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How to make the original Danish pancake balls (æbleskiver)

October 9, 2018 | Leave a comment

How to make traditional Danish Æbleskiver pancake balls

Technically a little challenging the first few times you make these, but well worth the effort, these little pancake balls are super delicious and fun to make.

Danes love eating Æbleskiver on Sundays in advent and all through December – this recipe is from Bronte Aurell’s cookbook ‘Fika & Hygge’ (Alternatively, we stock ready made ones in the cafe during Christmas season, so pop by and grab a bag or two).

You can vary your pancake balls as you see fit – we’ve made them with saffron, chocolate sauce, savoury (Noma famously used to make one with a little fish sticking out of them)… But these are the most traditional version.

Danish Christmas Pancakes (æbleskiver)


3 eggs, separated
300 ml buttermilk
100 ml double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon caster sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
250 g plain flour
grated zest of 1 medium lemon (or to taste)
50g butter, melted for frying
icing sugar, for dusting
raspberry jam, for dipping (optional)

You need: an ‘æbleskive’ pan, Japanese takoyaki pan. If you use a frying pan, they will look like mini pancakes instead. You can get basic pans on Amazon.



Mix together the egg yolks, buttermilk, double cream and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients including the cardamom.

In another clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff using a handheld electric whisk on high speed.

Add the egg and cream mixture to the dry ingredients, then carefully fold in the beaten egg whites and lemon zest. Leave to rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator before using.

Place the pan over high heat to warm through and add a little melted butter to the pan to stop the pancakes from sticking. If you are using an æbleskive pan, carefully add enough batter to each hole so that it reaches about 0.25 cm from the top. If you are using a normal frying pan, add spoonfuls of batter as you would if making normal small pancakes. Leave to cook for a few minutes until the edges become firm then, using a fork or knitting needle (knitting needle is easier!), gently turn the pancakes over to cook on the other side. If you have filled the holes too much, this can be tricky – you’ll get the hang of it after a few.

Once browned on both sides (3–4 minutes per batch), keep the cooked æbleskiver warm in the oven until you have finished frying.

Serve dusted with icing sugar and a little pot of raspberry jam for dipping.

Recipe from Fika & Hygge published by Ryland Peters Small – priced £16.99. Photo by the amazing @PeteCassidy.

Danish Baking: Othello Layer Cake

September 13, 2018 | Leave a comment

Othello Layer Cake (Othellokage)

This is a beautiful cake to serve for afternoon fika on the weekends or a small birthday gathering. A bit of a faff to decorate, but once the marzipan is on, it’s almost done! And yes, it’s absolutely worth it.

The recipe for this can be found in our book Fika & Hygge by Bronte Aurell – photo graph here by Pete Cassidy, published by Ryland Peter and Small.


1 portion of Layer Cake Bases – link here

½ portion of Pastry Cream – Link here


2 egg whites

75 g ground almonds

50 g caster sugar

100g icing sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract


400 ml/11/2 cups whipping cream

1 tablespoon icing/ confectioners’ sugar

75–100 g/1/4–1/3 cup good- quality raspberry jam/jelly


100g icing/ confectioners’ sugar

50 g good-quality 70% dark chocolate, melted and still warm.

150g store-bought good-quality marzipan (or see basic recipe here), to decorate

a large baking sheet, greased and lined with baking parchment

a piping/pastry bag fitted with a plain nozzle/tip


(If you are making the sponge layers, complete these first and set aside).

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

To make the almond layer, whisk the egg whites until stiff, add the other ingredients and mix until smooth. Spread the almond mixture into a circle the same size as the cake bases (20 cm/8 inches diameter) on the baking parchment on the baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for around 15 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool.

Whip the cream until stiff with the icing/confectioners’ sugar. Reserve 1 heaped cup of the whipped cream for decoration. Fold the remaining whipped cream into the pastry cream until smooth, then refrigerate.

Make sure your prepared layer cake bases are completely even in size. If not, trim to fit. To assemble, place the almond layer on a serving plate and spread a thin layer of raspberry jam/jelly on top. Add a third of the pastry cream mixture, and spread evenly. Repeat the cream and jam/jelly addition again with the first and second sponge cake layers.

Turn the third and final sponge cake layer over and add a thin, even layer of jam/jelly. Place it, jam side down, onto the pastry cream on the layer below. Ensure the whole cake is even and stable. Use a little of the leftover whipped cream and a spatula to even the filling around the edges so the sides are straight. If you find this tricky, refrigiate and then do it.

To make the icing/frosting, add the icing/confectioners’ sugar to a bowl along with 1–2 tablespoons of hot water and mix until smooth. Add the warm, melted chocolate. If it is too thick, add a bit more water. Too thin, a bit more sugar. You want a smooth, thick yet spreadable consistency. Spread a generous layer on top of the cake to the edge.

