For New Year’s Eve, I decided to make a traditional Norwegian celebration cake. It’s called kransekake which literally translates to “wreath cake” and you’ll soon see why. My husband’s family enjoys one at Christmas every year and we had one at our wedding. My parents really like it so I figured why not make one for New Year’s Eve since they were visiting? I’ve had the cake molds for it for probably almost 5 years but never had the time or inclination to make it.
I looked up various recipes. Kransekake is generally Scandinavian, not just Norwegian, but it’s important to note that Danish, Swedish and Norwegian kransekake recipes all yield somewhat different results. I like the Norwegian one which is a little less sweet and more like marzipan than cake. Here is the recipe I used:
- 1 lb blanched almonds
- 1 lb powdered sugar
- 3 egg whites
- flour as needed (about 1/4 cup)
Start by using your food processor to grind up the almonds into a fine meal.
I’ve seen almond meal/flour at the store. You could probably use that since it looks about the same. I’ve also read that you can use half blanched almonds and half normal almonds which is what I think my husband’s family does since their end result has more of a speckled brown look.
Add the powdered sugar and sift together before adding your eggs.
Make a well in your sugar almond mixture, add your eggs and begin stirring until a dough forms. Here’s where you may need to add some flour if your dough is too wet. This can happen if your eggs are huge.
Butter and dust your molds with flour.
Roll out the dough to about 1/2 inch thickness. You’ll probably want to have some flour on the rolling surface and your hands to prevent it from sticking.
Lay the dough gently inside the molds, joining the ends as best you can to make it smooth.
Bake your dough at 350 degrees for about 13-15 minutes. You’re looking for them to have just the slightest tinge of brown. The mere hint of golden. You want them to be chewy inside.
When they’re done (you can see mine got a little too brown on one part because my oven doesn’t heat evenly), let them cool in the pans since if you try to remove them now, they’ll probably break. (Trust me, I broke a few.)
Once cool, remove them from the molds to cool.
Meanwhile you can start to make the frosting. I just did a basic royal icing recipe.
1 cup of powdered sugar with almost 1 egg white. I gradually added the beaten egg white until it was the consistency I wanted and didn’t end up using the whole thing.
I pre-stacked my kransekake in small parts to make sure I had the rings in the right order.
When you’re ready, start with your first wring. Squiggle royal icing on it to create a “glue” for the next layer. Repeat for each layer.
And that’s about it! I’ve read that kransekake is one of those things that you can make exactly the same way twice and one will turn out amazing and the other will be a disaster, so if it doesn’t work out, it’s not your fault. 🙂 I was pretty happy with the way my first one turned out. I’ll definitely make it again and perhaps try some other techniques like piping the dough into the molds for smoother tiers or using different ratios of almond to sugar.