Danish Kringle Recipe

Let's get cozy! Wisconsin's official state pastry, the Danish Kringle, is as hygge as it gets. This lovely little almond pastry is perfect for slicing and sharing with friends over a cup of coffee or tea. It may not look like an authentic Kringle, but it tastes just like it, and it's easy to make at home while still wearing your slippers. 

On, Wisconsin! Other state favorites include a trusted method for cooking Beer Brats, Wisconsin-Style Jambalaya, Piggly Wiggly's famous Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Cheese, and of course, Wisconsin Cheese Curds.

Danish kringle on a cooling rack.
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What is hygge, anyways? Pronounced "HOO-guh," it's the Danish concept of coziness--a warm atmosphere, the enjoyment of life, and a feeling of general contentment.

One of the best ways to experience that warm and fuzzy feeling is by baking this gorgeous almond pastry. Take it from the Danes--they've been making it for generations. They're experts at enjoying life.

By some magnificent stroke of luck, Racine, Wisconsin produces the best Kringle you can find anywhere. You can order one online, if you must, but this recipe is faster and you don't even have to leave the house. Snuggle up on the sofa with a book while two layers of flaky pastry bake, filling the kitchen with a sweet almond fragrance.

Even though this version is not authentic in appearance (it's not shaped like a giant, edible wreath) nor in technique (there is no yeast) it's probably going to become your go-to for coffee get-togethers, parties, and book clubs.

Why? Because it's super easy, insanely pretty, and absolutely delicious. And it's the ONLY recipe my Racine relatives make when they want Kringle.

One bite, and I bet it will become your only recipe, too.

Making Danish Kringle for a crowd of coffee lovers? Just click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.

What is a Danish Kringle?

Kringle is a popular Danish pastry often filled with fruits, nuts, jams, or chocolate.  In the United States, Kringle took root in a city just south of Milwaukee: Racine.

It became even more popular once Trader Joes started selling O&H Bakery's famous Kringle. If you're lucky enough to have grabbed one before they sold out, you already know how good they are.

How is this recipe different than a traditional Kringle?

First of all, it's easier and faster to make because it's not a yeast dough, which requires time to rise, etc. Yeast Kringle are usually saved for special occasions, like Christmas. But this one can be made anytime.

Also, this Kringle recipe isn't technically filled with anything, like store-bought Kringle. The top layer of flake pastry is a sweetened pâte-à-choux, a special kind of pastry dough that fluffs up as it bakes. Almond extract gives the dough its wonderful flavor.

Finally, the taste is incredible. You'll never miss the real one. Homemade pastry is almost always far better than what you get in a store, and the ones you love will appreciate it, too.

How to make Kringle at home:

Classic Kringle are shaped into an oval. However, this recipe yields two rectangle-shaped Kringle, which should fit on a single baking sheet. Eat one, share one, or devour them both.

  1. First, make the crust. It's not hard, sort of like making pie crust. Using a knife or a pastry blender, "cut" the cold butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about the size of peas.
    Danish kringle ingredients mixed together in a clear bowl.
  2. Sprinkle on the ice water and gently stir the water into the dough with a fork. You should have a soft dough.
    Danish kringle dough rolled into a ball in a clear bowl.
  3. Next, cut the dough into two equal pieces. Take each piece and form it by hand into a 3-inch by 12-inch strip.
  4. Place the two strips of dough side-by-side on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Give them some space, though, because they get flattened and will spread out.
  5. Then press each strip flat, using the back of a measuring cup or a small rolling pin. Flatten the dough until each piece is about 1/4" thick.
    Danish kringle dough on a baking pan.
  6. Meanwhile, to make the "filling" layer, combine the butter and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the mixture boils, remove from the heat and immediately stir in the flour. Whisk until smooth.
  7. Next, add the eggs one at a time, whisking in between each egg.
    Danish kringle filling on a silver sauce pan.
  8. Finally, add the almond extract.
  9. Next, spread or pipe the sweet almond dough on top of each piece of dough. (This "filling" will bake up gorgeously golden brown and puffy on top of the crust.)
    Precooked danish kringle on a baking pan.
  10. Bake the Kringle at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the Kringle to cool for at least one hour before frosting.
    Danish kringle on a baking pan.