Work the marzipan with a little icing/confectioners’ sugar, then roll it out to a piece long enough to fit around the sides of the cake and the same height as the cake exactly. Do it in two lots if you find this easier.

Cut the edges of the marzipan so they are sharp, then wrap around the cake and secure with a dab of water. Put the reserved whipped cream in a piping/pastry bag and pipe dots of cream all around the top edge, hiding where the chocolate ends. Refrigerate before serving.

Danish Baking: Layer cake

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Danish baking: Lagkage - Layercakes basics

As Danish as the Little Mermaid and Lego, Lagkage (Layercake) is served for birthdays, anniversaries, coffee mornings and any other time where there is an excuse.

Danish layer cakes come in many different forms – from the super simple made at home to the fancy-pancy ones in the bakeries. Only your imagination set limits for fillings and toppings, so we thought we’d share a few of the basics here – and a fancier version too, known as Othello Layer cake.

The Layers

Danish lagkage is usually always 3 layers of sponge. Most people can’t be bothered baking their own, so they buy 3 ready made layers – we sell these in the shop, so you too, can cheat! Find them here.

If you are making your own, the recipe is below. You don’t need any tins for this as you simply use baking paper to trace the shape.

The filling

Pastry Cream is the most common filling – in Danish, known as Kagecreme. We have added the recipe to make your own, but we do also have a cheat’s version which is really lovely – and is simply a add-milk to powder (500ml per sachet, and stir). Available here.

Sometimes, the filling is flavoured with cocoa.


Usually, some form of berries or fruit is added. The most popular is strawberries or raspberries. Many add sliced banana when they are making a kid’s birthday layer cake.


For a homely layercake, simply assemble the layers and top with a thin layer of icing (make from icing sugar and a little hot water until treacle consistency and then poured over the top. Some add chocolate icing or ganache. Piping of whipped cream all around the edge is usually done – although you can leave the sides ‘naked’.

These cakes are not tall –and they are light to eat because the sponge is Genoese and not a heavy sponge.

Basic lagkage layers

Makes 3 layers


25 g butter, melted and set aside to cool

4 eggs

120g caster sugar

120g plain flour

a pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla sugar OR extract
OR use the seeds of 1 vanilla pod/bean


3 baking sheets, greased and lined with baking parchment. Use a 20-cm/8-inch diameter plate to draw three circles on the baking parchment. Use a pencil.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

Beat together the eggs and sugar on high speed in a stand mixer or using a hand-held electric whisk. Beat until the mixture reaches ribbon stage – you will be able to see the traces of the mixture when you move the whisk – and the traces should stay for a good 6-7 seconds. This can take up to 5-7 minutes – the mixture will almost triple in volume.

Combine the flour, salt and vanilla in
a separate bowl. Sift into the egg mixture, bit by bit, carefully folding using a figure-of-eight movement until incorporated. Pour the cooled melted butter down the side of the bowl and fold carefully again, trying not to knock out air. This is really important – if you knock out the air, your layers will not rise.

Divide the mixture evenly between the parchment circles on the baking sheets spreading right to the edges of each circle with the back of a spoon. If they go over a bit, don’t worry, you can cut these bits off afterwards.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 5–7 minutes or until light golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before removing the baking parchment. If the parchment sticks, slightly dampen the paper side with cold water and the paper will come off easily. Trim any untidy edges using a sharp knife.

Note: If you want to secure a rise and feel nervous about the rise, add 1 teaspoon to the flour for a slight lift.

Pastry cream recipe can be found here. You need almost one batch for one cake. Don’t skimp on the pastry cream.

How to assemble:

On your serving plate, add layer 1. Add pastry cream in about 1cm layer. Add chopped fruit or berries, then the next layer of sponge. Add another layer of pastry cream and more fruit – and then the final layer of sponge. Cover the top with a water-icing and pipe whipped cream around the side. Add flags and candles.

If you want to make a fancier version, you can find the recipe for Othello Layer Cake here.

If you want to make the Swedish Princess Cake, the link to our recipe is here.



Vanilla & Orange Butter Cookies (Vaniliekranse)

September 6, 2018 | Leave a comment

Vanilla & Orange Butter Cookies (Vaniliekranse) - Danish Baking

Vaniljekranse med appelsin

Ahhhh, is it Christmas yet? Well, seeing as our new book is out end of September, we thought we’d post one of the lovely biscuit recipes. It’s a take on a traditional Danish Christmas biscuit called Vaniliekranse – the real version of those ones you often find in the tins of Danish Biscuits with pictures of the Little Mermaid on the front. But obviously much, much better.

Bronte decided to flavour these a bit with orange – but if you want the traditional version, simply leave it out.

These cookies may spread in the oven, and it is quite hard to get them to keep their pattern, so we usually chill them before baking.

Buy the new Christmas book here.


