Kransekake - The Norwegian Wreath Cake

A Norwegian celebration cake.
No milestone event is complete without one...

Cake made for Nephews Confirmation

Ingredients for cake:
500g/1lb 2oz ground almonds
500g/1lb 2oz icing sugar, sifted
4 free-range egg whites, lightly whisked
1 tsp almond extract
vegetable oil, for greasing
semolina or plain flour, for dusting

For the icing:
3 free-range egg whites
600g/1lb 5oz icing sugar, sifted
few drops of food colouring depending on the theme
edible decorations/glitter (optional)

Method :

1 Place the ground almonds and icing sugar in a large electric mixer. Add the egg whites and almond extract and mix with a dough hook. Cover the bowl with cling film and chill in the fridge for a minimum of two hours, or preferably overnight.

2 Preheat the oven to 200C/400G/Gas 6.

3 Lightly brush the insides of the kransekake moulds with vegetable oil. Sprinkle a little semolina into each mould and tip the moulds to distribute the semolina evenly around the inside, shaking out any excess.

4 Divide the chilled dough into six equal-sized pieces.

5 Divide one of the pieces of dough into three different-sized pieces: one small, one medium and one large. Dust a work surface lightly with flour and roll each piece out into finger-width lengths that are long enough to wrap round the kransekake moulds.

6 Fit the longest piece of dough inside the largest kransekake ring, pressing the ends together to seal. Do the same with the medium-sized and smallest pieces of dough. Repeat this process with the remaining five pieces of dough.

7 Bake the kransekakes in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until golden-brown, then remove from the oven and set aside to cool in their moulds until hardened. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

8 Meanwhile, for the icing, whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until frothy. Gradually whisk in the icing sugar a spoonful at a time, until stiff, glossy peaks form when the whisk is removed.

9 Spoon the white icing into a piping bag fitted with a small plain writing nozzle.

Decorate it for your event...

10 To assemble the kransekake, sort the cooked rings into size order.

11 Pipe a few dots of white icing onto the base of the largest ring and stick it to a large serving plate.

12 Pipe zig-zag patterns onto the largest ring. Place the second-largest ring on top of the largest ring and repeat the icing and decorating process.

13 Continue to stack the rings in decreasing size order until you have a tower of 18 iced and glittery rings. Allow the icing to set (this will stick the rings to each other), then serve.

It is so satisfying to watch people dig into a cake you have made...

This is a fantastic cake to make in advance. And if you have watched any of my attempts to make one you will see that leaving yourself with plenty of time is a good idea!

If you freeze the rings before decoration you simply need to defrost and decorate nearer the time of your occasion. They look fantastic on the table and often become the centrepiece with a cake topper.

In Norway we like to decorate with flags, be it for Constitution Day on the 17th of May or Christmas, but any cake decorations can be used. Placed on top of one of the Oak & Rope cake stands it really is a showstopper!

Some cakes come out better than others...