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Racine Danish Kringles

Butter-layered Danish pastries that were first introduced to Racine, Wisconsin in the late 1800s by immigrant Danish bakers.

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A dense, moist pastry that absolutely melts in your mouth!

  • Apr 28, 2010
Lord knows, living here in the Northeast I had never even heard of Racine Kringles.  But about 20 years ago my parents attended a reunion of my dad's army unit in Racine, Wisconsin.  They came back raving about a rich and delicious danish pastry called Kringles.  A few years later they went back to Racine for another reunion and the story was much the same.  So once I got a computer in the late '90s I decided to investigate and discovered that Racine Kringles could actually be ordered online.  I quickly placed an order to see for myself what the fuss was all about.

I discovered that Racine Kringles are rich and buttery and absolutely delicious.  They are almost as light as a croissant and come in an astounding variety of flavors.  Kringles are actually a Scandanavian pastry that was originally developed in Denmark.  The original Kringles were pretzel shaped but over the years here in the U.S. Kringles morphed into the oval shape we know today.  Like so many of world's finest pastries Kringles are very labor intensive and thus very expensive to produce.  It can take up to three days to make a Kringle the right way.  But when properly made the results are positively heavenly!  There are more than 30 layers of light, flaky pastry.  The finished pastry is shaped into the distinctive Kringle oval and it is filled with the finest in nuts, fruit or gourmet filling, then baked until golden brown and generously spread with rich vanilla or chocolate icing.  Positively yummy!   These days Racine Kringles come in 28 fabulous varieties including traditional favorites like pecan, almond, raspberry and apple-cinnamon and funky new flavors like turtle, chocolate eclair and banana creme.  My goodness, there is even a key lime Kringle available.  I'm not sure how I feel about that one.  But by all means check it all out at www.kringle.com

Several years passed and I had kind of forgotten about Kringles. Then one day last winter I was stunned to discover that someone had brought a couple of Kringles into the office!   One of them had chocolate frosting. I fell in love with Racine Kringles all over again.  Now you should know that Kringle and Danish culture are an important part of Racine's cultural identity, and several local bakeries make and ship hundreds of thousands of Kringles each year. This is big business in that town!  So if you interested you can check out several sites online before you make your decision.  A number of the sites advise that Kringles can be kept in your freezer for up to six months.  When we had Kringles shipped to us several years ago my parents thought they weren't quite as good as when they had them fresh out of the oven in Racine.  I am sure that is probably true but trust me if you are a pastry lover this is something that you are definitely going to want to sample.   Very highly recommended!   
A dense, moist pastry that absolutely melts in your mouth! A dense, moist pastry that absolutely melts in your mouth! A dense, moist pastry that absolutely melts in your mouth! A dense, moist pastry that absolutely melts in your mouth!

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April 28, 2010
I always love your food reviews, Paul! I grew up on the west coast, so there's so much midwest and east coast foods I've still yet to learn about. I've got to get myself some kringles one of these days. Thanks for sharing! :)
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Paul Tognetti ()
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I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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Kringles are butter-layered Danish pastries that were first introduced to Racine, Wisconsin in the late 1800s by immigrant Danish bakers. In Denmark, they are traditionally pretzel-shaped, almond-filled coffee cakes called Wienerbroth (Viennese bread).

The kringles were created by German bakers from Austria 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, 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.

It’s the shape of a kringle (pretzel-shaped) in Denmark, which is the Danish sign for a bakery (hence the name kringle). Outside every bakery in Denmark, you will find a sign with a kringle on it. A kringle is not only the dough, as it can be made of different types of dough. However the shape is all important. If it is not pretzel shaped, they will call the cake something else even if it is made the same way.

Over the years, a variety of fruit and nut fillings were added, and in the United States (not Denmark), the pretzel shape was changed to its present oval shape to eliminate the unfilled, overlapping parts.


True kringles are very labor intensive and can take up to three days to prepare, as they are made with up to thirty layers of delicate pastry dough. the challenge for a kringle baker is to roll butter thinly between several ...
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