Ring cake

Ring cake

Scandinavian Christmas
1 big cake and about 36 cookies
Lars Ranek

Good-quality marzipan is vitally important to this cake, which we call ‘kransekage’, and the taste will reflect the quality. The best marzipan contains 60 per cent almonds, with no artificial flavours or colours. These cakes are supposed to be soft in the centre, so take care not to over-bake them. It may be unusual to measure egg whites in a jug, but it’s necessary here, as the volume of them is vital.


Quantity Ingredient

For the dough

Quantity Ingredient
150g almonds, with their skins
300g caster sugar
115ml egg whites
750g marzipan

For the small round cakes

Quantity Ingredient
12 hazelnuts
12 walnuts
12 small pieces candied ginger

For the chocolate

Quantity Ingredient
300g tempered chocolate, (see note)


  1. Whizz the almonds and sugar together in a food processor until finely ground. Add the egg whites and whizz again until the mixture has a smooth, white texture. Make sure it doesn’t get too hot, or the egg whites will start to set. Grate the marzipan and blend it into the almond mixture. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover tightly with cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for a couple of hours, or overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 175°C.
  3. Shape the mixture into nine sausages. Though each will be 2cm in diameter, they will differ in length by 3cm each. The longest should be 34cm, the others 31cm, 28cm, 25cm, 22cm, 19cm, 16cm, 13cm and 10cm respectively. Curl each piece into a ring, pressing to seal, and place them on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Bake for 12–15 minutes, then leave to cool on a wire rack.
  4. Roll the remaining dough into 10g balls. Press either a hazelnut, a walnut or a piece of candied ginger into each ball. Place these cookies on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and bake for about 10 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  5. One at a time, dip the top side of all the rings – except for the smallest – in tempered chocolate and place on top of each other, beginning with the biggest ring and ending with the smallest. You can make this one or two days ahead, if you need to, but no more.
  6. Dip the bases of some of the cookies into melted chocolate and leave to set, upside down, on a wire rack. Store them in an airtight tin for up to two weeks.

Tempered chocolate

  • You will need a sugar thermometer. Melt two-thirds of the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water (the bowl must not touch the water). When it has reached 50°C, add the rest of the chocolate. Mix well until melted. Gently heat until it reaches 31°C. Now it is ready to use.
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