Translating to “circle cake”, Kransekage is traditionally a pyramid-shaped cake made of marzipan circles, although it is also common to eat them as small bars. A Danish delicacy, it almost always makes its appearance at wedding, Christmas, and birthday parties. It can take time and practice to make this right, but no one ever complains about eating the “mistake” pieces!
After my dad moved from Denmark to The States in his twenties, my grandmother began a tradition of sending care packages for every holiday and birthday. Her care packages really showed love and were full of knitted and crocheted items, Danish magazines, marzipan and Läkerol (a big deal before World Market made these goods widely available), and home-baked items. And one of my favorite things to receive were Kransekage bars. It was not until recently that I finally managed to get this recipe down to perfection, so here it is...enjoy! If you like marzipan, check out my chocolate-covered marzipan recipe too.
I would love to see what you come up with. Be sure to share your comments and pictures below!
2, 7 oz. boxes Odense almond paste
1 cup powdered sugar
White decorating icing
3 Tbsp pasteurized liquid egg whites
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Break apart the almond paste (it makes mixing easier).
3. Mix together almond paste, powdered sugar, and egg white into a dough. The dough should be firm but pliable.
4. Form dough into cylinder-shaped bars that are ~3 inches long and 3/4 inch diameter.
5. Using 2 butter knives, push against the sides of each bar to create a slight triangle shape. I find it easiest to shape holding one knife on each side of the bar and pressing together towards the top to create a peak. If the dough is too sticky, dip knives in water to prevent dough from sticking to the knives. It is also fine to use fingers to pinch the dough up.
6. Bake 6-8 minutes or until dough becomes very slightly browned. Allow to cool. Outside will be slightly crunchy, while inside will be doughy.
7. Use icing to decorate; this is done by drizzling icing horizontally across the baked dough. Allow icing to harden.
8. Enjoy with coffee or tea or as a decadent dessert! Refrigerate leftovers.
Why pasteurized eggs? The inside of the cookie will not cook thoroughly. Pasteurized eggs do not carry the risk of salmonella like raw eggs do, and it's no fun getting sick from what we eat!
What happens if your kransekage falls a little flat during baking? Let them sit for at least one minute after removing from the oven. Using two butter knives, reshape, similar to how to you shaped before baking.
Why not just use marzipan candy dough and skip the mixing step? The egg white used in this recipe minimizes flattening of the kransekage during baking. Without egg white, the cookies will become so flat that they cannot be reshaped after baking.
Check out other Danish recipes in the RECIPES section.