170 g granulated sugar

200 g butter at room temperature

275 g strong bread flour

100 g ground almonds

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 egg

a pinch of salt

seeds from 1 whole vanilla pod/bean

1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

a strong piping/pastry bag and a medium star nozzle/tip



Mix the sugar and butter (only briefly until just combined), then add the remaining ingredients and mix until you have an even dough (you can do this in a food processor or by hand). Do not overmix. Your dough needs to be soft enough to push through a piping/pastry bag nozzle. It is a hard dough – in Denmark, most people use a metal case to push the dough through the nozzle. A fabric piping/pastry bag is also good. If you find this difficult but have a good-sized nozzle, you can simply push the dough through the nozzle with your thumb, one at the time.

Line several baking sheets with baking parchment. Pipe out rolls 8–10 cm/31/4 –4 in. long, then carefully connect into circles and place on the lined baking sheets. Make sure the rolls are no thicker than your little finger, because they will spread a bit during baking. Place the baking sheets in the fridge if you have space so they can firm up as much as possible before baking.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.

Pop a chilled baking sheet of cookies in the preheated oven and bake for 8–10  minutes, or until the slightest tinge of golden brown appears at the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before eating.

Repeat until everything is baked. Store in an airtight container.

Bronte Aurell’s book ScandiKitchen Christmas is out end September 2018 and can be ordered here.

Published by Ryland, Peter & Small with amazing photography by Pete Cassidy.

Kagemand – Danish Kids Birthday “Cake Man”

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Kagemand - Danish Birthday Cake (Danish Baking Feature)

Kagemand – Danish Birthday Cake

Ask any Dane about a traditional birthday cake and chances are they’ll try to explain the Cake Man or Cake Lady. What on earth is that, you ask! It is exactly as described: a cake base, in the shape of a boy or girl, decorated with lots of sweets and treats. While it’s mostly a kids’ cake, adults do like it too.

These cakes have never really travelled – we’re not quite sure why. They didn’t even make it to Sweden or Norway – it is a truly Danish thing that has stayed there. For many years, we’ve had Danish ex-pats ask us to make these and ask us for the recipe – and now, finally, we’ve made one of each and decided to pop the recipes up here as part of our Danish Baking Feature that we’re doing in August and September this year (Sweden and Norway will follow later).

There are several traditional bases you can choose, depending on what you like. Here, we give you the recipes and basic instructions for:

  • Danish Pastry base (Wienerbrød)
  • Brunswick Bun base (Brunsviger)
  • Sweet rolls base (Boller)
  • Choux pastry base (Vandbakkelse)

To be fair, you can actually make it any which way you want – and cut it into whatever figure, but these are the most traditional versions – and, as is the tradition, decorated with the help of a kid, usually the birthday child in question. Thank you to Elsa, 8 (nearly 9) for the help with these Cake men (quite a few sweets went into her belly instead of making it onto the cake, it has to be said). By the way, Elsa says to remind you all that her birthday is September 23rd and she’d like a telescope, Hogwarts Lego and tickets to the Alan Walker Concert at the Roundhouse in December (?!).

These recipes can’t be found in our books – although a lot of the base recipes can (we will make sure to make this clear later in this post).

Few points to note:

  • The size of one of these Cake Men is so that it fits on one of the wide oven trays – approx. 40 x 50 cm and these recipes fit that.
  • It’s helpful to draw out your base shape on the baking paper before you pipe or shape.
  • This is a kid’s cake – get them involved! This is not a cake where you will win awards for presentation, but a wonderful birthday treat where the birthday child can help out, whether he or she is 2 or 10.

Danish Pastry Cake Man

(pictured above)

Makes 1 – although there is likely to be a little excess of dough. Make some extra pastries.

1 x batch of Danish Pastry dough – Recipe HERE

1 x batch of Remonce filling – Recipe HERE

Raisins (optional)

Egg for brushing

50g covering marzipan or fondant

150g approx. Icing sugar

1-2 tbsp cocoa powder

Lots of sweets and a packet of sweetie laces for ‘hair’

This dough is the hardest of all the options to work with and few people tend to attempt it at home seeing as the local bakers make these to order all the time. However, making Danish Pastry might be on the tricky side, but the taste is worth it.

Follow the steps to make the dough.

Turn your oven to 225C fan.

Roll out the dough, carefully, to a rectangle size approx. 40 x 30 cm. Cut it into 3 strips lengthways. Pipe or spread a line of remonce filling in the middle – add some raisins too if you want – and then close the packet, folding the sides over the remonce, just. Flatten slightly – and – importantly – turn over so the fold is underneath. We do this because we don’t need the layers to flake up for this one, but if you prefer the flaky version, leave with fold up. It will look less neat, but give a flakier result.

Prepare a baking tray – ideally with slightly raised sides as it might leak butter into your oven otherwise.

You can either cut pieces of the dough (a stick man, for example) or –as we did here – make two C’s and put them together back to back to form arms and legs. We then used the last piece to make a round shape for the head, with the last bit as the neck, connecting in the middle of the two Cs.

Leave to rise for 10-15 minutes, brush with egg and then pop into the very hot oven. Bake until done – 20-25 minutes, but do check as oven times vary depending on your oven.

Remove from oven to cool down. Meanwhile, make the icing. Around 150g icing sugar to be mixed with enough hot water to form a liquid icing, consistency of thick treacle. Once done, remove a little to another bowl and add a few teaspoons of cocoa to colour it brown – you may need to add a bit more water. Spoon into piping bags.

Roll ¾ out the marzipan in a circle – this is the face. We find it easier to decorate the face with the chocolate icing before we move it to the kagemand. Add a tie, shirt or whatever else you fancy.

Use the white icing to make a pattern on the cake and then decorate with sweets while the icing is soft.

Brunswick Bun base (Brunsviger Kageman)

Recipe for Brunswick Bun can be found in Bronte’s book Fika & Hygge.

This base is essentially an open cinnamon buns. Shaped as a little man or just baked in a massive tin and sliced, this cake is very popular all over Denmark.

You can use the same based dough as cinnamon buns – find the recipe here but only make HALF a portion.

For the topping, you need:

85g butter, softened

120g dark brown soft sugar

2 generous tablespoons golden/light corn syrup

2 tsp ground cinnamon

a dash of vanilla extract or sugar

Lots of candy and some candy laces to decorate

100g icing sugar, to decorate


Line a big oven tray (40 x 50cm approx.) with baking paper.

Make the dough as directed. When it has rested, knead through. Draw your desired shape on your baking paper – please remember this dough rises and spreads, so leave good spaces.

Shape your cake-man, then flatten it down so it is around 1 cm thick only. Leave to rise for about 15 minutes.

Heat all the topping ingredients in a saucepan and allow to come right to the boil, then turn it off. Whisk well to combine to a smooth topping.

Using your fingers, poke holes all over the bun – this is for the topping to fall into. Using a pastry brush, add a general amount of topping all over – but reserve about 1/3 and set aside. Leave to rise again for another 10 minutes while you heat your oven to 200C.

Pop the cake in the oven – it will have filling spilling, this is normal. Bake for around 20 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and immediately use the rest of the topping, as needed all over, to ensure every bit is sticky and gooey. Leave to cool for a bit.

Decorate with sweets and treats and make an icing using icing sugar and enough hot water to make it the thickness of treacle. Pipe a face on the bun – we also like to outline this one with icing as it is otherwise quite a dark bake.


Bun Cake-Man or Cake-Lady (Bollemand og Bollekone).

So, when the parents think the other cakes have too much sugar or are too much of a fuss to make, they go for this option. We do love this – it is very cute, made out of little sweet buns.

You CAN use the same dough as for cinnamon buns – but it is quite cardamom flavoured and some  younger kinds don’t love that. Instead, this recipe for birthday buns from our book Fika & Hygge is really great. Depending on how big you want your bun-man or bun-Lady to be, you can stick with a small recipe as noted here – or double up and then just made extra buns with any leftover dough. They will be eaten, don’t worry.

Ingredients for buns

200 ml whole milk

50 ml single cream

25g fresh yeast (or 13g active/dry yeast)

50g caster sugar

400g white strong bread flour

1 teaspooon salt

1 egg

80 g, softened

beaten egg, for brushing

a large oven tray, lined with baking parchment


100g icing sugar

Lots of sweets and candy laces for hair.

Mix together the milk and cream and heat to finger-warm (around 36–37°c). If using fresh yeast, add the yeast and warmed milk-cream to a stand mixer with a dough hook attached. Mix until the yeast has dissolved.

(If using dried/active dry yeast pour the warmed milk and cream into a bowl. Sprinkle on the yeast and whisk together. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes to activate and become frothy. Pour into the stand mixer with a dough hook.)

Add the caster sugar and stir again, slowly adding half the flour mixed with the salt, bit by bit. Add the egg and softened butter and keep mixing. Slowly add the other half of the flour. You may not need all the flour or you may need a bit more, but keep mixing until you have a slightly sticky dough that is starting to let go of the sides of the bowl. This should take around 5–7 minutes.

Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to rise for around 35–40 minutes or until doubled in size.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead through with your hands, adding only a little more flour if needed.

Cut the dough into equal pieces (as many as you need for your bun-man or lady – usually 14, with one being bigger (for the head)) and roll them into uniformly round balls. Place on the prepared baking tray with a bit of distance between, but still in the shape of your bun-man or bun-lady – then flatten down slightly. Cover again and leave to rise for a further 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.

Brush the buns lightly with beaten egg, then bake in the preheated oven for around 10–12 minutes or until golden brown.

Leave to cool before decorating. Make a simply icing by mixing icing sugar with drops of hot water until you have a treacle consistency icing. Use a piping bag to make your patterns and the face, then decorate with sweets and treats.

To eat, break off a bun, cut open and spread on copious amount of butter.

Choux Cake-man (Vandbakkelse)

Finally, the Choux version of the Kagemand. This version, luckily, does not require splitting and filling with cream like éclairs, so it is pretty straight forward. You do need a piping bag and a large piping nozzle though, or is looks even more messy.

Ingredients for the choux pastry

250ml water

125g butter

125g plain flour

2 tbsp icing sugar

pinch of salt

3-4 eggs


150g icing sugar

1 tsp cocoa powder

Sweets and treats and candy laces for decoration


In a saucepan, add the water and butter and bring to the boil to melt the butter.

Meanwhile, sift the flour onto a piece of baking parchment with the salt and sugar. Mix the eggs together in a bowl and set aside.

When the butter has melted, whisk and then add the flour mixture in one go and whisk vigorously until everything is combined. Take off the heat, too.

Your mixture will start to let go of the sides of the pan. Leave to cool down for 15-20 minutes (speed up by moving to a colder bowl).

Meanwhile, line a big baking tray and pencil in the shape of your cake-man or cake-lady. Turn the oven to 200C fan.

When the mixture has cooled slightly, you can add the eggs. Using a wooden spoon, add one egg at the time and beat until incorporated. You may not need all the egg: You need so much so that the mixture can form good peaks, but too much and the peaks will flatten down and your choux will be flat. This is the tricky bit.

Once done, move to a piping bag with a large nozzle. Pipe your choux onto the stencil on the baking tray.

Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until done, but do not open the oven door at all for the first 20 minutes and ideally as little as possible during the last, as your choux can collapse.

When baked through, remove from oven and prick a few holes in it to allow the steam to escape. Leave to cool, then make the icing by adding drops of hot water until the mixture is treacle like texture. Remove a spoonful of icing and mix with cocoa to make a dark colour for making eyes etc. Add icing to piping bags, decorate with sweets and treats and of course the all important candy lace hair.

We’d love to see some of your bakes – tag us on Instagram with #CAKEMAN.




Pastry cream, marzipan and more

August 31, 2018 | Leave a comment

Pastry cream, homemade marzipan and more

Danish baking re-uses a lot of the same components for pastry making, fine patisserie and general cakes. Here we have added a few of the main go-to recipes for:

  • Pastry cream / custard
  • Marzipan, homemade
  • Remonce filling

If you find this post but not what you were looking for, let us know – we will continue to add to this. Email iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk

You may also find additional recipes in Bronte’s books – Fika & Hygge is a great one for go-to baking, as is her new Christmas Book (out in Oct 2018).

Pastry Cream (Kagecreme/marsan)

Making your own pastry cream is easy. Use it for anything from filing for cakes to baked in pastries. Use leftover pastry cream heated on top of cakes and crumbles, too.

The difference between custard and pastry cream is the amount of starch used (pastry cream is quite a lot thicker). Also, custard if often served runnier and warm, where as pastry cream is usually cold (but can be both). You can thin out pastry cream and heat if you want to use it on crumbles and other desserts.


500 ml whole milk

1 vanilla pod/bean, seeds scraped out

1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk

100 g caster sugar

30 g cornflour

a pinch of salt

25 g butter


In a saucepan, heat the milk with the scraped out seeds from the vanilla pod/bean. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar and add the cornflour. Whisk until well combined.

When the milk has just reached boiling point, take off the heat and pour one third into the egg mixture, whisking continuously. Once whisked through, pour the egg mixture back into the remaining hot milk. Return to the stove and bring to the boiling point, carefully. Whisk continuously as the mixture thickens, for just under a minute (this will remove the corn flour taste as well as thicken it), then remove from the heat and stir in the salt and butter.

Pour into a cold bowl and place a sheet of baking parchment on top to prevent the cream from forming a crust as it cools. Refrigerate before using. The mixture will keep well in the refrigerator for a few days.

Make your own 50% marzipan for baking

It’s super easy to make marzipan at home. This recipe works well for baking – it does contain raw egg white.

In a food processor, add 200g ground almonds and grind again until very fine (store bought is usually not that fine, so give it a bit more). Add 100g icing sugar and 100g caster sugar and a tsp of almond extract – and 30g egg white (1 medium egg). Blitz again until a paste forms. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate minimum 1 hour before using.

Remonce Almond Paste

This filling is often used in pastries and cakes in Denmark. Also known as Lord Mayor’s Filling (Borgmester blanding), on account that it is used in a famous version of Kringle called Borgmesterkringle.

In a food processor add:

100g marzipan – minimum 50% almond.

100g butter, slightly softened

100g icing sugar

a bit of vanilla sugar or extract (few drops)

Grate the marzipan and add to the food processor, mix in the rest. Mix well. Filling is ready to use.

Makes approx. 300g.

Still haven’t found what you’re looking for? Tell us.

How to make REAL Danish pastry

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Danish Baking: How to make…. REAL Danish pastry

Danish pastry as we know it – layers of buttery yeast dough – came to Denmark in the 1850s with bakers from Austria. These bakers came to cover a long, nationwide baker strike – and in the process, taught the home grown bakers a thing or two about pastry. Over time, the dough changed slightly – and became the Danish Pastry we know and love today.

In Denmark, Danish Pastry is actually known as Wienerbrød – literally: Vienna bread. In the rest of the world, it’s ‘Danish’.

At first, making your own Danish pastry can be a bit daunting – but it needs less folding than say a croissant dough, so in some ways it’s actually easier. It’s only folded three times – making it a total of 27 layers.

A word of warning: It will leak butter during baking, so be prepared for this and add a tray to cover spillage. But is it worth it? Oh yes, very much.

There are several components needed in Danish pastry making- all recipes are on this blog but not all in this blog post. We also advise you to invest in Bronte’s book Fika & Hygge which has all you need for Scandinavian baking – available on our website as well as on Amazon and all good book sellers. Recipes may vary slightly from here, but the basics are the same. Note that in Bronte’s books both general and US measures can be found.

We’ve borrowed some of the photos from the book here with credit to photographer Pete Cassidy.

Basic Danish Pastry Dough (Wienerbrød)

25g fresh yeast or 13g active dry yeast granules

150 ml whole milk, finger warm no more than 36c (97–98°F)

50g caster sugar

50g butter, softened

350g strong white bread flour (plus extra for dusting)

1 tsp salt

1 egg – plus 1 yolk


For the layers:

350g butter, slightly softened (not too soft)

25g plain flour.

a baking sheet (lined)


You also need whatever fillings for your chosen pastry – see recipe for:

  • Spandauer squares
  • Tebirkes poppy seed pastry
  • Swirls (Coming soon)
  • Kringle (coming soon)
  • Kagemand – Cakeman (Coming soon)


If you are using fresh yeast, add the yeast and whole milk to a stand mixer with a dough hook attached. Mix until the yeast has dissolved.

If using active yeast granules, pour the milk into a bowl, sprinkle over the yeast and whisk together. Cover with clingfilm/plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes to activate and become frothy and bubbly.

Pour into the mixer with the dough hook attached.

Stir in the sugar and softened butter, then mix the flour with the salt and start to add, bit by bit. Add the egg halfway through along with the remaining flour. Keep mixing with the dough hook for a good 5 minutes. The resulting dough should still be a little bit sticky.

Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave to rise for an hour or until doubled in size.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead through, adding more flour as needed until you have a stretchy, workable dough and then roll the dough out into a big square 35 x 35 cm.

For the filling, mix the butter with the flour into a just mouldable ball using your hands. It’s important this mixture ends up being a similar consistency and workability to the dough – this will make it easier to roll. If your hands are too warm, use a rolling pin and beat the butter flat between two sheets of baking parchment. Flatten the butter out to a square around 25 x 25 cm, then place this butter square onto your dough at a 45 degree angle so that the dough corners can fold back in to cover the butter.

Carefully fold the dough corners over the butter until you have completely enclosed it – a bit like making an envelope! Dust with flour and very carefully roll out the package to a rectangle around 30 cm x 50 cm, then fold the layers the short way twice so you end up with a rectangle approx 30 x 15 cm (3 layers with butter). It is important that you roll carefully so that the butter stays inside the pastry package at all times.

Place the dough on the prepared baking
sheet, cover with clingfilm and chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator. This will help the butter chill so you can keep working it.

Repeat the folding process: roll to a rectangle and fold back on itself – you now have 9 layers of butter. Again, rest the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes, then repeat the rolling process again so you end
up with yet another rectangle in 3 folds with 27 layers of butter in total. After a final rest in the refrigerator, your pastry is now ready to shape into whatever pastry you want to bake.

At any stage during the making of Danish pastries, if your hands or the dough get too warm, step back and cool things down a bit, as this can spoil your end result.

Danish Pastry baking time varies depending on your pastry size and weather you are making a kringle, Kagemand (Birthday ‘Cake man’) or individual pastries – but as with puff pasty, baking it through is essential as nobody likes a soggy bottom bit of the pastry. Usually 200C (400F), Gas Mark 6 works – but if it is getting too brown too quickly, turn down a bit and/or cover with foil.

Raspberry Slices/Squares (Hindbærsnitter)

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Danish Baking Series: Raspberry Slices (Hindbærsnitter)

These are a favourite from the Danish bakeries. A simple treat to bake, the only tricky bit is the cutting of the cooled down biscuits – but practise makes perfect!

Vary the fillings as you prefer – and reduce icing if you prefer not too much topping.

The Danes love a nice piece of cake or biscuit with their coffee. This biscuit/cake is called Hindbærsnitter in Danish and literally translated this means Raspberry Slices.

These are very simple to make – and you can make them fancy or basic.

It’s basically two pieces of sweet short crust pastry, baked, then layers with raspberry. Topped with a nice layer of white icing – and then whatever you fancy on top (we like freeze dried raspberries, but the traditional recipe called for hundreds-and-thousands).

