 lb. powdered sugar
3 egg whites
Or use the cookie dough recipe

Almond Butter-Cookie Dough

2 cups unsalted butter
1 cup almond paste
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. almond extract
4 egg whites
4-1/2 to 5 cup all purpose flour


2 cups powdered sugar
1 egg white
1/2 tsp. lemon juice


TO MAKE THE TRADITIONAL DOUGH, grind the almonds, using the fine blade of a food chopper. Or, put almonds into the food processor with the steel blade in place and process until finely pulverized. Add the powdered sugar and egg whites, blending until the mixture is a thick paste. Place in a metal bowl over boiling water and stir until the mixture is tepid; this softens the mixture and makes it easier to press through a pastry bag.

Grease baking sheets generously and dust with flour. 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.

Or, generously grease the flour kransekake ring forms and pipe the mixture into the rings. Place on baking sheets.

Preheat oven to 300 F. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden. Remove rings from pans while still warm.

TO MAKE THE BUTTER-COOKIE DOUGH, in a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, almond paste, and powdered sugar. Add the almond extract and egg whites and beat until smooth. Add the flour to make a stiff but workable cookie dough. Put dough into pastry bag or cookie press with a round tip.

Follow previous directions for shaping and baking.

TO PREPARE THE ICING, mix together the powdered sugar, egg white, and lemon juice to make a thin icing. Put the icing into a pastry bag with a fine tip.

TO ASSEMBLE THE KRANSEKAKE, mount one ring upon the other, making a tower. Press icing through a pastry bag in a zig-zag pattern on each ring before adding the next. Use the icing to fasten decorations on the cake.

Author's Comments

This cake is made of almond macaroon rings ranging from about 10 inches in diameter to about 2 inches, stacked in order from the largest on the bottom to the smallest on the top, making an unusual pyramid of cookies. This is the Norwegian Wedding cake, birthday cake, anniversary cake, or baptism cake. It can also be a Christmas cake, or a celebration cake for any other special occasion. The center of the cake is hollow; often a bottle of champagne is placed there when the cake is used for a wedding and the champagne saved for the couple's first anniversary. The cake is traditionally decorated with marzipan flowers or candies affixed to the sides with royal icing, or with little Norwegian flags. For a wedding, the cake may be topped with a beautiful rose. The rings are pressed from a pastry tube into predrawn circles. You can buy kransekake cake forms in Scandinavian import outlets, which make the job much easier!

The traditional cake is made with ground almonds, egg whites, and powdered sugar. Another version is made of butter-cookie dough with almond paste, butter, sugar, egg yolks, and flour. Either version makes a towering cake that will serve about 50 guests (a 2- to 3- inch piece each). Traditionally, the cake is served with a rum cream pudding that is spooned from a cut-glass bowl onto dessert dishes beside the piece of cake.


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