Making the Kringle icing:

We're almost there! This icing is amazing drizzled over the baked Kringle.  Top with some toasted, slivered almonds, and you got yourself one heck of a dessert!

Danish kringle filling ingredients in various bowls.

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, butter, almond extract, and most (but not all) of the milk. (Hold a tablespoon of the milk back, in case you need to adjust the consistency.)
  2. Whisk the ingredients together until smooth. If the icing is too thick, add the remaining milk and whisk. It should be drizzle-able.
  3. Drizzle the frosting directly over the baked and cooled Kringles, then decorate with sprinkles or sliced toasted almonds.

Other Kringle ideas:

Sometimes you have to play around with flavors. Here are some good ideas.

  • Orange. Switch up the almond extract for another flavor, like orange extract, and add some orange zest and a little juice to the icing.
  • Chocolate. Instead of icing, make an easy Chocolate Glaze to drizzle over the Kringle. (Better stand back, though!)
  • Coconut. Coconut extract might be a fun way to flavor a Kringle. If you try it, write about how it went in the comments.
    Danish kringle on a cooling rack.

Where is Danish Kringle near me?

Other than making them yourself, try Trader Joe's--sometimes they stock them.

If you wind up in Racine, Wisconsin, the most famous bakery is O&H Bakery. Stop in or order their delicious Kringle online anytime!

5 from 10 votes

Danish Kringle Recipe

Let's get cozy! Wisconsin's official state pastry, the Danish Kringle, is as hygge as it gets. This lovely little almond pastry is perfect for slicing and sharing with friends over a cup of coffee or tea. It may not look like an authentic Kringle, but it tastes just like it, and it's easy to make at home while still wearing your slippers. 
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American, Danish
Keyword kringle, pastry
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cooling time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 348kcal

For the crust layer:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter cold
  • 2 tablespoons ice water

For the filling layer:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

For the icing:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Sprinkles or sliced almonds for decorating, optional

To make the crust layer:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • Cut butter into small pieces. In a medium bowl, combine flour and cold butter pieces. Using a knife or pastry cutter, cut into dough until pea-sized crumbs form. Sprinkle with ice water, then stir with a fork until soft dough forms.
  • Divide dough into 2 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a thin 3-inch x 12-inch strip. Using the back of a measuring cup, press on to prepared baking sheet (each strip should be about 1/4-inch thick).

To make the filling layer:

  • In a medium saucepan, combine water and butter; bring to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately stir in flour. Whisk until smooth.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Stir in almond extract.
  • Divide the filling between the two crusts, spreading or piping to 3/4-inch from the edge of the crust. Bake until golden brown and puffy, 50 to 60 minutes. 
  • Remove from oven and cool completely, at least 1 hour. The filling layer will shrink and fall as the Kringle cools.

To make the icing:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, butter, and almond extract until smooth. If the icing seems too thick, add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until smooth enough to drizzle.
  • Drizzle each Kringle with icing. Top with sprinkles or sliced almonds if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 348kcal

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  1. Katy

    My filling was more like cake batter consistency so I poured it on instead of piping. I hope it turns out okay!

  2. Robyn

    Kringle is traditionally pretzel-shaped not round or oval. In fact, the word kringle translates from Danish as “pretzel.” My mother used to make Norwegian kringle cookies which were a butter-rich pretzel-shaped cookie with sour cream and buttermilk as ingrediaents. I have enjoyed the kringle from O&H bakery in Racine for many years. I suspect theirs is oval due to some aspect of the commercial production. I look forward to trying your recipe.

  3. T.

    The picture shown did not match my results by a long shot. The pie crust was done and getting too brown on the edges after 30 minutes and the filling was too runny to hold a piped shape and did not puff up. The flavor was good and I still received compliments on it.