Makes 12-16 slices


350g plain flour

200g cold butter

125g icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla sugar or seeds from one vanilla pod

A pinch of salt

1 egg

200g good quality raspberry jam (i often add mashed raspberries to mine to make the result a bit more tart)

250g icing sugar

Toppings of your choice (chopped nuts, freeze dried raspberries, hundreds-and-thousands or other sprinkles)


In a food processor, add the cubed cold butter and flour and sugar. Blitz a few times to start the mixing.

Add the egg, vanilla and salt and blitz again until the dough starts forming. It’s done as soon as it is smooth and holds together.

Pop the dough in a plastic bag in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest before rolling out.

On a floured surface, cut the dough in half and roll out each piece on a sheet of baking paper to approx. 30 x 30cm. Transfer the pastry and baking sheet to a baking tray.

Pop both trays in the fridge again for 10-15 minutes.

Turn the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4

Prick holes in the dough using a fork to prevent the dough from rising or misshaping during baking. Bake until golden (10-12 minutes, depending in your oven), then remove from the oven and leave to cool for just a few minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare your icing: Add the icing sugar to a bowl and add 2-4 tablespoons of hot water – you may need more water than this, but start with two. Stir, adding more water if needed, until you have a thick icing with the texture of syrup (i.e. not too runny).

On the still slightly warm pastry, add the jam and spread carefully and evenly all over one fo the pieces. Add the second pastry on top so it lines up (you may need to use the baking tray to guide it on so it does not break – this bit is tricky).

Carefully, using a spatula, smear the icing across the top. If your icing is too thick, it won’t work – and too runny, it will spill everywhere, so test a little corner first and adjust accordingly.

As soon as you have spread your icing, add your toppings.

Using a very sharp knife, cut into 12-16 pieces. You may find it easier to cut it once it has all cooled down and the icing has set. Although some swear by cutting when hot, we do find it easier to do when cold, using a good knife.

How to make the best ever real Scandi Cinnamon buns

July 19, 2018 | Leave a comment

How to make the best ever real Scandi Cinnamon buns

We call them Kanelbullar, or just bullar (buns). In Danish, Kanelsnurrer – twists – or snegle, snails. We eat these with our coffee, late mornings or afternoons. It’s the treat you see in all Scandi coffee shops. It’s our favourite thing, ever. 

So, here are some facts: 

Real cinnamon buns, the ones Mamma makes at home, are made using a yeast dough, not a laminated dough. Real buns are strong, full of cardamom and cinnamon. Real buns don’t have icing on them. There are as many different buns in the world as there are people who make them. This is because the essential ingredient in cinnamon buns is love. Yes, love. Everybody bakes differently, and adds some of themselves in the kneading, so the result is… Buns that taste the way they were made. Why do you think Mamma’s buns are always best?

 I’ve been making buns since I could find my way around the kitchen. The recipe has evolved and grown, but always I go back to the same things: Good cardamom, lots of spice, lots of love and never skimp on the butter. This recipe makes a big batch of buns. You can halve it, but if you have a freezer, I say don’t bother: make a full batch, freeze some and pop them in the lunch box or simply just take one out and wait 20 mins and you have a lovely bun with your afternoon coffee. Alternatively, give some warm buns to your neighbours. Trust me, as long as you put a bit of love into it, they’ll love you forever. Kanelbullar really are a magic currency all of their own. 

Bronte’s Cinnamon Bun Recipe 

Makes 36 buns.

Servings 36 Buns


Bun Dough:

  • 50 g fresh compressed yeast (or 26g active dried yeast granules).
  • 500 ml whole milk heated to 36–37°C (97–99°F) – no more or the yeast will die
  • 150 g butter melted and cooled slightly
  • 80 g caster/granulated sugar
  • 900-1000 g white strong bread flour
  • 3 generous teaspoons ground cardamom I like it strong – and use freshly ground
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg beaten


  • 200 g butter soft
  • 1 tsp plain flour
  • 2-3 tbsp ground cinnamon (25g)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla sugar or extract
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 100 g soft brown light sugar
  • 1 Egg for brushing.
  • Pearl sugar to decorate.
  • Golden Syrup and Date syrup equal measures (100ml of each)



  1. Cream all the ingredients for filling together until smooth and set aside.

Make the dough:

