Kransekake, not caca / Kransekake, no caca

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

For Christmas Eve, San Geraldo made kransekake, the Norwegian “wreath cake” so popular this time of year. He’s made it in years past with different levels of success. I’ve always been happy. He has not. Since he doesn’t make it often, not even annually, he hasn’t had the opportunity to perfect his skills. Thankfully, he’s always happy to joke about the finished products. This year was no different.

The first time SG made kransekake, in 2009 in Irvine, California, it looked perfect and the texture and density were perfect, but the taste wasn’t quite right. He hated it. His sister Linda, brother-in-law Tom, and I loved it. Kransekake is composed of 18 graduated rings. You can see the process here.

This year, the texture was not what’s expected. The rings were softer than they should be. So, there was worry the tower would collapse. While making my rounds Friday, I bought wood skewers just in case there might be this sort of problem with the kransekake. They worked before. This time, however, the rings were too soft to poke the skewers through. So, SG simply used his hand to put pressure on the top of each successive layer. He wasn’t pleased with how things were going and was tempted several times to throw it in the trash. He made icing, which is used between layers to glue them together and then as an ornate decoration on each ring. He first made the icing a bit too runny. He saw how it was going on and said, “Oh, what the hell!” I told him he should smother it in icing and it would look like a snow-covered mountain. He was not amused. I checked the tower regularly over the next 24 hours and it didn’t tip or collapse. It was delicious (although a bit sweet, what with all the extra icing) and everyone loved it… except San Geraldo.

Here’s his first attempt and second, and then the third and fourth. Next time, I’ll share more about our wonderful Christmas Eve and why it took me until 8:30 p.m. Christmas Day to write this.


Para la Nochebuena, San Geraldo preparó kransekake, el “pastel de corona” noruego tan popular en esta época del año. Lo ha logrado en años anteriores con diferentes niveles de éxito. Siempre he sido feliz. El no ha. Como no lo hace con frecuencia, ni siquiera anualmente, no ha tenido la oportunidad de perfeccionar sus habilidades. Afortunadamente, siempre está feliz de bromear sobre los productos terminados. Este año no fue diferente.

La primera vez que SG hizo kransekake, en 2009 en Irvine, California, se veía perfecto y la textura y la densidad eran perfectas, pero el sabor no era del todo correcto. Él lo odiaba. Su hermana Linda, su cuñado Tom y yo lo amamos. Kransekake está compuesto por 18 anillos graduados. Puedes ver el proceso aquí.

Este año, la textura no fue la esperada. Los anillos eran más suaves de lo que deberían ser. Entonces, existía la preocupación de que la torre colapsara. Mientras hacía mis rondas el viernes, compré brochetas de madera en caso de que pudiera haber este tipo de problema con el kransekake. Antes trabajaban. Esta vez, sin embargo, los anillos eran demasiado blandos para atravesarlos con las brochetas. Entonces, SG simplemente usó su mano para presionar la parte superior de cada capa sucesiva. No estaba contento con cómo iban las cosas y estuvo tentado varias veces de tirarlo a la basura. Hizo glaseado, que se usa entre capas para pegarlas y luego como decoración ornamentada en cada anillo. Primero hizo el glaseado un poco demasiado líquido. Vio cómo estaba pasando y dijo: “¡Oh, qué diablos!” Le dije que debería cubrirlo con glaseado y se vería como una montaña cubierta de nieve. No se divirtió. Revisé la torre regularmente durante las siguientes 24 horas y no se inclinó ni colapsó. Estaba delicioso (aunque un poco dulce, con todo el glaseado extra) y a todos les encantó… excepto a San Geraldo.

Aquí está su primero intento, segundo, tercero y el quarto. La próxima vez, compartiré más sobre nuestra maravillosa Nochebuena y por qué me tomó hasta las 20:30, Día de Navidad para escribir esto.

• San Geraldo’s first kransekake. Irvine, California. 2009.
• El primero kransekake de San Geraldo. Irvine, California. 2009.

• Second kransekake. Irvine, 2010.

• Segundo kransekake. Irvine, 2010.

• Fourth kransekake. Fuengirola, 2014.
• Cuarto kransekake. Fuengirola, 2014.
• Fifth kransekake. 2022. San Geraldo thought some ribbon would hide the flaws.
• Quinto kransekake. 2022. San Geraldo pensó que alguna cinta disimularía los desperfectos.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

22 thoughts on “Kransekake, not caca / Kransekake, no caca”

    1. Anon:
      The bottle, Aquavit, was part of the Norwegian dinner. One shot was all I could handle. More on that another day.

    1. Anon:
      It was delicious. We ate about less than half. Everyone took some home and we finished our share yesterday.

  1. That’s one helluva lot of sugar cake for the two of you! However, I have been reading up on “Linie Aquavit” (and its bizarre maturation process at sea). It’s a proper digestif, apparently, so that would help the food go down. Jx

    1. Jon:
      There were 7 of us and we didn’t eat it all in one sitting. Isn’t that fascinating about Linie Aquavit? It’s potent, but it smooths by the end of the first shot. Very nice flavor.

  2. I think San Geraldo is too hard on himself — his Kransekake is great! (and better than a lot of things I’ve seen made on Baking Championship shows this year)… There are no mistakes in decorating as that’s what icing is for! Unless salt is used instead of sugar, your dessert is good to go, LOL!

    1. Jim:
      It’s a huge amount of work. SG has Norwegian cousins who have never made it themselves. Incredible cooks and bakers who buy the kransekake every year.

    1. Larry:
      It’s so much work but impossible to buy here, so SG always tries. It was delicious again this year.

    1. Walt the Fourth:
      I wish we could find it in the Scandinavian shops here. It’s SO good. And SG’s is delicious.

  3. The second one was the leaning tower of Pisa, but I think they look wonderful and delicious. I get upset with myself over anything I make that isn’t perfect, though. He just needs to practice throughout the year and you can do the taste testing. It’s hard to be satisfied with something if you only make it once a year.


    1. janiejunebug:
      Maybe SG should make a monthly kransekake until he aces it (and even after). He has a gourmand cousin in Norway who never makes kransekake. She says it’s too risky and too much trouble. She buys hers every year. Unfortunately, it’s not sold here.

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