Aniskringler – a Norwegian grandmother’s special recipe

Aniskringler is what most people  would associate with traditional baked goods from the good old times in Norway.   Many people will recall that their  grandmother used to make these, especially in the county I’m from.  They evoke the kind of memory of sitting around in your grandparent’s home on a Sunday afternoon smelling the comforting scent from the kitchen and then being served these mouthwatering pretzels (kringler= pretzels), gently spiced with anise seeds that pair  perfectly with the sweet dough.  I’m not sure of the reason why anise seeds were added into the dough, but since anise seeds has the flavor of licorice, many people thought it tasted sort of like “candy” 🙂  Don’t think about the kind of salty pretzels you get in this country- they are quite different, more delicate and not salty at all.  Delicious on their own,  they also taste wonderful with a dollop of good butter and some brown cheese (gjetost) or strawberry jam.

I don’t see aniskringler represented very often at modern bakeries or in homes today, which is why I find them even more enticing.  These are simply too good to be forgotten. I would love to start an “aniskringle revolution” to bring these mouthwatering creations back!!

The below recipe produces incredibly fluffy, sweet and aromatic kringler.  What makes these pretzels  so unique is the flavor of the anise seed. Make sure you use fresh spices- not something that has been hidden in your cabinet for years. I buy my spices often from Kalustyan’s in New York, my favorite local spice shop-  and I rotate them every other month or so.  Don’t substitute ground anise, it is not the same, and you want the texture of the whole seed.


Warning: when making these, be prepared to eat the entire tray in one sitting!!  And don’t even think about starting an anisekringler bakery business, I’ve patented the idea! 🙂


Makes about 25 kringler

6 dl/2 1/2 cups milk

225 /2 sticks unsalted butter

50g fresh yeast (or 2 packs dry yeast)

2 1/2 dl 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp cardamom

2 lbs flour (hold back a little initially and add in as needed)

4 tsp whole anise seeds

1 egg for brushing the pretzels

In a bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. In a small saucepan, heat up the milk and butter to about 37C. Pour into the dry ingredients and knead until a smooth dough forms. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot and let rise until double in size, about 1 or 2 hours, depending on your yeast and kitchen temperature.


Divide the dough into 20 parts, and roll out into about 12″ /30cm thin links.


Shape into pretzels. Place them on baking sheets, cover and let rise again for another 30 minutes.


Preheat oven to 450F. Brush the kringler with the egg wash and place them in oven and bake for about 15 minutes until nice and golden brown.  The kringler taste best when eaten warm, straight out of the oven but you can also freeze them for a later occasion.



10 thoughts on “Aniskringler – a Norwegian grandmother’s special recipe

    • Sunny says:

      Hi Mykatjesworld- the recipe is not the same because the dough does not contain saffron. But it is similar in that it contains sugar and is light and fluffy like the lussekatter. Read the recipe- it has anise seed and some cardamom in it (no raisins). 🙂 Thanks for stopping by! Sunny 🙂

  1. lauren says:

    Thanks for sharing these! I am also a Norwegian that made it form ND. I love these. They make me think of kringla which is my most favorite of all.

    • Sunny says:

      Hi Lauren and thanks for visiting my blog, welcome! 🙂 Glad to connect with more Norwegians… these kringler are some of my favorites, probably because they are part of some very few memories from my grandmother (whom I lost already at the age of 11), she was a great baker and cook and she certainly performed through these kringler! 🙂

  2. Jenny Reinking says:

    Thought I would just check this out on Pinterest, my family has made Kringles with anise seed forever, My Grandfather (whom I did not know) was Norwegian, his mother taught my Grandma who taught my mom, who taught me to make this traditional anise kringle. When I see them called “cookies”, I guess I have never called them that. To my family they are a sweet bread, love them. All of the women I previously mentioned have gone to heaven, so I am, along with my Great Aunt, the only ones in the family to make them for Christmas season. Glad I learned how to make them, even though it can take awhile to rise and such. It is worth the work and the memories of christmas’ past. Glad to find a recipe that includes the anise seed, bread calling combination. I have used buttermilk the past few years when I make them, even better! Merry Christmas and happy baking

    • Sunny says:

      Hi Jenny! How fun to hear from you and to learn that you too, have grown up with a tradition of anise kringler! I haven’t found too many people here in the U.S. who know about them, that is why I love writing and why I created this blog.. To connect with people like you! I am so glad you are carrying on the tradition of your family, and hope you will pass it on to the next generation so these breads/pastries will stay alive!! I am vegan now, but I will try them with the vegan version of buttermilk and test out your suggestion! Thanks so much for stopping by, and hope you will continue to follow me and to hear from you again soon! God jul / Merry Christmas to you too! 🙂 Sunny

  3. Sue says:

    Hi, Sunny! I read your post with glee! So many people associate Kringle with cookies! I am 4th generation in the US making these wonderful rolls, and am teaching the 5th. Our family recipie is the same with the exception of cardamom, we don’t add it. I was told this recipie came over on “the boat” and I believe it! We bought Kringle at a bakery in Oslo in 2000 band it was just like grandma’s!

    • Sunny says:

      Hi Sue! Great to hear from you, thanks so much for stopping by! What fun to read you are making kringle and that you are teaching it to the next generation, that is so important in order to carry on tradition! I love that your recipe is similar to mine. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and please continue to stop in here, would love to keep in touch! Sunny 🙂

    • Sunny says:

      Awesome to hear, January!! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog – I’m always suprised to hear how many people have heard of aniskringler before! Happy baking and happy Easter to you! ❤

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