Danish Kringle

Danish Kringle

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  • Total: 50 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Rise Time: 2 hrs 30 mins
  • Yield: Serves 8

Kringle may not be a familiar pastry to many, but its origins go back to the 13th century in Denmark. To make it more relatable today, think of it as a sort of toaster strudel, except made into a large ring shape. The word originates from the old Norse word “Kringla” meaning circle. This delectable pastry that has been declared the official food of Wisconsin. Their version is made with many layers of flaky dough that takes three days to complete, but this recipe makes an easier sweet dough version for the home cook. The filling is a buttery, sweet combination of chopped pecans and cinnamon, making it perfect for the holidays.


  • For the Dough:
  • 2 cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 5 tablespoons milk (warm)
  • For the Filling:
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter (softened)
  • 5 tablespoons pecans (chopped)
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • For the Glaze:
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • For the Icing:
  • 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons milk

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Danish Kringle ingredients
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  2. For the dough, mix the flour, sugar, yeast, and cardamom in a large bowl. 

    Mix the dry ingredients for the dough
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  3. Make a well in the center. Melt the butter and while it is still warm (not hot) pour it into the center and add the egg. 

    Add the butter and egg
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  4. Mix with a wooden spoon, gradually adding the milk. (You may not need all of the milk. The dough should be soft, but not tacky.) Knead lightly.

    Mix and add the milk
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  5. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Turn the dough in the bowl so the top is oiled. Cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm place until doubled in size. This can take 2 to 3 hours, depending on the warmth of the kitchen. 

    Let the kringle dough rise
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  6. Meanwhile, make the filling. In a large bowl, mix together the softened butter, chopped pecans, sugar, and cinnamon. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease the paper. 

    Make the filling
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  7. On a large lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a strip 5 inches wide and 32 inches long.

    Roll out the kringle dough
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  8. Spread the prepared filling down the center.

    Add the filling
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  9. Flip over the two long sides of the dough, one on top of the other, pinching to enclose the filling. 

    Fold the dough over the filling
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  10. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and form into a large oval, pinching the edges together to seal the oval. Cover lightly with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 F. 

    Form an oval and let rest
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  11. Just before baking, brush the dough with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 minutes, or until it turns a nice golden brown. Cool completely before frosting.

    Add egg wash and bake the kringle
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  12. Prepare the icing. In a large bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and the milk, one teaspoon at a time, until desired spreadable consistency is achieved.

    Make the kringle icing
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni 
  13. Spread the icing over the top of the ring. Slice and serve.

    Danish Kringle
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni