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Kransekake is a showstopping Scandinavian cake served on special occasions such as weddings or Christmas. Martha made this recipe on episode 703 of Martha Bakes.

  • Yield: Makes 1 kransekake

Photography: Yossy Arefi


For the dough

  • 8 ounces (2 cups) sliced blanched almonds
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • Unsalted butter, softened, for molds

For the Royal Icing

  • 1 pound confectioners' sugar
  • 3 large egg whites or 5 tablespoons meringue powder mixed with 1/2 cup water
  • Paste or gel food coloring


  1. Make the dough: Place almonds in a food processor and process to form fine crumbs, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and salt and process until well combined and powder-like, about 1 minute. Add egg whites and process until dough comes together (the dough will have the texture of cookie dough). Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

  2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees with rack in the middle of the oven. Brush set of 6 kransekake molds with butter. Working with small portions of dough at a time, roll into ropes, slighty thicker than the diameter of a pencil, 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch thick. Fit into rings of 3 molds, trimming to fit. Place molds on one unrimmed baking sheet and bake until puffed and lightly golden brown, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely on baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining 3 molds. Carefully remove rings from molds.

  3. Make the Royal Icing: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine confectioners' sugar and egg whites. Mix on medium-high speed until combined and thickened, about 8 minutes. If decorating with more than one color, divide icing into batches. Using the end of a toothpick, add food coloring until the desired shade is achieved.

  4. To assemble: Sort rings in order of size. Fill a piping bag with icing and pipe a few dots onto the base of the largest ring and adhere to a cake plate. Pipe icing onto next largest ring, and stack on top of the first ring. Repeat process continuing to stack rings in decreasing size order to form a tower of 18 rings. Decorate as desired. Allow icing to set before serving.

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