Swedish Kringlor

EuropeSwedish Kringlor

I recently had the pleasure of sharing the kitchen with my friend Heather of Sagebrush Sweets. Not only is she a lovely person to spend a morning with, but she is an exceptional baker. (Check out her creations at SagebrushSweets.com and on Instagram at @Sagebrush.Sweets

While we were mixing, kneading, and rolling dough, she shared stories of growing up eating Kringlor dipped in hot chocolate every Christmas morning with her family. 

Kringlor is a classic Scandinavian bread with many different variations. The names and flavors change slightly from country to country, but all the versions seem to have one thing in common: they are soft, slightly sweet, and twisted into cute little shapes. 

Heather’s Kringlor recipe is passed down from her great-grandmother Bergstrom, whose family migrated to the New World from Sweden. Their version is enriched with half-and-half and an egg, then richly flavored with cardamom. 

Of course, you can’t have an old family recipe without some disagreement over the specifics! Apparently, among the Bergstroms, there is debate over the type of cardamom to use in the recipe. Great-grandmother Bergstrom ground her cardamom from seeds (found inside the whole green cardamom pods), resulting in kringlor studded with tiny pieces of the flavorful spice. Heather’s father prefers finely ground cardamom powder – no little pieces, just a wonderful cardamom flavor evenly distributed throughout. Heather and I decided to split the difference – half finely ground cardamom powder (purchased ground from the grocery store), and half hand-ground cardamom (ground in my trusty mortar and pestle), for the best of both options. You do what you like or simply use what you have on hand – it will still be delicious!

Whole, coarse ground, and finely ground cardamom
Whole cardamom seeds, hand-ground cardamom, and store-bought finely ground cardamom
Whole cardamom seeds from Savory Spice Shop
My favorite cardamom seeds come from Savory Spice Shop! They are fresh and full of flavor every time!

According to Heather’s family tradition, Kringlor should be eaten on Christmas morning, dipped into steaming mugs of hot cocoa. God Jul! (Merry Christmas in Swedish)

I say why limit these tasty treats to Christmas? They are a delicious addition to any cold winter day. I’ve taken to keeping a baked batch in the freezer, then heating one or two to enjoy on snowy mornings.

Kringlor are best enjoyed warm out of the oven, but they will keep for a day or two in an air-tight container. Pop the day-olds in a 350°F oven for a few minutes or in the microwave for a few seconds to warm ‘em up!

They also freeze beautifully! Throw them in a single layer in a zip-top bag or airtight container to freeze. 

Pop the frozen kringlor in a 350°F oven for 8 or 9 minutes until they are warm throughout. A toaster oven or air fryer is perfect for heating just 1 or 2 kringlor.

Shaping method

Shaping the kringlor is quite easy, but it does take a few tries to get the hang of it. Don’t be discouraged if your first several turn out a bit wonky!

Step 1 – Pinch off small balls of dough, a little bigger than a golf ball, or about 50 grams each if you want to be precise.

A golfball size ball of Swedish kringlor dough

Step 2 – On a smooth, non-floured surface, use your hands to roll one dough ball out into a long snake shape.

Swedish kringlor dough rolled into a long snake shape

Step 3 – Pinch the ends together into an O-shape.

Swedish kringlor dough shaped into an O-shape

Step 4 – Flip half of the O over to make a figure 8.

Swedish kringlor dough shaped into a figure 8
Swedish kringlor ready for baking

Notes on baking

If you follow the recipe volume as written, you should end up with 2 baking sheets full of kringlor. While it is tempting to bake both sheets at the same time, you’ll get more even results if you only bake 1 sheet at a time.

If your oven is like mine with hot spots, be sure to turn the pan once in the middle of baking.

The kringlor bake surprisingly fast – in around 10 minutes. You’ll know they are done when they plump up, are lightly golden brown on the bottom, and have just a tiny hint of browning on top.

Finished Swedish kringlor with slightly brown bottoms and barely browned tops.
These baked kringlor are lightly browned on the bottoms with barely a hint of brown on the tops.

FAQs

How long do kringlor last after baking?