  1. If using fresh yeast, add the luke warm milk to your mixing bowl in a stand mixer and add the yeast; stir until dissolved.
  2. (If using active dry yeast (granules), pour the warm milk into a bowl, sprinkle in the yeast and whisk together. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes to become bubbly. Pour into the bowl of a food mixer fitted with a dough hook).
  3. Start the machine and add the cooled, melted butter. Allow to combine with the yeast for 1 minute or so, then add the sugar and mix for a minute.
  4. In a separate bowl, weigh out 800g of flour, add the cardamom and salt and mix together. Start adding the flour and spices into the milk mixture, bit by bit. Add the beaten egg. Keep kneading for 5 minutes.
  5. You may need to add more flour – you want the mixture to end up a bit sticky, but not so much that it sticks to your finger if you poke it. It is better not to add too much flour as this will result in dry buns – and you can always add more later. The mixture has enough flour when it starts to let go of the sides of the bowl.
  6. Once mixed, leave the dough in a bowl and cover with a clingfilm. Allow to rise for around 30 minutes – or until it has doubled in size (this time can vary depending on the temperature in your kitchen).
  7. Dust a table top with flour and turn out the dough. Using your hands, knead the dough and work in more flour if needed. Cut the dough into two equal pieces and using a rolling pin, roll out one lump of dough to a 40 x 50 cm/16 x 20 in. rectangle.
  8. Using a spatula, spread the filling across the dough in an event, thin layer.

Traditional Swirls:

  1. Simply roll the dough lengthways into a long roll and cut into 15-16 pieces, place on a lined baking tray, and leave – covered – to rise for another 20 minutes. Repeat with the remaining lump of dough.

Beautiful Twists:

  1. Want to make cinnamon bun twist, like in the photo? Just scroll down to see how to twist (video at the bottom of the page). The twists are shown at around 4 minutes in.

  2. Roll out the dough, and fold it once you have spread the filling on it. Make sure it is even and flat – then using a pizza cutter, cut out even sized strips. Hold one end of the dough while you twist the dough back on itself and allow it to roll into a twist. Always make sure the ends are tucked underneath or they will unravel during baking. Leave to rise for a further 20 mins before brushing with egg.


  1. Heat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius (fan). Brush the buns lightly with beaten egg, then bake for 7-9 minutes or until golden and done. Watch it, they can burn easily and different ovens vary in temperature: My oven bakes these on 180C fan in 8 minutes.
  2. While they are baking, heat the golden syrup and date syrup in a pan until warm and liquid. If you cant get hold of date syrup, just use golden –but Date syrup does add a lovely flavour to the buns.
  3. When the buns come out of the oven, immediately brush lightly with the syrup, then add pearl sugar (nibbed sugar) on top of the buns and cover with a quite damp tea towel. The tea towel stops the buns from going dry and forming a crust – leave it on there for at least five minutes.
  4. If you cannot get hold of nib sugar (pearl sugar), you can use chopped hazelnuts etc instead as an alternative.
  5. The buns last only for 24-36 hours – as with all fresh bread – so freeze as soon as they have cooled down if you cant eat 36 buns in one go.

Recipe Notes

Note for cardamom and cinnamon: buy the seeds (already de-podded) online and grind as you need, using a spice grinder (you can do it by hand, but its hard work). Or buy pre-ground, but it loses potency quickly. For cinnamon, never skimp on the quality – buy good ground cinnamon – the cheap stuff is not great and you need lots more to get a good flavour.

How to make perfect cinnamon twists

Danish Æbleskiver (little Christmas pancake treats)

November 23, 2017 | Leave a comment


Danish Baking Season at ScandiKitchen: Danish Christmas Pancakes (æbleskiver)

Danes love eating Æbleskiver (or ebelskiver, as some people who are not Danish call them) on Sundays in advent – this recipe is from our cookbook ‘Fika & Hygge’.

To make these, you need a special pan called an æbleskive pan – you can find these on Amazon and speciality shops. You can also use a Japanese takoyaki pan.

If you use a frying pan, they will look like mini pancakes instead but will still be delicious.

Danish Christmas Pancakes (æbleskiver)

3 eggs, separated
300 ml buttermilk
100 ml double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon caster sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
250 g plain flour
grated zest of 1 medium lemon (or to taste)
50g butter, melted for frying
icing sugar, for dusting
raspberry jam, for dipping (optional)


Mix together the egg yolks, buttermilk, double cream and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients including the cardamom.

In another clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff using a handheld electric whisk on high speed.

Add the egg and cream mixture to the dry ingredients, then carefully fold in the beaten egg whites and lemon zest. Leave to rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator before using.

Place the pan over high heat to warm through and add a little melted butter to the pan to stop the pancakes from sticking. If you are using an æbleskive pan, carefully add enough batter to each hole so that it reaches about 0.25 cm from the top. If you are using a normal frying pan, add spoonfuls of batter as you would if making normal small pancakes. Leave to cook for a few minutes until the edges become firm then, using a fork or knitting needle (knitting needle is easier!), gently turn the pancakes over to cook on the other side. If you have filled the holes too much, this can be tricky – you’ll get the hang of it after a few.

Once browned on both sides (3–4 minutes per batch), keep the cooked æbleskiver warm in the oven until you have finished frying.

Serve dusted with icing sugar and a little pot of raspberry jam for dipping.

Recipe from Fika & Hygge published by Ryland Peters Small – priced £16.99. Photo by the amazing @PeteCassidy.

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