These easy Kringla cookies are a traditional Scandinavian family favorite that’s perfect for Christmas, or any time of year! With just a few easy ingredients and no special equipment needed, you’ll have the softest, most pillowy cookies that you and your family will adore!
Sweet, rich, and melt-in-your-mouth, my kringla are an absolute delight!
Kringla are traditional Norwegian and Swedish cookies that are typically served during the Christmas season. Whether you’re planning your holiday baking in advance, or you’re in need of a little extra sweetness, my kringla recipe is perfect!
If you have kids, they’ll love these cookies! Kringla are kind of like sugar cookies, but they have an extra-soft and tender interior that’s similar to a cake or sweet bread.
After mixing the simple ingredients, the kringla are formed into a pretzel or figure-8 shape, so it just may be the perfect, fun way to introduce older kiddos to baking with you!
I'm sure you'll love sharing these fun-to-make cookies just as much as I always have! I've been making these since I was barely tall enough to reach the counter at my Great-Grandma's house and they're still a top pick for Christmas cookies!
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe!
It’s Easy! My recipe uses ingredients you probably already have in your pantry or fridge to make these cookies come together with ease!
It’s Delicious! Who doesn’t love cookies? This recipe takes cookies to the next level with an incredible cream mixture that helps make these cookies so soft.
It’s Simple! The simple nature of these Scandinavian cookies emphasizes the delicious ingredients – the vanilla, the cream mixture, the sugar – to make a satisfying treat that anyone will love!
My easy to make kringla recipe takes simple ingredients and transforms them into an incredible, super soft cookie. If you’re buying the ingredients for the cream mixture, be sure to get heavy cream (or heavy whipping cream) and full-fat sour cream to make sure these cookies are deliciously rich.
- Heavy Cream – Part of the cream mixture, heavy cream has a high-fat content that adds moisture and tenderness to your cookies.
- Full-fat Sour Cream – The other ingredient in the kringla’s cream mixture. Like heavy cream, sour cream also adds extra moisture and tenderness to the cookies, but the acidity helps create that incredible, velvety texture.
- Sugar – You can use basic, granulated white sugar for this cookie recipe. The sugar combines with the cream mixture to help make those cookies delightfully moist.
- Shortening – Shortening is used here to help make the cookies softer, more tender, and taller than if you used butter. I prefer butter-flavored shortening for my kringla baking.
- Egg Yolk – Egg yolks add richness, flavor, and color to the cookies. (Have trouble separating egg yolks? See Tips & Recipe Notes!)
- Vanilla – Adds that classic flavor we all love. Use 100% pure vanilla extract for best results.
- Baking Powder – Leavening agent baking powder gives your cookies a boost during the baking process to help keep them soft and fluffy.
- Baking Soda – Baking soda works with the acid in the sour cream to help leaven these cookies and make them wonderfully tender.
- Salt – You can use regular table salt or sea salt here. Salt helps balance the flavors – don’t skip it!
- All-purpose Flour – AP flour helps to build structure in the cookies. Make sure to have some extra on hand for rolling and shaping the dough.
Add a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg or ground cardamom for the best kringla ever!! A simple dusting of sifted confectioners' sugar is the only decorating needed, if desired, before serving.
💭 Tips & Recipe Notes
Sharp eggshells breaking your egg yolks when you try to separate them? Follow my easy tip!
Crack your egg(s) into a bowl wide enough to easily fit your hand. Then, gently scoop up each yolk with your fingers, allowing the egg white to drain away.
When you have your yolk, simply place it into your mixing bowl or a separate bowl until ready to use. This method will ensure a perfect egg yolk separation for your recipes!
Make sure you don’t have too much packed flour in your recipe by using the 'scoop and level' measuring method.
When adding flour, use a spoon to gradually add the flour to your cup measure. Then, use the flat side of a butter knife or your finger to level off the excess flour.
If you wish to weigh the flour, each cup should weigh approximately 125 grams.
Don’t over-handle the dough, which can make the cookies tough.
When rolling and shaping the dough, use light, floured fingers and be sure not to overwork the dough.
You can chill the dough for an hour before handling it to make rolling and shaping easier!
Don’t worry if your first few kringla aren’t perfectly shaped, once you have a feel for the dough, creating the shape becomes so much easier! No matter the shape, your kringla are going to be delicious!
