Swedish Kringle

Swedish Kringle

Makes 2, 10 Servings Each

CRUST: 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon water

TOPPING: 1 cup water, 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1 cup flour, 3 large eggs, 1 teaspoon almond extract

FROSTING: 2 cups confectioners' sugar, 1 tablespoon butter softened, 1 teaspoon almond extract, 3 tablespoons heaving whipping cream

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Make the crust. Place the flour and butter in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until mixture resembles course crumbs with some pea-sized pieces. With the machine running, add the water and process until a dough is formed. Put dough on a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball. Divide the dough in half. Press each half into a strip about 3" wide and 10" long on an ungreased baking sheet. 

Make the topping. Heat the water and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until the butter is melted and the liquid is boiling. Add the flour all at once and whisk until a thick paste forms and leaves the sides of the pan. Cook about 1 minute longer, stirring constantly to evaporate excess moisture. Remove from the heat and cool at least 5 minutes to prevent the eggs from cooking when you add them. 

Using a hand mixer or whisk, beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg. Each egg should be completely mixed in before the next egg is added. Stir in the almond extract. 

Spread over the pastry strips, spreading almost to the edges. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Cool on wire cooling rack. As the pastry cools, it will collapse. Cool completely. 

Make the frosting. Mix the confectioners' sugar, butter, almond extract and 2 tablespoons whipping cream until smooth. Add more whipping cream if needed for spreading consistency. Spread over pastry and cut into slices before serving. 

Recipe from Pat Sinclair's Scandinavian Classic Baking

November 02, 2023 — Catherine Branville
Kladdkaka Chocolate Sticky Cake

Kladdkaka (Chocolate Sticky Cake)

This ooey gooey choclate cake is extremely popular in Sweden and tastes wonderful with whipped cream, ice cream or even fresh berries. We sell the perfect fluted pan to make the cake in; recipe included!

1/2 cup butter
1 1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray pan with baking spray. Soften butter and add sugar, vanilla, salt and cocoa powder. Mix well. Stir in eggs until smooth. Add flour, stir until combined. Pour mixture into pan. Bake on lower rack for 25-30 minutes. Allow cake to cook 15-20 minutes before removing. 


February 13, 2020 — Catherine Branville
Heart Waffles

Heart Waffles

Scandinavian waffles are thinner than American waffles and can be served up in many different ways. My favorite way to eat them is topped with Norwegian brown cheese and jam. To make heart waffles, you will need a Scandinavian waffle iron. Recipes vary but the following is a typical Norwegian batter (from We Love Waffles by Stine Aasland). 

3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups whole milk
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 stick butter
2 teaspoons cardamom

Beat eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add wet and dry ingredients alternately. Beat a few minutes to make a smooth batter. Melt butter and beat slowly into the batter. Let the batter rest for at least 15 minutes before cooking. When refridgerated, batters keep for 4-5 days. 



February 13, 2020 — Catherine Branville
Vanilla Custard Hearts

Vanilla Custard Hearts

These custard tarts are baked in hearts and require a special heart-shaped mold. In Denmark and Norway, the pastry is known as linser and in Sweden, Vaniljhajrtan. This recipe is from The Nordic Baking Book by Magnus Nilsson.

For the dough:
1 3/4 sticks butter, room temp
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
2 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg

For the custard:
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
1 vanilla bean, split in half and seeds scraped out
6 egg yolks
1/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
ice, to cool 

Place the butter and the dry ingredients for the dough in a food processor and process until it starts to combine. Add the egg and process until combined. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and leave it to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile, make the vanilla custard (see below).

Butter 12 heart-shaped molds and flour them lightly. Place them on a work counter a few centimeters apart. Unwrap and roll out two thirds of the dough to a 1/8 inch thickness. Carefully lift the dough over the molds. Push the dough gently into molds using a clean cloth or something similar, then roll on top of the molds with the rolling pin so that the dough loosens from the edges.

Spoon the cooled vanilla custard into a piping bag and fill the dough-lined molds.

Preheat oven to 345 degrees.

Roll out the rest of the dough on the work counter and place it over the molds as a lid. Press around the edges so that they close completely. Place the molds on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

Carefully remove the custard hearts from the molds while they are still warm and leave them to cool. Sift some confectioners' sugar on top before serving.  


Vanilla Custard

Pour milk and cream into a pot and place over a medium heat with the vanilla bean and scraped out seeds and bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Remove the milk from the heat and add one quarter of the warm milk to the eggs and sugar mix while beating vigorously.

Pour the egg mixture (now containing a quarter of the total milk) back into the pot containing the rest of the milk, while stirring. Return to a low heat, stirring constantly with a large spoon. You can see when the vanilla sauce is beginning to be ready as it will start to thicken. When you are satisfied with the texture, immediately pour the hot mixture into a clean bowl set over ice to stop the cooking and stir until the vanilla sauce is completely cooled down. Strain and serve. 

