Kransekake – Norwegian Wreath Cake Recipe 

I wanted to share this recipe tomorrow but I have a somewhat “more important” blog to post then! 

3 years ago tomorrow my now husband and I started officially dating. We already knew our future was set with each other and we have based the timing of many life events off of this day and others (like the day we met and fell in love immediately). I wanted to celebrate with the cake we had at our handfasting. Kransekake or “wreath cake.” It’s Norwegian in origin and made during the Winter holidays, weddings and for other special events. It is also referred to as a “Viking cake” although I don’t think it is that old. It’s typically decorated with icing and miniature Norwegian flags. I didn’t want to spoil the surprise so I searched and searched for a recipe that I could make from what I have. I have found recipes using almond paste, almond flour, all purpose flour with almond extract, etc. I have been saving and toasting almonds I have used from making almond milk for the purpose of making this cake so I wanted to use them up. This is an altered recipe and one that may not be entirely traditional but is fairly easy to create and I’m using easy to obtain ingredients. In the future I would love to make and share recipes for other variations. 

You can make this cake free form or purchase the cake forms (pans) online and in specialty shops.  

This particular recipe was supposed to be for a much shorter cake for my tiny family and last us a two days at least. It’s not nearly as small as I was aiming for so we may freeze some to save. Add one more egg white and 2 oz each for the cake ingredients to get the full sized cake (yes, it can be bigger!).

You will need:
*16 oz almonds (when blended). Mine are toasted and crushed from making almond milk so they are a little easier to break down. I used a few ounces extra to process down until I got 18 ounces. Raw almonds work well too. 
*16 oz powdered sugar 
*3 egg whites 

For the icing you will need: 
*1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 
*3 tbsp almond milk (mine is vanilla)

OR

*1 tbsp almond extra and 2 tbs milk of choice

*optional spritz of lemon juice

You can start by blanching raw almonds to remove the skins but I don’t like any waste so I use everything. 

Use a blender or food processor to grind the almonds down as fine as possible. You want to end up with 16 ounces for this size. This handy jar has measurements on it so I use that. 

Mix well with 16 ounces of powdered sugar. 

Add in three egg whites (I used the yolks to glaze bread so they wouldn’t go to waste) and mix well for several minutes. 

Cover and refrigerate overnight or freeze for about 4 hours. I froze mine as I needed to get the cake done yesterday. It makes the mixture easier to work with. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re ready to start baking. 

When you’re ready to shape the dough you can either jump right in or grease your forms first if you are using them. Some recipes say dusting the forms with flour or a roughly ground wheat after helps the dough release better later. See what works best for you. 

Take the dough and roll with your hands into ropes. The thickness is up to you if your free forming. Be sure when shaping the ropes into circles that they will stack well and not fall into each other if free forming. If you’re using a form use them to help you measure your pieces. Do NOT press the dough it. Drape into the forms. I made mine a little thick on some of them and they stuck together when baking. 

Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes. Each size will have a different time so keep checking. They should be golden in color. 

Let cool several minutes before removing from the forms and then letting cool while you make the frosting. You may need to use a butter knife to loosen the pieces. 

The frosting is pretty simple and can be made in different ways. I used vanilla almond milk in mine as I am out of almond extract. It can “goop up” quickly so mix to your desired consistency after adding the ingredients together and add to a ziplock bag or a piping bag. We don’t ever make pretty baked things so all I had was a ziploc bag and a pair of scissors to cut an escape route for the frosting in the corner.

I’m no artist so I ran the frosting over each tier then plopped on the next tier before adding the remaining frosting. Not the most beautiful cake but delicious! My toddler and I sampled the leftover dough blob.

I was surprised how easy this cake was to make. We paid a pretty penny for ours and ended up getting two to make sure everyone got some (we even bought an amazing Swedish Princess Cake). They were amazing and I’m glad we did it though! The cake was great even a week later (we had some left). It was stale but softened beautifully in a cup of coffee. So delicious! 
From our handfasting:


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