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Hi Bold Bakers!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE: This buttery-sweet Danish Kringle Recipe with Jam and Almond Paste is the type of magnificent Christmas pastry you’d think you could only get at a specialty bakery. But just set aside a little time, and I’ll show you how to bake this delectable festive showstopper.
- This gorgeous Danish pastry, with its golden brown top gleaming with zig zags of creamy icing, is a spectacular focal point for a holiday brunch. It’s fabulous at room temperature, so you can make it ahead.
- We use cherry jam filling, but you can customize your Kringle and use raspberry, apple, or plum jam. The sweet, juicy fruit is set off perfectly by the almond paste.
I love a holiday-season brunch because you don’t have the fuss and formality of a big dinner. Let the Danish Kringle star, and serve it with Bacon and Cheese Breakfast Strata, Simple Quiche Lorraine, or Croque Monsieur Savory Bread Pudding, a crisp salad, and fresh fruit, and you have the perfect celebratory meal!
Table of Contents
- What is Danish Kringle with Jam and Almond Paste?
- Tools You Need
- Key Ingredients and Why
- How to Make Danish Kringle with Jam and Almond Paste
- Can I Make Danish Kringle in Advance?
- How to Store Danish Kringle
- Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips
- More Christmas Pastry Recipes
What is Danish Kringle with Jam and Almond Paste?
- Danish Kringle is a beloved Danish pastry made from yeast dough that’s repeatedly folded to bake into flaky layers. Danish Kringle is baked in a ring, as it is here, or is sometimes braided and baked in a square, rectangular, or oval shape.
- The traditional Danish Kringle filling is cooked fruit or jam and a sweet almond filling. The top is adorned with icing or glaze, and sometimes slivered almonds or cinnamon sugar.
- Kringles are associated with festive occasions in Denmark; in addition to Christmas, people indulge in Kringles at family celebrations. Danish immigrants to Wisconsin brought the Kringle tradition with them, and today, this iconic dessert is a staple in the Midwest. Creative fillings such as caramel, pumpkin, and chocolate fudge have become popular in recent years.
Tools You Need
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups and measuring spoons
- Pastry cutter
- Rolling pin
- Baking sheet and parchment paper
- Pastry brush
- Tea towel
Key Ingredients and Why
- All-purpose flour has a 9-11% protein content, perfect for tender pastry.
- It also makes the pastry flaky, giving it light and delicate layers.
- Bread flour has 12%-14% protein, so it can naturally and easily develop more gluten, resulting in a stronger and more elastic dough.
- Using bread flour in this recipe adds strength to the dough so it can keep its structure while still having the pastry’s signature flaky texture.
- Granulated sugar gives the pastry sweetness.
- It provides food for the yeast, allowing the dough to rise and get light and flaky.
- Instant yeast does not require sponging and gives a quicker, more efficient rise than active dry yeast.
- Mix instant yeast with flour first to avoid direct contact with salt so the yeast won’t get deactivated.
- If you use active dry yeast: for every teaspoon of instant yeast, use 1 ¼ teaspoons of active dry yeast. Bring the liquid in your recipe to blood temperature and mix in active dry yeast. Let it sit at room temperature for roughly 5 minutes until foam forms on top.
- In the dough, butter contributes to creating the pastry layers. As the pastry bakes, the water in the butter turns to steam, creating pockets that form the flaky layers.
- Butter gives the almond paste its creamy texture and rich flavor.
- For the pastry, egg wash is brushed on the kringle to give it a shiny, golden appearance.
- In the almond paste recipe, the egg binds the ingredients together into a cohesive mixture.
Sour cherry jam
- Cherries provide an unbeatable sweet-tart flavor and rich fruitness to the filling.
- Danish immigrants to Wisconsin brought their traditional kringle recipe to their new home. Montmorency cherries are a signature crop in Wisconsin, and they’ve become a popular kringle filling.
- Made from finely ground almonds, almond flour gives the filling a deep, nutty flavor and absorbs moisture, ensuring the filling isn’t too runny or sticky.
- Powdered sugar sweetens the almond paste and gives it a smooth and silky texture.
- Powdered sugar, also known as confectioner’s sugar or icing sugar, creates a sweet, smooth, thick, brilliant white glaze that drizzles and sets nicely.
- Almond extract is important here to intensify the flavor.
- Did you know you can easily make your own almond extract? Follow my simple recipe in How to Make Homemade Extracts.
- Corn syrup gives the glaze a smooth consistency, keeps the glaze from cracking, and gives the glaze shine and luster.
How to Make Danish Kringle with Jam and Almond Paste
- Make the dough:
- Mix dry ingredients including all-purpose flour, bread flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Cut butter in with a pastry cutter.
- Mix wet ingredients including egg and milk together.
- Combine the wet and the dry mixtures, then briefly knead until it forms a square.
- Wrap in cling film, and refrigerate for at least six hours.
