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Homemade Danish Kringle | Cookies and Cups

Danish Kringle is buttery, flaky, sweet, and best enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea! Just like the famous Kringle you can buy at Trader Joe’s, this is all homemade and absolutely delicious!

Danish Kringle topped with nuts and icing cut into triangular slices on a parchment lined baking sheet

Why You’ Love My Danish Kringle Recipe

  • Texture! It’s light and flaky, and topped with the perfect amount of sweet vanilla icing. Paired with a cup of coffee, this homemade pastry is the perfect way to kick off your day!
  • Trader Joe’s Dupe! I don’t know about you, but if you’ve ever bought the Danish Kringle at Trader Joe’s you understand the level of obsession. Knowing how to make a version at home is both amazing and terrifying! I usually have to give half of it away because I will eat the whole thing by myself!
  • Classic (ish)! I am not Danish, so I can’t claim this is a family recipe passed down for generations. It took me many attempts to get this recipe just right. I hope you enjoy my version as I worked hard to make it as traditional as possible!

What is Danish Kringle?

Danish Kringle is a Danish pastry that is traditionally made up of multiple layers of buttery dough, and topped with icing. Some people like to put nuts and fruits inside of the layers before baking, but I prefer to top the whole thing with chopped walnuts at the end.

Danish Krisgle cut into slices topped with walnuts and icing on a parchment lined baking sheet

What You Need / Ingredients

Make sure to scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom for the full recipe! You can print it out too!

  • All purpose flour. You will need this for both the pastry and the filling.
  • Butter. You will use butter in all the steps of this recipe: the pastry, the filling, and the icing. I use salted butter, but you can use unsalted if that’s what you prefer.
  • Eggs. You will need eggs for the filling portion of this Kringle recipe. I use large sized eggs in this recipe, as I do in all my baking recipes.
  • Icing: You will need powdered sugar, milk, vanilla extract, walnuts, and the butter I mentioned above for the icing. The pastry alone isn’t sweet, so it’s up to the icing to add that craveable sweetness!

Variation Ideas

This Danish coffee cake recipe has sweet but subtle flavors. The dough becomes a buttery, pastry-like base, tasting somewhat like a homemade pie crust. It’s then topped with a filling made from butter and eggs, baked in wide strips, and drizzled with sweet vanilla icing. When you mix in the walnuts there is a delicious nutty crunch in each bite, which ties the whole thing together!

I love the simple vanilla flavor when enjoying this pastry with a cup of coffee, but there are other flavor combinations that you could try! Here are a couple of ideas:

  • Orange: You could make an orange-flavored icing with a little orange zest. The same thing could be done with lemon juice/lemon zest.
  • Chocolate: Add chocolate chips to the pastry, or make a chocolate glaze instead of a vanilla one.
  • Add-Ins: Throw some pecans, almonds, raisins, or other fruit into the pastry dough.
Sliced Danish Coffee Cake (kringle) topped with confectioners sugar icing and nuts on a parchment lined baking sheet

Tips for the Best Danish Kringle

  • Forming the Kringle: Traditional Kringle usually takes the shape of an oval, but I like to bake the dough in recatngles instead. You’re just going to cut it up anyway in the end, so why not make life a little easier?
  • Have a Mixer Handy: To make the base layer you’re going to need to combine flour and cubed butter, which is a pain to do by hand, so I recommend having an electric mixer handy.
  • For a Lighter Cake: If you’re looking to cut some calories off of this coffee cake, drizzle thin lines of icing back and forth over the Kringle, instead of spreading it on the whole thing.
two slices of Danish Kringle stacked showing the custard filling

How Do You Serve a Kringle?

I like to enjoy this Danish Kringle with coffee, obviously, or a nice cup of tea. If you’ve got kiddos, I suggest serving this pastry with a big glass of milk. Kringle can be served cold, at room temperature, or warm – add a small drizzle of caramel or a little cinnamon if you want to!

Slices of Danish Kringle topped with powdered sugar icing and nuts

How to Store Danish Kringle

Store Kringle in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Because the icing is made with dairy, you don’t want to leave it out at room temperature.

Print

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Description

This Danish Kringle recipe is a flaky pastry, filled with custard and topped with sweet sugar icing and nuts! 


Pastry:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons water

Filling:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs

Icing:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12  tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. 
  2. Pastry: Place the flour in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter or fork, blend in the cubed butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add in the water and combine until the mixture forms a ball. Divide the dough into three equal pieces. 
  3. Lightly flour a clean work surface and roll each portion of dough out into a 9×6- inch rectangle using a rolling pin. Place the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Set aside while you make the filling.
  4. Filling: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the water and butter to a boil. Add in the flour and stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove from the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes. Transfer the cooled dough into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and with the mixer on medium speed add in the eggs one at a time, mixing until smooth (about 30 seconds), scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  5. Spread the egg mixture evenly on top of each rolled out dough and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. The custard will puff up while cooking, but settle back down as it cools. Allow the pastry to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
  6. Icing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon of milk until smooth. Add the remaining milk if a thinner icing is desired. Stir in the walnuts until combined and spread the icing on top of each of the pastries while they are still warm.

Notes

Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold.

Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Freeze airtight for up to 2 months. Thaw at room temperature. 

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