Celebrating tradition with our very own wreath cake: “Kransekake”

“Kransekake” is both a Norwegian and Danish cake / dessert, made of ground up almonds, confectioners sugar and egg whites. It is shaped into a pyramid like cone, consisting of different size ring shapes that are filled with the batter, starting with the largest at the bottom ending with the smallest on top:

kransekake_forms

The cake is often decorated with Norwegian flags and bonbons and is traditionally made at weddings, confirmations, baptisms, holidays and other special events. The ring forms you can purchase pretty much anywhere online (just google “kransekake rings”) – we like Ingebretsens, which is our go-to Scandinavian online store based in Minneapolis, for anything Norwegian (cookware, food, clothing, books, etc.).  These days, many people make the kransekake into just regular 3-4 inch “sticks” and dip the ends in melted chocolate, which makes for a delightful cookie and is one of the more popular baked goods during Christmas.  Creating this elaborate cake though, is not hard, but looks very impressive and also serves as a decorative element on any buffet table. These days in Norway, the finished dough can be bought in stores, and most people just bake it off at home instead of making it from scratch.

How did the kransekake come to be? Some say that the kransekake developed from another creation called “overflødighetshorn”,  and translates into “horn of abundance”, referring to the the shape. The cake in this instance is lying down and looks like a cornucopia and is a symbol of excess and fruitfulness:

overflodighetshornThe history behind this invention is said to date thousands of years back and started in Crete, Greece, where one version speaks of  the nymph Amalthea, raised Zevs (the God) in a cave and fed him goat milk.  As thanks, she received the horn of abundance from Zevs where all her wishes came true.  I always love to apply these fancy stories to my foods, and although they may not be true, it certainly makes for some mystery! :)  One thing is for sure, kransekake is delicious, it’s also gluten free (containing no white flour) and might fit perfect on your holiday table this year!

KRANSEKAKE

500 grams / 2 cups almonds

500 grams / 2 cups confectioner’s sugar

3 egg whites

Glaze:

250 grams/1 cup confectioners sugar

1 large egg white

1 drop of white vinegar

Preheat oven to 420F.

Toast the almonds in a dry skillet on low-medium heat until fragrant.  Grind them up in a food processor, add the confectioners sugar and pulse to combine. Add the egg whites and mix until it is slightly moist and easy to knead. Roll the dough into thin links long enough to fit the individual kransekake rings and place them in the rings (spray the rings with cooking spray first and dust with a little flour).  Bake them in the middle of the oven for about 10-15 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool on a rack.

To make the glaze: mix all ingredients together until an even glaze – if needed, add more confectioners sugar to get an appropriately thick glaze. Fill a pastry bag with the glaze and cut  a small hole at the bottom. Swirl the glaze in an eve zig-zag pattern across the kransekake rings and let stand until dried.  Now it’s time to build your kransekake pyramid!  Decorate with bon-bons, flags or whatever else you desire. You can also freeze these individual rings and save for later!

 

4 thoughts on “Celebrating tradition with our very own wreath cake: “Kransekake”

  1. thepinkpigeonpost says:

    Reblogged this on thepinkpigeonpost and commented:
    On the fifth day of Christmas my stomach growled to me, “five golden rings!” You’ve heard of a Kugelhopf and, thanks to the 2014 Great British Bake Off, you’ve also heard of Baumkuchen, but have you heard of Kransekake (as the Norwegians call it, or Kransekage in Danish)? This is a conical cake tower made of almond cake rings layered one on top of each other in decreasing size. The wedding version is shaped like a cornucopia (called a overflødighedshorn), but for Christmas, a tree-like cone will do. Tune in to BBC Two at 8pm on Tuesday 16th December for a demonstration by Paul Hollywood of how to make Kransekake, in a Great British Bake Off Christmas Masterclass. Or get a head start with ARCTIC GRUB:

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