New Year is equal to KRANSEKAGE – marzipan wreath cake
The kransekage (literally wreath cake) – is a cake the Danes bake (or buy) for special occasions such as New Year’s Eve, weddings, graduation and birthdays.
I bake a large kransekage – marzipan wreath cake once a year for New Year’s Eve
– the rest of the year I make smaller bite-size cakes.
You can go straight to the recipe or read the rest.
Recipe in Danish here.
Kransekage – marzipan wreath cake
The classic wreath cake recipe is made with a marzipan made with almond flour, neutral sugar syrup and maybe rosewater.
The Norwegian recipe is with homemade marzipan using a mix of scalded almonds and almonds with skin.
The Norwegian version tastes good – like a nice almond cake and it is darker and denser than the Danish version.
A classic Danish kransekage – marzipan wreath cake for New Year’s Eve is light brown on the outside and soft in the middle.
Always use a GOOD marzipan with more than 60% almonds.
This is a special cake and it takes time to make – therefore use good ingredients.
You CAN taste the difference.
Use pasteurised egg whites.
There is no salmonella in Danish eggs anymore.
But if you live in a country that can’t guarantee that – use pasteurised egg whites.
There are two reasons for that:
The first reason:
In Denmark, there was a biscuit cake accident 10+ years ago, where a father and son died eating a cake made with ordinary raw eggs.
I DON’T want anyone’s life on my conscience.
Therefore, I recommend that you ALWAYS use pasteurised eggs for dishes that you do not cook.
Of course, it is your choice.
The second reason is that it is much easier to buy egg whites or egg yolks for cake/dessert recipes.
Weight/volume is ALWAYS the same, so the result should be the same EVERY time.
You can use special ring moulds for this cake – to make perfect rings, but I don’t like those.
My cakes get burned or get stuck in the mould.
The method I’ll tell you about is easy – and you just need to measure the pieces and form rings.
Of course, you don’t get perfect rings unless you are a pro.
It is a homemade cake – and when it is decorated it doesn’t really matter because it usually looks good.
I’ve made kransekage – marzipan wreath cake for MANY years.
For New Year’s Eve, I usually make the traditional cake tower, but I’ve also made a few cornucopias and a kransekage clock.
This photo is VERY OLD – please don’t judge my lacking skills…
(There are chocolate flowers, liquorice meringue and raspberry meringue on the plate)
This year I will make a traditional tower – I don’t know if I make almond cakes and white chocolate flowers like the photo…
If you make kransekage – marzipan wreath cake please share photos of your cake creations on Instagram @danish.things or #danishthings
Marzipan wreath cake – Danish kransekage
18 persons – you can make smaller batches
Kransekage – marzipan wreath cake
50 g pasteurised egg whites
200 g light cane sugar or confectioner’s sugar
800 g homemade marzipan or a good store-bought marzipan with 60% almonds or more
100 g confectioner’s sugar
20-30 g pasteurised egg white
Use decorations that fit your theme*
Mix the egg whites and sugar. Let it rest in the refrigerator for at least one hour – or until the next day. This is done to dissolve the sugar.
Make the dough
Use a stand mixer with a K paddle.
Start with the sugar-egg white mixture and make a meringue.
Add marzipan – a little at a time.
Mix until the dough is smooth and even.
Put the finished dough in a plastic bag.
Refrigerate it for at least 2 hours – or save it for the next day.
Make equal sized round bars of kransekage dough – about 2 ½ cm (1 inch) in diameter.
Each bar is lightly pressed on the side facing toward you so that the bar becomes a slightly rounded triangle.
Cut into pieces with 4 cm (1.6 inches) intervals – begin with 8 cm (3.1 inches) then 12 cm (4.7 inches), 16 cm (6.3 inches), 20 cm (7.9 inches) and so on.
Remember to make a ball/small cone for the top of the cake.
Transfer the bars to a baking sheet lined with baking paper using a palette knife.
Make rings – remember to make the point of the triangle upwards.
Try to smooth the surface of the cake rings, use a very tiny bit of water on your fingers. Be careful – the dough must not be wet.
You must level the top of the rings to make a nice tower.
To flatten the top a bit, place a piece of baking paper on the rings, place a baking sheet lightly on top of that and press just a little. Remove the baking sheet and paper again.
Bake the rings/wreaths at 200°C (390°F) until golden about 14-20 min.
Use a mixer.
Mix the confectioner’s sugar with the smallest amount of pasteurised egg whites on high-speed for at least 5 minutes.
The icing should be thick and hold its shape.
Add more egg whites or sugar if needed.
Put the royal icing in a small cornet, (a triangular piece of wax paper/baking paper, folded into a cone). Alternatively, you can use a freezer bag, cut a very small hole in one corner and hold the bag tightly.
Select the serving dish the cake is served on and place the largest ring first.
Move the tip of your cornet back and forth across the rings. Make sure to extend the tip out over the edge to allow the icing to drop down the outside in a loop style zig zag stripe.
Start on the largest baked, cooled ring. Put the second-largest baked ring on top – repeat on all the rings until the smallest ring and finish with the ball at the top.
Let the finished cake dry for a few hours at room temperature.
If you want to make the kransekage in advance, cover the cake with plastic and place it in a cool room.
Decorate the cake festive use bunting, flags, New Year’s crackers, serpentines, flowers, chocolate or similar.
*You can decorate the cake with chocolate doodles or flowers made of modelling chocolate.
If you decorate your cake rings while they are slightly warm the royal icing dries faster.
The rings can be decorated individually and assembled with melted chocolate.
You can make smaller kransekager.
Form bars about 5 cm (2 inches) long or round little cakes.
Bake them at 200°C (390°F) until golden about 8-10 min.
The bottom of the cakes can be dipped in dark chocolate.
Store kransekager in an airtight container.
Double up two large baking sheets for extra insulation.
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