    1. meggan

      Hi T., I know what you mean about the photos. I have a photographer who used to be a pastry chef and his creations are always ridiculous. However, I am not sure why your filling was too runny. I’ve made this myself many times and the filling is always really thick and easily piped. I’m really sorry about that! I am currently having new photos shot so anyone who is making it has a better idea of how this is all supposed to look and work. I am glad people at least liked the flavor even if the recipe didn’t work as expected. Better than a total loss. Sorry again and thanks for letting me know. -Meggan

  4. Kathleen Bramstedt

    Can this be made ahead of time & frozen successfully?

    1. meggan

      Hi Kathleen, I haven’t tried doing that myself but I can’t think of any reason why it wouldn’t work. I’ve made it, and it seems exactly like the kind of thing that would freeze beautifully (even the glaze). I can test it and report back, but probably not in time for when you plan to make it! Thanks for the question. -Meggan

  5. Kaitie

    I doubled the recipe (we’re a 7 person family) and made it into an oval shape like Trader Joe’s kringles and it came out PERFECT!! Everyone said it was BETTER than the ones from TJ!!! It is so neat how the “topping” somehow transforms to be a top crust, with the almond paste in the “middle”…it’s magic. This will be a new Christmas tradition. THANK YOU FOR THIS RECIPE!!!5 stars

  6. Ann

    I wanted to make this Kringle for my brothers 50th birthday. I knew he would really enjoy this because our grandma and our mom would always make this for special occasions and we looked forward to this growing up. My mom gave me the hand written recipe and I wanted to make sure nothing was missed so I Googled it and found your website. The recipe is exactly the same! I smiled when I read about this coming from Racine as that it where my grandma was from! Mom and Grandma have since passed on and I will continue to make this for my family’s special occasions. The Kringle turned out perfect and I would not change a thing!! Thanks for confirming the recipe!!5 stars

    1. Meggan

      Ann, A sincere thank you. You have no idea how much it makes my day to read this. My Grandma was from Racine as well! We had a kringle every single year on Thanksgiving. Have a wonderful Holiday season. I’m so glad you like the recipe. -Meggan

  7. Sarah

    Oh darn! I wish I’d read the comments first. I had what I thought was way too much filling, since I didn’t realize the “filling” in this recipe forms a crust of sorts. I’ve left the “extra” out and folded over the actual crust. I guess I’ll try again.

  8. Karen Camp

    Hi, I haven’t tried the recipe yet. My question is how do you make the cheesecake flavored Kringle? That’s the only flavor I have had. But I will try this recipe so I know how the original Kringle tastes.

    1. meggan

      Hi Karen! I haven’t made a cheesecake-flavored Kringle so off the top of my head, I don’t know for sure. I googled it and nobody seems to have a recipe for it either! Here’s what I DO have – a recipe for Ina Garten’s cheese danishes. The filling is probably pretty close to what you might want (although if you hear “cheese Danish” and you’re like NOOOOOPE then maybe not). Here is the recipe for her filling. It makes 8 cheese danishes, what you would get from 2 sheets (1 box) of puff pastry.
      8 ounces softened cream cheese
      1/2 cup sugar
      2 extra-large egg yolks (she uses extra large eggs, I never do, I would say maybe 3 large egg yolks?)
      2 tbsp ricotta cheese
      1 teaspoon vanilla
      1/4 teaspoon salt
      1 tbsp lemon zest
      She creams together the cream cheese and sugar first in a mixer, then adds everything else. She says – don’t whip it, mix until just combined.
      I don’t know if this would be the right amount of filling or if it’s even what you want. But it’s worth a try if you have the time and the energy.
      Good luck Karen! Please let me know what happens! :) Thanks. -Meggan

  9. Jan minot

    Meggan, Quick question. Anxious to try your Kringle recipe. I buy kringles whenever Trader Joe’s has it and want to make it too. The kringles i buy seem to have a top crust, but your recipe doesn’t sound like there is a top crust. Is that correct? Thanks in advance for explaining. Jan minot

