Let me just preface this by saying this is me saying I find this great for tea, I never heard it from a Norwegian!

It was the mid-1980s…the US Midwest…college choir tour…big tour buses…rambunctious college kids…going town to town…performing in the local churches….this is where I had my first introduction to this lovely Norwegian confection called “kringla.”

Staying with one of the local families, my choir buddy and I sat down to breakfast with our family before meeting back at the church with the rest of our group, where they served this delicious cookie (or is it a pastry? or cake? or something in between?). I loved it so much I had to ask for the recipe.

So I have no idea if this is an “authoritative” version of traditional Kringla. And I’ve tried it with other ingredients to give it my own spin. Below is my version using lemon and poppy seed to jazz it up a tiny bit.


  • Servings: 40
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print


  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. poppy seed
  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 c. buttermilk
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • lemon peel from two lemons (I like a strong punch of lemon)


Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Beat the butter for 30 seconds, add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla, and lemon peel; beat well, Alternately add buttermilk and dry ingredients, beating until well blended. Cover, chill for 2 hours.

Work with half the batter at a time. While the original recipe says roll out into a rectangle and cut into strips, I find the batter too wet to do that without adding too much extra flour in the rolling out process. Instead, I break off a walnut-sized piece of dough and roll it into a sausage, then shape into pretzel shape, place on an ungreased cookie sheet (or my cheat is to use parchment to keep one’s cookie sheet clean).

Bake at 425° Fahrenheit for 5 minutes, until bottom is lightly brown, with top remaining pale. Makes about 40.

I think of the pretzel shape as more of a “guideline” – they are yummy, no matter the shape!
Try other spices, flavors and shapes – cardamom, cinnamon, Earl Grey, add an icing drizzle….you name it – one’s imagination is the limit.

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