Holiday Kranse Kake Recipe & a Bonus!
My friend and “Master Norwegian Cookie Baker”, Nancy, baked thirty dozen cookies for my book launch last spring. The holiday season is a perfect time to repeat this posting of her personal recipe.
If you catch this post in time, you’ll also have a chance to snatch up the eBook version of ODIN’S PROMISE at a KINDLE COUNTDOWN reduced price. A download regularly costs $4.99, but it is only 99 cents until midnight December 6!
Check it out, here! Happy baking, happy reading!
Here are Nancy’s personal directions:
Kransekake baking rings and kransekake strip cookies.
Kranse Kake (Ring Cake) is the Traditional Norwegian Celebration Cake. These are
flaky almond cakes in concentric rings, stacked and “glued” with thin powdered sugar frosting. Traditionally a bottle of aquavit (anise flavored alcohol) or a bottle of wine is placed inside the stack.
To serve, the glazed rings are removed one at a time and broken in small pieces to share.
Norwegian flags on the Kranse Kake are traditional.
I asked Nancy about how she came to be such a skilled baker of these traditional delicacies.
Nancy: My husband and his brothers had been involved with Sons of Norway years ago when we were a young married couple. At that time it was mainly men… the women had their own organization but I really wasn’t interested as it seemed mostly social. About ten years ago (we had both been retired a while) we decided to join as the Lodge was in its new building. I was already in a number of other activities, but at the first meeting, one of the ladies was going around getting people to sign up to make cookies for the International Folk Fair. My hand shot up like a space launch at Cape Canaveral. I baked about 30 dozen colored and decorated Spritz cookies. That was the beginning of very active involvement.
Nancy, you’re tireless and talented. How have you put those assets to use in Sons of Norway?
Nancy: I have worked regularly at the monthly Torsk dinners mostly as a server in the kitchen. I love meeting all the people as they come through the line and then working with members to clean up after the dinner. I have also served on the Cookie Committee. We bake and sell thousands of ethnic cookies each fall. It takes about 7 weeks of baking to fill preorders and enough cookies to sell at the November and December Torsk Dinners. I served as an assistant secretary, did some baking demonstrations at meetings, and served on various committees.
Sandbakkel cookies and kransekake strips.Sandbakkel cookies and kransekake strips.
Kransekake, the traditional celebratory cake, is featured in Odin’s Promise. Nancy was kind enough to share her recipe and special directions. She also made kransekake strips, small spritz strips make with the same dough as the ring cake. Ask anyone who was there, they are truly delicacies. So you don’t even need to have the ring forms to experience the deliciousness of kranse kake. No excuses now, give it a try!
Nancy’s Recipe for Kranse Kake
3 – 8 ounce cans SOLO pure almond paste (this brand works best)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 egg whites
Mix together in mixer until well-blended. Spray tins well with PAM for baking with flour. Use flat star template in cookie press to make a ring of dough in each section of the tins. Use a blunt tool such as a plastic orange peeler to press ends together. Be sure the ring of dough is perfectly round.
Bake tins (2 or 3 at a time) in a 325 degree oven for 17-22 minutes. Check at 15 minutes. Do not let the rings get too brown. They should be just turning and be golden brown on the edges. Remove from oven and let cool before removing from pans. (I take my orange slicer tool and gently lift here and there to make sure they aren’t sticking.)
After rings are completely cold, remove from tins and arrange in order on a counter. Begin with the largest and stack “gluing” them together with frosting:
1 egg white slightly beaten
3 drops white vinegar
1 cup powdered sugar
Put the “glue” into a strong zip-lock bag and when you are ready to assemble the cake, snip a very small piece off one corner of the bag. Pipe a solid band of frosting all around the top of the layer and then immediately set the next layer on top. Repeat until all layers are used.
If you wish, you may pipe “scallops” of frosting around the cake to decorate. Store the cake in an airtight container. It may also be frozen.
Norwegian flags or wrapped candies may be stuck into the cake for decoration. For special occasions, I have used a wired ribbon bow atop the cake.
This recipe makes an eighteen layer cake. You will likely have dough left over which can be used to make fingers. (Just pipe out long lines of dough on a cookie sheet and cut into uniform pieces and then bake.)
If you double the recipe (which we do for weddings) it will make a 36 layer cake and about 200 fingers.
Note: I always use the SOLO almond paste because it works the best. I have used other brands (Odense) and the cake does not turn out as well.