The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts




There are few traditions in my family that I can easily trace back to our European ancestry, but one that has survived is the baking of Berlinerkranser, a Norwegian holiday treat.

This is my grandmother's recipe. I'd never baked them myself until this year. I knew they were rich, but I had no idea they were *this* rich. They are excellent though. Good thing Christmas comes but once a year!

With a little effort you can make these extremely attractive. I had assistance from my 3 1/2 year old son, so the shaping suffered a bit, but we had great fun making them and they are still buttery and delicious.

I was astonished to see that the recipe contains no leavening. They are basically like little shortbread cookies, wrapped into a bite-sized wreath.

Berlinerkranser (Berlin Wreaths)

5 eggs (3 hard-boiled, 2 raw)
1 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour

Peel the three hard-boiled eggs, remove and dispose of the whites, and crumble the yolks in a bowl.

Separate the raw egg yolks and whites. Mix the raw yolks into the bowl of crumbed yolks. Cover the bowl of whites and refrigerate for later use.

feel your arteries hardening just looking at it!

Cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla together. Stir the yolks into the butter mixture, then stir the flour into the butter mixture. Cover the bowl and chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

When thoroughly chilled, pull the bowl of dough out of the refrigerator. Break off small chunks of the dough and roll them out into little strips, approximately 4 inches long and a quarter of an inch around.

shaping berlinerkranser

Gentle bend the strips into wreaths and place on a greased baking sheet.

Preheat the oven to 350.

washing berlinerkranser

Just before putting them in the oven, brush the top of the wreaths with the egg whites and sprinkle lightly with sugar.

washed berlinerkranser

Bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes. Gently remove from the baking sheet to cool.

EAT berlinerkranser!!! Enjoy!


melody's picture

Hi Floyd,

I made up your Berlinerkranser and they were great.  My husband is Norwegian, and he loved them.  I must say that even though I didn't have a 3 1/2 year old helping me to shape them, they were similar in appearance to the ones you dear little son shaped.  That's part of the hand-crafted charm, right?


KrisK's picture

Hi FLoyd-


Many thanks for the recipe for Berlinerkranser! I am a new member after getting such great info from your site.

I do not know if you can come by it easily, but some specialty stores sell Pearl Sugar (Parlsocker in Norwegian.) My husband is also Norwegian and his mother always used the Pearl Sugar to sugar the tops of the cookies instead of regular sugar.  Yum!




kristiw's picture



I have a suggestion for how to improve the look: What I was told by my parents was to roll out a long piece of dough, enough for at least 10 cookies, at a time, and then cut it into pieces long enough to make kranser. That way it's easier to get an even thickness of them, and the edges turn out sharp :-)

Rachelhawk's picture

That's how we do it in my family. :)

Rachelhawk's picture

My great grandparents moved from Norway to the Southern US before my grandfather was born. These are a Christmas tradition in my family too, and we LOVE them! We have made one little change to them in all these years though, and that is that we top them with finely chopped pecans instead of the traditional pearl sugar or candied fruit (ew). They are so yummy!


Ingridks's picture

Thank you for posting this recipe.  I lost mine and was able to use it to make the cookies for Christmas.  I do rememebr one difference in my grandma's recipe and that is to use almond extract instead of vanilla extract.  My family seems to use it for the old recipes. It gives the cookie a great flavor!