Norwegian Kransekake

I learned to make the kransekake (wreath cake) while we were in Norway. It sounds more complicated than it is; however, there are a few tricks. It’s important that the almonds be ground in a hand mill; a coffee grinder or food processor will not work. While you don’t have to have the special kransekakae pans, they do make it easier, otherwise you need to measure the length for each of the rings so they’ll stack properly. The finished product should be a light golden brown and the “cake” will be chewy, sort of like  meringue cookies. A very impressive looking dessert!

500 grams almonds, shelled
500 grams confectioners sugar
3-4 egg whites

Set oven for 200° C (I think this translates to about 350° F). Grind the almonds by hand. It isn’t necessary to remove the skin, although you can do so for a lighter cake. Mix the ground almonds with the confectioners sugar. Add the egg whites, beginning with just three. Add a little of the remaining egg white so dough is easy to handle. Grease the kransekake pans.

Roll dough into finger width lengths and fit into different sized rings of the cake pans. This recipe makes enough for 18 rings of graduated sizes from about a 3″ diameter to the largest at about 9-10″ diameter. Bake in the oven on the middle rack until a light golden brown. Cool rings on rack before removing.

Stack rings from largest to smallest, so you have a graduated tower. Drizzle with a simple confectioners sugar glaze. You can decorate the wreath cake with tiny Norwegian flags, meringue shaped spirals, and/or crackers (party favors). To serve, take larger rings and break into small pieces and spread around smaller rings on a platter.

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