    1. meggan

      Hi Jan, this kringle doesn’t look much like the ones at Trader Joe’s but it tastes the same. It’s true my recipe doesn’t have a top crust, but after you put the icing on top, you don’t even notice. The filling puffs up and then sinks and somehow works like a top crust. And then like I said, you put icing on top anyway. I’m thinking of reworking this recipe so it looks/sounds like a traditional Kringle so people aren’t confused. Sorry for the confusion! Thank you! If you need anything else, just let me know. -Meggan

  10. Angel

    My mother made this but spread raspberry preserves on top, then drizzled with the white powder icing. She said she got her recipe from one of her Jewish friends. We lived in Westbury, New York. I’ve been looking for this for decades. Thank you!5 stars

    1. Meggan

      Wow! That’s incredible to hear! :D -Meggan

  11. Tara

    Is the icing with water or milk!m? Ingredients say water but recipe says milk 😫 I just made the Kringle and it’s cooking, onto the icing now. I think I’ll use milk and water lol.

    1. meggan

      Hi Tara, I’m SO SORRY. It could honestly be either one. I was changing all my icing recipes from milk to water so they wouldn’t require refrigeration (if you make the icing with milk, the kringle should “technically” be refrigerated if you follow CDC guidelines), but I changed only the ingredients, not the instructions. I’m an idiot. I’m sorry about that. So originally it was milk, but there isn’t much of a difference in taste if you use water. Sorry again. -Meggan

  12. Erin

    I have a lot of left over filling….is that normal?

  13. Dianna

    I made this at Christmastime and it came out soooooo good!!!  I didn’t think I was making it correctly until I figured out I had to zigzag the filling.  My only problem is that you mentioned ‘topping with a sweet almond filling’ but gave no instructions for adding it.  I have almond filling and am going to try placing it on top before putting the whole thing in the oven. My grandfather (long since passed) was of Danish decent so I thought I would surprise my 93 yo mother with this for a little taste of her ancestral heritage.  Thanks for this wonderful recipe!   5 stars

    1. Kay Wild

      I’ve made this for years and just pile all the filling on and comes out great….everyone wants a piece or 3 lol

  14. tani hubbard

    Meggan i have mastered this wonderful Kringle … My friends and family request it every Holiday making it for xmas …. Thank you. . Merry Christmas5 stars

  15. Paula

    I just made this. I don’t feel there is enough crust for the amount of filling. The filling puffed up nicely. I will try this again and maybe dbl the crust. It smells wonderful. It was very easy to make! Thank you for sharing!5 stars

  16. tani hubbard

    Yes it tasted really good but my eggs made it yellow and I don’t think the filling went into crust …
    I am making it again today to master it …
    Wish me luck !!5 stars

    1. meggan

      I am so glad it was not a complete disaster, ha ha ha! I do think with baking sometimes it takes a try or two to get it right (at least for me it does…). So thanks for giving it another try. You must use really nice eggs if they changed the color of the crust! Good luck and take care, thanks again for reporting back!

  17. Kathy

    Isn’t there supposed to be some sugar in the filling?

    1. meggan

      Hi Kathy, no sugar in the filling. I pulled out the original copy of the recipe just to make sure it’s not a typo. The recipe is correct as written. It works. I don’t know why…. but it works. Maybe it’s the frosting. Sorry for the confusion!

  18. Kathy

    It seems strange that there is no sugar in the filling.  Is that correct?

    1. meggan

      Hi Kathy, no sugar in the filling. I pulled out the original copy of the recipe just to make sure it’s not a typo. The recipe is correct as written. It works. I don’t know why…. but it works. Maybe it’s the frosting. Sorry for the confusion!

  19. tani hubbard

    My crust doesn’t seem to be puffing it still has 20 min left…. not feeling confident …5 stars

    1. meggan

      Hi Tani I was just wondering if your kringle turned out! Sorry for being creepy and nosey… I hope it was a success. Merry Christmas!

    2. meggan

      Don’t give up yet! A lot Can happen in 20 minutes.

  20. tani hubbard

    Hope it turns out ?5 stars

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