🔪 Step-by-Step Instructions
My amazingly soft and tasty kringla recipe is the perfect cookie recipe for Christmas, or any time of the year! This recipe calls for refrigerating the cream mixture to thicken and combine the flavors – skipping this step isn’t recommended!
- Make the cream mixture. Start the night before by mixing 1 cup of heavy cream and 1 cup of full-fat sour cream in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth, then cover with cling film. Refrigerate overnight.
- Prep. When you’re ready to start making the kringla, set the cream mixture out to come to room temperature. Next, preheat your oven to 475°F (246°C). Line your baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Cream the sugar. In a large bowl, cream together 1 ⅓ cups of sugar, 2 tablespoons of shortening, and 1 large egg yolk until light and fluffy. Set aside.
- Make the dough. In the bowl with the cream mixture, stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Then, transfer the wet ingredients into the creamed sugar and mix until well-combined. Next, add 3 cups of all-purpose flour and mix until completely incorporated into the dough. The dough will be sticky. (*You can chill the dough for an hour before handling it to make the next step easier if desired)
- Roll and shape the dough. Since the dough is sticky, use a well-floured surface to roll the dough out onto. Pull off 1 ½-inch ball-shaped portions of the dough and roll them in flour to coat all sides. Then, move them to a less-floured side of your working surface and roll them out to a rope shape, approximately 8-9 inches long. Shape the rope into and ‘8’ or ‘infinity sign’ or fold them into a pretzel shape. You can also form them into round coils – but these take longer to bake.
- Bake your cookies. Place each shaped dough piece onto your prepared baking sheets and bake them for 5-6 minutes, or until the bottom turns a light golden color. Depending on the thickness of the kringla, cooking times can be longer.
- Cool and serve. Remove the kringla from the oven when done and allow to cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Then, transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
I love these sweet, soft kringla cookies just as they are, but they’re also delicious with little swipe of butter or served with a coffee or hot cocoa!
These pillow-soft little cookies won’t last long! But if you do have extra, they’re best stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Your kringla cookies will last for up to a week!
If you’re baking ahead for the holiday season, you can freeze these cookies! Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat, simply let them come to room temperature, and enjoy!
Though they’re similar in name, kringla and kringle are quite different! These delicious kringla cookies shouldn’t be confused with another wonderful Scandinavian dessert, kringle – a coffee cake with ground almonds and a sweet frosting.
I love making my kringla with shortening, but if you prefer, you can substitute it with an equal amount of softened, unsalted butter. However, it may make the kringla a bit crisper on the outside and brown more quickly – keep an eye on them while they’re in the oven!
Kringla are traditionally made to be unadorned cookies that wow with their simple, rich flavor – but you certainly can decorate them if you wish! Try brushing them with a bit of butter before baking and sprinkling coarse sugar on top! Or try drizzling a simple powdered sugar glaze flavored with vanilla or almond extract for an extra sweet touch.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 ⅓ cups sugar
- 2 Tbsp shortening
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling & shaping)
- Start the night before by mixing together the heavy cream and sour cream in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth, then cover with cling film and refrigerate.1 cup heavy cream, 1 cup sour cream
- When ready to start, set the cream mixture out to room temperature. Next, preheat your oven to 475°F (246°C) and line your baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- In a large bowl cream together the sugar, shortening, and egg yolk.1 ⅓ cups sugar, 2 Tbsp shortening, 1 large egg yolk
- Stir in the vanilla extract, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the cream mixture then transfer the wet ingredients into the creamed sugar. Mix until well combined. Add the flour until completely incorporated into the dough, which should be sticky when done. *You can chill the dough for an hour before handling it to make the next step easier if desired.1 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, ¼ tsp salt
- Since the dough is sticky, use a well-floured surface to roll the dough out onto. Pull off roughly 1 ½-inch ball-shaped portions of the dough and roll them in the flour to coat all sides. Then move them to the side of your working surface where there is less flour and roll them out to a rope shape (approximately 8-9 inches long). Shape the rope into an '8' or 'infinity sign' or fold over like a pretzel shape, or you can also shape them into round coils - but these take longer to bake.3 cups all-purpose flour
- Place each shaped dough piece onto your prepared baking sheets then bake for 5-6 minutes, or until the bottom just begins to turn a light golden color. *Depending on the thickness of the 'ropes', the cooking time can be longer.
- Remove from the oven when done and allow to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!