February 13, 2020 — Catherine Branville
Scandinavian Almond Cake

Scandinavian Almond Cake

The Scandinavian almond cake pan continues to be the number one selling item at Irma’s Finland House. We usually have cake to sample at the store and the pan and trays make a wonderful gift for any occasion.
Beat well: 1 ¼ cup sugar,  1 egg,  1 ½ tsp. almond extract,  2/3 cup milk
Add: 1 ¼ cup flour,  ½ tsp. baking powder
Add:  1 stick melted butter or margarine

Beat mixture well. Spray pan generously using a baking spray with flour immediately before pouring batter into pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, until edges are golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clear.

May 20, 2019 — Catherine Branville
Pea Soup

Pea Soup

We always serve pea soup for our St. Urho’s Day celebration at the store. If you’d like a sample, stop by Irma’s Finland House on March 16th!

2 cups dried whole Swedish yellow peas
2 quarts water
1 smoked pork shank or hock (about 1½ pounds)
1 medium onion, sliced
1/2 teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon marjoram
Salt and pepper

Rinse and pick over the Swedish yellow peas, place them in a large pot,
add the water, and let soak overnight. (You may substitute yellow split peas, which do not need to be soaked, but can be cooked immediately).

Add the pork, onion, thyme, and marjoram. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until both the pork and the peas are tender, 1½ to 2 hours.  Add more water if necessary.

Remove and discard the bones from the pork.  Cut the meat into cubes and return them to the soup. Season with salt and pepper.  6 to 8 servings.

From Scandinavian Feasts by Beatrice Ojakangas.

May 20, 2019 — Catherine Branville
Roberta’s Popovers That Always Pop

Roberta’s Popovers That Always Pop

Roberta Felegy has worked at Irma’s Finland House for many, many years, and although popovers aren’t necessary Scandinavian, hers are always a tremendous hit at the store.

1 cup all-purpose flour or ¾ cup all purpose flour and ¼ cup whole wheat flour
1 cup milk
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter

Start preheating oven to 425 degrees. Mix all ingredients together. When the oven is preheated, turn it down to 400 degrees. Coat popover pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place the empty pan in the oven to preheat. (I will probably preheat the pan for 10 to 15 minutes.) Remove the pan from the oven and add batter to each cup. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Leaving the popovers in the oven, turn the temperature down to 350 degrees and bake 20 minutes more. Use a paring knife to poke a hole in the side of each popover. Turn the oven off but leave the popovers in the pan in the oven for 5 more minutes.

May 20, 2019 — Catherine Branville


There are countless variations of gingersnaps in the Scandinavian countries. We always serve these cookies at the store during Christmas time, especially in the shape of a pig. Piggy cookies are a Finnish holidy tradition around here!

1 cup butter
1 ½ cups sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
2 teaspoons soda in 1 tablespoon water
2 eggs

3 ¼ cup flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons cloves
1 teaspoon ginger

Cream butter and sugar; add eggs. Combine molasses and soda in water. Add to creamed mixture. Combine dry ingredients and mix until blended. Chill dough overnight. Roll ¼ of dough at a time, leaving rest refrigerated. Roll as thinly as possible and cut in desired shapes. Bake at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes. Watch closely.

May 20, 2019 — Catherine Branville
Almond Sandbakkels

Almond Sandbakkels

Sandbakkels, cookies that are baked in a tiny fluted tin, are a Scandinavian classic. These small shells are usually served with their pretty bottoms up. Some people might fill them with jam or whipped cream.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup pack light brown sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup blanched almonds, finely ground
2 to 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars until smooth. Beat in the egg, almond extract, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Stir in the almonds and flour; mix well. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter small, fancy fluted molds or sandbakkel tins. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Shape each portion into a log and cut each log into 12 equal pieces. Press each piece into a sandbakkel tin using your thumbs to make a thin, even shell of dough in each.

Place the shells on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden. Invert the tins onto a wire rack. Let cool for 3 to 4 minutes, then gently tap the bottom of each tin to remove the cookies. Makes about 4 dozen.

From The Great Holiday Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas

May 20, 2019 — Catherine Branville
Oven Pancake (Pannukakku)

Oven Pancake (Pannukakku)

Another staple at Irma’s Finland House is a good, old Finnish oven pancake! We sell the best pan to make a perfect pancake every time!

¼ cup butter
3 large eggs
1/8 teaspoon salt
¾ cup milk
¾ cup flour
Powdered sugar

Place butter in Pannukakku pan and put on a rack in the center of the oven, preheat to 425 degrees removing pan once the butter has melted. Whisk the eggs and the salt in a medium bowl. Add the milk, whisk in the flour until smooth. Pour the batter into pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the top starts to turn golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with your favorite syrup or lingonberry.

May 20, 2019 — Catherine Branville