- Fold the dough: Roll the dough into a 5×10 inch (12½ x 25½ cm) rectangle. Fold the dough in thirds, turn it 90°, and fold it in thirds again. Chill for 30 minutes. Repeat the folding process.
- Make the filling: Mix jam with lemon juice. Separately, mix almond flour, powdered sugar, butter, egg, almond extract, and salt.
- Form the ring: Roll the dough out to a 5×20 inches (12½ x 51 cm) rectangle. Spread cherry mixture down the middle. Spread almond mixture on top. Follow the recipe directions to fold the dough around the filling and seal it to hold in the filling. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and follow the recipe directions to form into a ring.
- Proof and bake the ring: Cover the ring with a tea towel and let it rise for 45 minutes until doubled. Brush with egg wash and bake in a 375°F (190°C) preheated oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.
- Make the glaze: Whisk powdered sugar, corn syrup, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth and pourable. Drizzle on cooled pastry.
Can I Make Danish Kringle in Advance?
Yes, the Danish Kringle can be made in advance.
- To store in the refrigerator:
- Prepare the kringle, but do not bake. Wrap it well and store it in the fridge for one day before baking.
- Allow the kringle to come to room temperature before baking.
- To store in the freezer:
- Prepare the kringle, but do not bake. Wrap it in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and put it in a freezer bag to protect it from freezer burn.
- Freeze for up to one month. Allow to defrost in the refrigerator overnight before baking.
How to Store Danish Kringle
Store the Danish Kringle in an airtight container for up to two days.
How can I make a round, even kringle ring?
- Over-proofing can distort the ring shape. Only let the pastry rise until it’s doubled in size.
- Use a half-sheet pan. A smaller pan won’t give the pastry enough room to rise into a round, even ring.
How do I make sure my Danish Kringle doesn’t leak?
- Be careful not to overfill the Kringle, and seal it well by brushing it with the egg wash and pressing on the dough.
- When placing the Kringle on the sheet pan, be sure to put it seam-side down.
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips
- This dough needs long resting time. Be sure to read the whole recipe before proceeding so you are not surprised.
- Make ahead tip: once rolled and folded, the Danish dough can be held in the refrigerator for up to two days or in the freezer for up to two months. If frozen, defrost in the fridge overnight.
- Instead of almonds and jam, try a pecan filling: combine ¾ cups (3¾ oz/105 g) toasted and chopped pecans with 2/3 cup (4 oz/115 g) brown sugar and ¼ cup (2 oz/57 g) butter, softened. Fill the pastry as directed above.
- This recipe can easily be doubled if you have a large crowd, but I recommend cutting the dough in half before shaping and making two small rings instead of one big one. One very large ring would be very unwieldy. Bake them on two separate trays, rotating halfway through.
- Don’t forget to shape the rings so that the seams are tucked underneath so you that the filling doesn’t escape.
- Try filling this with some of my Crockpot Apple Pie Filling!
More Pastry Recipes
Danish Kringle Recipe with Jam and Almond Paste
For the Danish Kringle Dough
- ½ cup (2 ½ oz/71 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (2 ½ oz/71 g) bread flour
- 1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (4 oz/115 g) butter, cold and diced
- 1 large egg, cold
- 2 tablespoons milk, cold
- Egg wash
For the Filling
To Make the Dough
- In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, bread flour, sugar, yeast and salt, then cut in the butter with a pastry blender (or your fingers) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- In a small bowl, beat the egg and milk together, then stir into the flour. Knead just until a dough forms, then pat into a square, wrap with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to overnight.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough into a 5x10 inch (12½ x 25½ cm) rectangle. Fold the dough in thirds like a letter.
- Turn the dough 90° and repeat the rolling and folding process one more time. Rewrap and chill the dough for 30 minutes.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 one more time.
To Make the Filling
- In a small bowl, mix together the cherry jam and lemon juice. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the almond flour, powdered sugar, butter, egg, almond extract and salt. Set aside.
To Shape the Kringle
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough into a rectangle 5x20 inches (12½ x 51 cm).
- Spread the cherry jam down the center, leaving a 2-inch border on each of the long ends and one of the short ends, then spread the almond filling on top of the cherry jam.
- Brush the long ends and the unfilled short end with a bit of egg wash (reserving the rest), then fold one long end over the filling, pressing a bit into the dough to seal.
- Fold the other long end of dough up over the log and press gently to seal.
- Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and form the log into a ring, tucking the filled end of the log into the unfilled end and pressing gently to seal.
- Shape the dough into a ring, making sure that the seams are underneath, then cover with a clean tea towel and let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes, until doubled.
- Towards the end of the proofing time, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Brush the kringle with the remaining egg wash and bake for about 20 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool.
To Make the Glaze
- In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, corn syrup, vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of the milk. The glaze should be thick but pourable. Adjust the consistency if need be with a few drops of milk or a pinch of powdered sugar until you get the desired consistency.
- Drizzle the glaze on top of the kringle and serve once set. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.