This Danish kringle recipe is brought to you from the middle of Nowhere, Wisconsin. If you're not familiar with our state or never been here, there are a few essentials that every good cheesehead is familiar with.
The Green Bay Packers, cheese curds, brats, and authentic Danish kringle pastry.
There is so much that I love about Wisconsin, aside from the winters. The people are abnormally friendly, summertime is heavenly, and then there is the Wisconsin kringle. (It is the state's official pastry, thanks to the original Racine kringle.)
Seriously, my kind of place!
What is this?
This kringle recipe is a delectable pastry and the pride of Racine, Wisconsin. That's where it was first made by Danish immigrants back in the late 1800s. Hence the name, Racine kringle.
It is made with layers of buttery dough. The end result is a sweet and flaky pastry filled with a nut or fruit filling and topped with a frosting or drizzled icing.
This kringle recipe is part of the Danish concept of Hygge (pronounced hue-guh not hoo-gah). It's all about a state of comfort and coziness. A Racine kringle is as hygge as it gets!
Our kringle recipe starts with a flaky pastry that is mostly butter and flour. And of course any good Wisconsin dessert is usually loaded with sugar. That's just how we roll in these parts.
We’ve jazzed this Danish kringle recipe up a bit for a true blend of Wisconsin flavors. As a kringle baker, you can make them as simple as you like.
Although it can be filled with any number of goodies. Popular Wisconsin kringle fillings often include:
- Cream cheese
The list of fillings is limited only by your taste and imagination. Almond kringle and raspberry kringle are some of the most popular throughout the United states.
How to make it
(Read the full Racine kringle recipe with detailed directions at end of post.)
A Racine kringle is not hard to make but the process has several steps. As I mentioned above, you can fill them with whatever strikes your fancy.
You're going to need some sheet pans, parchment paper or plastic wrap, and a large clean work surface.
This is how I make this pecan-filled kringle recipe with a salted-caramel glaze.
The first part of making a Danish kringle is making the dough. In summary, you'll do the following:
Roll it Out
- Process and stir ingredients to form a dough.
- Pat the kringle together to form a rectangle, then wrap and refrigerated.
- Roll the chilled pastry out. Fold it, seal it, and refrigerate.
- Repeat step 3.
This kringle dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.
Make the Filling
When you're ready to bake this kringle recipe, you can put the filing together. Here we use just a simple combination of pecans, butter, and brown sugar.
Put it all Together
To assemble the kringle, you're going to roll out the dough and fill it. Do this with the following steps:
- Unwrap the dough and divide it in half.
- Roll each piece of dough into a 6" x 24" strip. Then divide the filling and evenly spread down the center of each piece of dough.
- Fold one long side of each piece of dough over the filling. Brush the remaining exposed side with an egg wash and each short end.
- Fold the exposed long side over the other (folded) side and pinch and seal.
Shape, Raise, Bake, Frost
You're almost ready to bake and enjoy this kringle recipe. First though, we have a few last steps to making it.
- Form each piece of dough into an oval, attaching and sealing the ends. Place (seam-side down) on a baking sheet. Cover it and allow it to rise in a warm place for a couple of hours.
- Apply an egg wash to each kringle, then bake at 375° for about 25 minutes.
- Allow each pastry to cool. Make the frosting and spread some of that love on each kringle.
- Make the salted caramel glaze and drizzle it over each pastry
Common questions about this
These will stay fresh for about five days. We've never had one make it past 12 hours, in our household!
Yes, you can freeze this pastry for up to four months. Be sure to seal it well before freezing. Thaw and eat at room temperature or warm it up in the oven before serving.
