How to Bake a Danish Kringle Pastry for Christmas

Cookbook author Shauna Sever’s take on a festive American Danish (featuring a savvy shortcut) is well worth the effort this holiday.

sliced kringle

kringle overhead

Prep Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
10 hrs
16 to 20

Kringle has been a Midwestern holiday institution since Danish immigrants brought the pastry to Racine, WI, in the late 1800s. Today, Racine bakeries such as O&H and Bendtsen’s ship the beloved treat all over the country, but with a bit of practice, you can make baking kringle your own tradition. This version amps up a traditional almond filling with the addition of an apricot fruit spread. 

Kringle tastes best within a few days of baking, but it freezes well too. Wait to ice it until after defrosting or the powdered sugar glaze can get a bit sticky.


  • 1 cup all purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • 1 cup bread flour

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast

  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

  • 1/3 cup whole milk

  • 1 large whole egg

  • 8 ounces almond paste

  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar

  • 1 large egg white

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 6 tablespoons apricot fruit spread

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract

  • 4 tablespoons sliced almonds


  1. how to make kringle dough steps

    Carson Downing

    Classic Danish pastry requires a laminated dough (the kind used for puff pastry and croissants), which involves folding and rolling butter into dough over and over to create super-thin layers. To achieve the same effect with a little less labor, Shauna uses a food processor. Once the dough comes together, roll out into an 8×15-inch rectangle, using a ruler as a guide.

    For Shortcut Danish Pastry Dough, in the bowl of a food processor fitted with an S-blade combine the flours, granulated sugar, the yeast, and salt. Pulse several times to blend. Add the cold butter cubes and pulse 15 to 20 times or until the butter chunks are broken down by about half. In a large bowl whisk together milk and whole egg. Dump flour mixture into the bowl. Use a flexible spatula to gently stir the dough until nearly all the flour is moistened. Use your hand to quickly knead the dough just a few times in the bowl to bring it all together into a shaggy mass. There should be lots of large chunks of butter still visible in the dough. Line a work surface with plastic wrap. Turn the dough out onto the plastic wrap and pat into a 7x4 1/2-inch rectangle. Wrap the dough tightly. Chill at least 4 hours, or up to 2 days.

  2. how to make kringle dough steps

    Carson Downing

    As you’re doing your first roll-out, the dough will be shaggy, and you’ll notice lots of large chunks of butter. This is a good thing! When the dough hits the oven heat, the water and butter in the dough convert to steam, which puffs up each layer, before evaporating. Thanks to the food processor, you’ve got a jump on incorporating the butter before you even start to fold.

    Lightly flour a work surface and rolling pin. Roll the dough out to a rough rectangle, 8x15-inches. Starting from a short edge, fold the rectangle into thirds toward the center, like a letter. Rotate the dough 90 degrees. Roll it out again to 8x15-inches. Fold into thirds. (This completes 2 turns of the dough. It will look a bit knobby and cracked at this stage, but don't worry.) Wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Chill at least 20 minutes. Repeat the rolling, folding, and chilling process twice more until you've completed 6 turns in all. Wrap tightly in a double layer of clean plastic wrap. Chill 2 hours or up to 3 days, or freeze up to 2 months.

  3. For filling, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine almond paste, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, egg white, vanilla and a pinch additional sea salt. Beat on medium until combined, about 1 minute.

  4. how to make kringle dough steps

    Carson Downing

    After chilling at least 2 hours, the dough is ready to roll out and fill. Fold over one long side, then press your fingertips firmly into the dough to create a tight seal. This keeps the filling from leaking during baking. Finish by folding the remaining side on top.

    To shape and assemble the kringle, if dough is frozen, let thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Lightly flour a work surface. Divide the dough in half, cutting it lengthwise. Roll out each half to a long, narrow rectangle, 24x5 inches. Spread half the filling in an even strip down the center lengthwise, leaving 1 1/2-inch borders. Layer 3 Tbsp. of the apricot fruit spread on top of filling. Lightly brush a 1/2-inch strip of the beaten egg along one side of the filling. Fold the opposite dough side lengthwise over the filling, so it completely covers the filling and meets the egg wash. Seal well, pressing with your fingers or the back of a spoon. (Note: It's like a tri fold: Fold one side over and seal, still leaving an edge on the other side).

  5. how to make kringle dough steps

    Carson Downing

    Using a pastry brush, brush the entire open border of dough with the beaten egg on both the long edge and the two short ends. Fold the long side over top, pressing to seal tightly. (Be careful not to tear dough.) Shape the filled strip of dough into an oval, overlapping the ends and gently pressing together. Flip the oval over, seam-side down, onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining dough, filling, and fruit spread. Cover and chill 2 hours before baking. Cover and chill the remaining beaten egg.

  6. Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush surface of each kringle with remaining beaten egg. Bake until golden, 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheets from front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Let the pastries to cool completely on the pans set on wire racks.

  7. For icing, in a small bowl combine remaining 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, almond extract, and a pinch additional sea salt. Whisk in just enough of 2 Tbsp. water, a little at a time, to form a smooth, opaque glaze. (When you lift the whisk, it should easily form a fluid ribbon without breaking, but it shouldn't drip in little droplets in a runny fashion. It's often just a matter of a few extra drops of water from your fingertips to get the consistency just right, so don't add too much water in the beginning.) Ice the kringles (or cover with plastic wrap until ready to use). Sprinkle with toasted almonds. Let the icing set about 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

260 Calories
14g Fat
30g Carbs
4g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 16 to 20
Calories 260.3
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14.1g 18%
Saturated Fat 6.4g 32%
Cholesterol 52.7mg 18%
Sodium 96mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 30.4g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1.2g 4%
Total Sugars 18g
Protein 4.1g
Vitamin D 0.2mcg 1%
Vitamin C 0.1mg 0%
Calcium 37.2mg 3%
Iron 0.7mg 4%
Potassium 84.5mg 2%
Fatty acids, total trans 0g
Vitamin D 8.2IU
Alanine 0.1g
Arginine 0.2g
Ash 0.6g
Aspartic acid 0.2g
Caffeine 0mg
Carotene, alpha 0mcg
Choline, total 30.6mg
Copper, Cu 0.1mg
Cystine 0.1g
Energy 1089kJ
Fluoride, F 3.5mcg
Folate, total 36.1mcg
Glutamic acid 0.8g
Glycine 0.1g
Histidine 0.1g
Isoleucine 0.1g
Leucine 0.2g
Lysine 0.1g
Methionine 0.1g
Magnesium, Mg 23.6mg
Manganese, Mn 0.2mg
Niacin 0.8mg
Phosphorus, P 73mg
Pantothenic acid 0.3mg
Phenylalanine 0.2g
Phytosterols 0mg
Proline 0.3g
Retinol 90mcg
Selenium, Se 8.1mcg
Serine 0.2g
Starch 0.1g
Theobromine 0mg
Threonine 0.1g
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 2.3mg
Tryptophan 0g
Tyrosine 0.1g
Valine 0.2g
Vitamin A, IU 331IU
Vitamin A, RAE 91.5mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.1mcg
Vitamin B-6 0mg
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 0.9mcg
Water 16.1g
Zinc, Zn 0.5mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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