Kringle is a buttery and sweet Danish pastry that melts in your mouth. Danish immigrants brought over the recipe to Racine, Wisconsin in the 1800s. Since then, enjoying Kringle during the holidays has become a tradition in the American Midwest. Racine, the most Danish city in America, houses the infamous O&H Bakery.

My family has been enjoying Kringle from O&H Bakery on Christmas morning for as long as I can remember. We’ve narrowed down our favorite flavors to a few classics — almond, apple, and any berry flavor. But Kringle can be filled with any kind of fruit or nuts. This past Christmas we tried a cinnamon bun flavor, and it was to die for.

We typically have leftovers from Christmas morning, and have saved those to eat for breakfast on New Years Day. However, this year I moved to Boston right after Christmas. It was too far away to travel back just for the Kringle. I did entertain the thought for a split second, though. Anyway, by the time I realized I needed the Kringle it was sold out in all of the local grocery stores. The only solution was to bake one myself.

a warm Danish pastry called Kringle with icing on top
a close up view of Kringle with warm icing on top

I thought that making my own Kringle was going to be a massive feat. Some recipes said that I had to prepare the dough over the course of three days in order to properly incorporate the butter. I didn’t have that kind of time. I ended up stumbling upon this magical recipe, adapted from a family in Racine. It was incredibly simple to make, and it tasted exactly like I remembered. My heart and stomach were very, very happy and full.

I used strawberry jam from Trader Joe’s in this one, but you can use any type of jam or nut filling. I also realized at the last minute that I didn’t have any milk for the icing, so I substituted with 1/2 tablespoon sour cream and 1 tablespoon water. It was a little sour, but everything was A-okay. You can’t go wrong with this one.

Kringle

Course Dessert

Ingredients
  

Kringle

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 cup jam

Icing

  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, mix together sour cream and vanilla. Set aside.
  • Using a pastry blender, food processor, or your fingers, cut together flour and butter until butter is reduced to pea-sized bits. Stir in sour cream mixture. Blend well to form a dough. Cut dough in half, forming two slightly flattened disks. Cover or wrap disks in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Prepare a parchment lined cookie sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and sugar. Set aside.
  • On a floured work surface, roll out each dough disk into a 12 x 6 inch rectangle that is curved at the ends. Connect the ends together to create an oval shape. If preferred, you may also bake pastry in two separate rectangular shapes. Spread filling down the center in a thin strip, leaving clear 2 inches on each side. Fold sides over the center and press the dough to seal. Brush with egg wash.
  • Bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. While baking, mix together powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla to make the icing. Drizzle icing over warm kringle. Cool on wire rack. Store in a covered container. Best eaten within a day

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