Holiday Favorites

12 Days of Christmas Desserts: Kringle

Kringle All the Way!

Wisconsin has a rich history where the kringle is involved and Wisconsin’s bakers know it!  While it’s delicious all year round, the holiday season is the perfect time to celebrate this tasty pastry.  An authentic Danish kringle has 32 layers of flaky dough filled with variety of fruit and/or nut fillings.

A kringle is made by repeatedly folding together butter and flour, then refrigerating the dough which produces the delicate, flaky texture.

Sea Salt Caramel Pecan Kringle from Uncle Mike’s Bake Shoppe

Sea Salt Caramel Pecan Kringle from Uncle Mike’s Bake Shoppe

Kringles were first created by Austrian bakers who introduced their method of rolling butter between layers of yeast dough and letting it rest for hours before baking.  When Danish bakers in Copenhagen went on strike in 1850, the bakery owners fired them and hired replacements from Austria.  Once the Danish bakers returned to their jobs, they continued to make dough the Austrian way.  Originally, kringles were baked in a pretzel shape in Denmark; therefore, outside every bakery in Denmark, you will find a sign with a kringle on it. As legend tells, the reason for this symbol was because when Vienna was besieged by the Turkish Ottoman armies in 1529, local bakers working in the night, gave the city an early warning of the attacking enemy.  For this, they were later rewarded by the Pope, with permission to use a crown as part of their kringle guild symbol.  For unknown reasons, the guild in Denmark is now the only baker’s guild in the world with official authority to display a royal crown as part of their baker’s guild trade symbol.

The kringle recipe was brought over to the United States by Danish immigrants in the late 1800’s. American kringles are hand-rolled from Danish pastry dough that has been rested overnight before shaping, filling, and baking.  Many sheets of the flaky dough are layered, then shaped.  After filling with fruit, nut, or other flavor combinations, the pastry is baked and iced.  The Kringle became the Official State Pastry of Wisconsin in 2013.  Racine, Wisconsin has historically been a center of Danish-American culture and kringle making.  Many bakers in America adopted the easy-to-serve oval shape instead of the traditional pretzel shape; the oval shape allowed for the kringle to contain more delicious filling!

Kringle fun facts:

  • Almond, pecan and raspberry are among the most popular Kringle flavors
  • It takes about three days to make a Kringle from start to finish

With 32 flaky layers packed with flavor, you’re sure to add the kringle to your list of holiday must-haves.  After all, the kringle has a special place in Wisconsin’s heart.

To make your own Kringle, check out this recipe!



Find Kringle at one of these WBA member bakeries:

O&H Danish
For a list of locations, visit:

Uncle Mike’s Bake Shoppe
1840 Dickinson Road                         2514 Lineville Road
De Pere, WI 54115                             Suamico, WI 54313
PH: (920) 330-0300                          PH: (920) 434-0100


2304 South Park Street
Madison, WI 53713
Phone: 608-251-0532

Manderfield’s Home Bakery
5100 W. Michaels Drive                 W3176 Springfield Drive                         811 Plank Road
Appleton, WI 54913                           Appleton, WI 54915                         Menasha, WI 54952
(920) 882-6500                              (920) 731-2181                                   (920) 725-7794

For a complete list of WBA Member Bakeries, click here.


More Christmas dessert ideas:

First Day of Christmas:  Yule Log
Second Day of Christmas:  Gingerbread House
Third Day of Christmas: Classic Sugar Cookies
Fourth Day of Christmas:  Peppermint Bark
Fifth Day of Christmas:  Cinnamon Rolls
Sixth Day of Christmas:  French Macarons
Seventh Day of Christmas:  Decadent Cheesecake
Eighth Day of Christmas:  Fruitcake
Ninth Day of Christmas:  Caramel Apple Pie
Tenth Day of Christmas:  Chocolate Truffles
Eleventh Day of Christmas:  Old World Stollen