Kringlor are best enjoyed warm out of the oven, but they will keep for a day or two in an air-tight container. Pop the day-olds in a 350°F oven for a few minutes or in the microwave for a few seconds to warm ‘em up!

Can kringlor be frozen?

Yes! They freeze beautifully! Throw them in a single layer in a zip-top bag or airtight container to freeze. 

Pop the frozen kringlor in a 350°F oven for 8 or 9 minutes until they are warm throughout. A toaster oven or air fryer is perfect for heating just 1 or 2 kringlor.

Do kringlor have to be made in a stand mixer?

Nope! You are welcome to knead the dough by hand, it will just take longer. But you’ll get your workout in! Simply knead the dough until it feels smooth and slightly tacky to the touch. 

Print
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Swedish kringlor with hot cocoa

Swedish Kringlor


  • Author: Heather from SagebrushSweets.com
  • Total Time: 2.5 hours
  • Yield: About 32 kringlor 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Swedish kringlor are soft twists of sweetened bread, generously flavored with cardamom – perfect for dipping in hot cocoa on a wintery Christmas morning, and a tasty, easy-to-make addition to your festive holiday menus!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 227 grams (1 cup) water, warmed to 110°F to 120°F, divided
  • 100 grams white sugar (about 1/2 cup), divided
  • 7 grams (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
  • 9 grams (about 1 1/2 teaspoons) table salt or sea salt
  • 10 grams (about 5 teaspoons) ground cardamom
  • 227 grams (1 cup) half and half, warmed to 110°F to 120°F
  • 36 grams (about 2 1/2 tablespoons) butter, melted and cooled to a warm room temperature
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, warmed to room temperature
  • About 840 grams (about 7 cups) all-purpose flour


Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine half of the warm water with 1 tablespoon (about 12 grams) of the sugar and all the yeast. Whisk briefly to combine then allow to sit for a few minutes until the mixture becomes foamy. 
  2. Add the remaining water, remaining sugar, salt, cardamom, half and half, melted butter, and the beaten egg to the foamy yeast mixture. Whisk briefly to combine.
  3. Begin to add the flour one cup at a time, mixing with a spoon or fork. Once you get a shaggy dough, turn your mixer on to low with a dough hook attachment and continue slowly adding the flour until the dough comes together, feels slightly tacky, and begins to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl. Depending on your flour and the conditions in your kitchen, you may not need all the flour or you might end up needing a bit more. Use your best judgment, but don’t stress about it – this isn’t a super finicky recipe. Continue mixing on medium speed for several minutes until the dough becomes smooth. 
  4. Shape the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise in a warm spot for 1 hour.
  5. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. After 1 hour of rising, punch down the dough. Pinch off a small ball of dough, a little bigger than a golf ball, or about 50 grams if you want to be precise. On a smooth, non-floured surface, use your hands to roll the dough ball out into a long snake shape. Pinch the ends together into an O-shape, then flip half of the O over to make a figure 8 (see the photos above). Repeat with the remaining dough, placing each figure 8 about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Keep the kringlor covered with a towel while you shape the remainder of the dough. Allow the shaped kringlor to rest for another 20 minutes.
  7. While the kringlor are resting, preheat your oven to 375°F, with an oven rack in the middle position.
  8. Bake 1 sheet at a time for about 10 minutes, turning the pan once halfway through, until the kringlor are light golden brown on the bottom and have barely a hint of brown on the top. Remove immediately to a cooling rack.
  9. Enjoy warm with a cup of hot cocoa!

Notes

Kringlor are best enjoyed warm out of the oven, but they will keep for a day or two in an air-tight container. Pop the day-olds in a 350°F oven for a few minutes or in the microwave for a few seconds to warm ‘em up!

They also freeze beautifully! Throw them in a single layer in a zip-top bag or airtight container to freeze. Pop the frozen kringlor in a 350°F oven for 8 or 9 minutes until they are warm throughout. A toaster oven or air fryer is perfect for heating just 1 or 2 kringlor.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: Swedish

Keywords: cardamom rolls, swedish rolls, swedish pretzels

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Swedish kringlor
Swedish kringlor dipped in hot cocoa

God Jul! (Merry Christmas in Swedish)

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