The Surprising Treat At The Center Of A Traditional Scandinavian Wedding Cake

You expect to find a towering, eye-catching, and beautiful cake at any wedding, but the traditional wedding cake of Scandinavian countries like Denmark, Norway, and Iceland is really unique. The name of this delicacy is kransekake, and according to Food52, it also goes by other names: kransekage, which means "wreath cake," or tårnkake, which translates to "tower cake." A kransekake is literally a tower: a tower of cookie rings. The rings are large at the bottom and gradually shrink in size as the tower builds, creating an upside-down cone shape. The cookies, which have a crisp, light texture, are made with almond flour, egg whites, sugar, and spices. Special kransekake molds are used to create all the perfectly sized cookie rings. 

Royal icing is piped between every cookie layer to "glue" the rings in place, and also to add decorative loops, swirls, and patterns along the outside of the tower. The cake is a stunning centerpiece that The Spruce Eats says is very popular not only for weddings but for anniversaries, Christmas, and birthdays, too. The cake traditionally has at least 18 cookie rings, although it can have many more to make a truly towering confection. 

What's really fun about a kransekake, however, is what can be found inside the cake!

The Space Inside A Kransekake Holds Delicious Possibilities

If you ever stacked ring toys as a kid, you remember that a stack of rings has a large space in the center. The same is true with a kransekake: the stacked rings of crisp almond cookies, large at the bottom and tapering to tiny at the top, leaving a cone-shaped space that's fun to fill! While some bakers leave the space inside empty, Taste Atlas says many choose to fill the cake with delicious surprises, like handmade chocolates and traditional candies. The cookie rings are stacked one by one, so it's easy to add handfuls of sweets as the tower grows! Kransekakes for birthdays and holidays hold so much potential for hidden, themed treats in the center. 

Most intriguing of all perhaps, especially for kransekakes to celebrate weddings, anniversaries, or milestone birthdays is this idea: That space is perfect to hide a bottle of champagne. Just set the bottle on a cake stand, and carefully layer the rings over to hide the champagne inside. It's kind of like a very delicate and deliberate game of ring toss. 

We love the Scandinavian wedding tradition with a kransekake described by Iceland Weddings and Honeymoons. The newlyweds together lift the very top ring of the tower, and the number of cookie rings that stick to it is the number of children they'll have. What if all 18 rings happen to lift off? Well, a bottle of bubbly hidden inside will ease their shock!