More of our Favorite Pastries
- Apple Turnovers Using Crescent Roll Dough
- Chocolate Brownie Baklava
- Buttery Pastry Holiday Nut Rolls
- Puff Pastry Apple Hand Pies
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Danish Kringle Recipe
For the Pastry Dough
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup bread flour
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter cold, cut into ½" pieces
- ⅓ cup whole milk cold
- 1 egg large, cold
For the Kringle Filling
- 1.5 cups pecans finely chopped
- 1 cup brown sugar firmly packed
- ½ cup butter room temperature
For the Icing
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pinch fine sea salt
For the Salted Caramel Glaze
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar packed
- ½ cup whipping cream
- Combine the flours, sugar, salt and yeast in a mixing bowl and stir together. Next, add this mixture to a food processor. Add the butter and pulse-process a dozen times or so. You'll want the chunks of butter to be chopped to half-sized pieces.
- Combine the egg and milk into a large mixing bowl and briefly stir together with a table fork or whisk if you have one. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and stir together without over-mixing. Briefly knead the dough by hand then place on a hard, clean work surface. Gently pat the dough into a square or rectangle shape and wrap and seal with kitchen wrap. Chill in the fridge for 6 48 hours.
- On a hard, clean, and lightly-dusted work surface, use a rolling pin and form the dough into a rectangle, about 9 x 15 inches in size. Take the short ends of the dough and fold in toward the center (using about one third of the dough on each end.) Turn the rolled and folded dough by 90 degrees and repeat this process using the same dimensions. Use kitchen wrap to wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
- Repeat the above step 1 more time. Now you have the option of using the dough, storing it in the fridge for 48 hours (wrapped and sealed,) or freezing it for up to 3 months.
For the Kringle Filling
- Grab your butter, brown sugar and nuts and combine them all together in a large bowl.
Shape and Bake
- Use some parchment paper to line two large cookie sheets. Take your chilled dough and evenly divide it in half.
- Use a hard, clean work surface lightly dusted with flour and shape each piece of dough into a rectangle, approximately 5 x 20 inches in shape. Evenly spread about a half cup of the filling down the center of each piece of dough, leaving about a 2 ½ inch border on each side.
- For each piece of dough, fold one long side over the filling and and use the saved egg whites to brush an egg wash over the other unfolded side and both ends. Now take the unfolded long side and fold it over to the other side as shown in the photos above. Use your fingers to pinch and tightly seal the seams on the side and on the ends.
- At this point the kringle dough may have retracted and gotten shorter. If necessary, gently stretch it out until it is between 20 and 24 inches in length. Take the two ends of each piece of folded dough and bring them together in the shape of a circle or an oval (like a race track.) Seal the ends together by using your fingertips to press and tightly seal. Now, take each circular-shaped unbaked kringle and place on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Invert them (flip) so the seam is facing downward. Cover with a kitchen town or kitchen wrap and place the cookie sheets in a warm place. Allow the dough to rise for about 45 minutes.
- You'll bake the kringle at 375 degrees. As always, be sure your oven is pre-heated. Before you bake them, apply an egg wash to the outside. You'll want to bake these to a golden-brown color, about 25 minutes. Turn the baking sheets and switch racks (from top to bottom) at about 12 minutes. This will ensure that your kringle bakes nice and evenly.
- These will be very hot when you take them out of the oven. To get rid of any air pockets between the filling and the crust, gently place one baking sheet on top of the other kringle (and then repeat with the other one.) Now place each one to a wire cooling rack.
Make the Frosting and Icing
- In a small bowl, stir the powdered sugar, vanilla, sea salt and 3 to 4 tablespoons of water or milk. Use an off-set spatula or rubber one and evenly spread the icing over the tops of the pastry and allow it to completely dry.
- For the salted caramel glaze: In heavy small saucepan melt butter over medium-low heat. Stir in packed brown sugar and granulated sugar. Bring to boiling, stirring constantly. Then stir in whipping cream and return to boiling. Boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in sea salt. Cool completely. Then, drizzle the glaze over the icing.
- This makes two kringles.
- Substitute walnuts for pecans if desired.
- You can substitute lemon juice for vanilla extract, in the frosting.