The Easiest Butter-Pecan Kringle Ever

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Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
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Yield: one 13" kringle, about 2 dozen servings

Recipe photo

Kringle looks like it should be REALLY hard to make. And it usually is, which is why most folks buy their kringle from one of the Wisconsin bakeries that specialize in this tender, layered, buttery Danish Christmas pastry. But hold the phone! THIS version of kringle is super-easy; trust me, a 10-year-old could make this. And while it's not made in the traditional method, I believe you'll find it just as tender and tasty.

Read our blog about this kringle, with additional photos, at Flourish.

The Easiest Butter-Pecan Kringle Ever

star rating (26) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: one 13" kringle, about 2 dozen servings
Published: 01/01/2010



  • 1/2 cup butter, cut into pats
  • 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt*
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • *Reduce salt to 1/4 teaspoon if you use salted butter.

Pastry topping

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt*
  • 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter rum, eggnog, or vanilla butternut flavor, optional but delicious
  • *Reduce salt to 1/4 teaspoon if you use salted butter.

Pecans and caramel

  • 12 ounces caramel, cut from a block (about 1 cup, packed); or about 3 dozen individual caramel candies*, unwrapped
  • 2 cups pecan halves, toasted in a 350°F oven till golden brown
  • *Use fresh, soft caramels. If using harder, supermarket-type caramels, add a couple of tablespoons milk or cream when melting, to keep them soft on the kringle; or substitute caramel sauce.


  • 1 cup confectioners' or glazing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream, half and half, or milk, enough to make a thick but pourable glaze
  • 1/8 teaspoon butter rum, eggnog, or vanilla butternut flavor, optional but good
  • pinch of salt


see this recipe's blog »

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) a baking sheet that's at least 18" x 13"; or a 14" round pizza pan.

2) To make the base: Combine the butter, flour, and salt, mixing till crumbly. Add the water, and stir to make a soft, sticky dough.

3) Wet your hands, pick up the dough, and shape it into a 12" x 8" oval ring on the sheet pan; or a 10" ring in the pizza pan. This will be messy going, but just keep wetting your fingers and pushing it into a ring.

4) Once you've made the ring, flatten the dough so it's about 1 1/2" wide; basically, it'll look like a train or NASCAR track.

5) To make the pastry topping: Place the water, butter, and salt in a saucepan, and heat over medium heat till the butter is melted and the mixture is boiling.

6) Transfer to a mixing bowl, and immediately add the flour, beating until the mixture is cohesive and starts to form a ball.

7) Beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Add the flavor at the end, if you're using it.

8) Spread the pastry along the ring, covering it completely; you'll now have a much wider ring, though it won't be completely closed in the center; it should still look like a ring.

9) Bake the kringle for 50 to 60 minutes, till it's a deep golden brown. If you haven't yet toasted your pecans, this is a good opportunity to do so; they'll need about 9 to 11 minutes in the oven. When they're golden, remove them from the oven and cool. When the kringle is done, remove it from the oven, and allow it to cool completely on the pan.

10) To add the pecans and caramel: First, have the pecans all ready beside the pan of kringle; you'll be sprinkling them atop the caramel as soon as you pour it on.

11) Place the caramel in a microwave-safe spouted cup, if you have one; it's not necessary, but makes it easier to pour. Melt the caramel till it's bubbly, remove it from the microwave, stir a few times to smooth out the bubbles, and immediately drizzle it over the kringle. If it stiffens up, reheat briefly in the microwave.

12) Sprinkle pecans atop the caramel, pressing them in gently. Allow the kringle to cool completely.

13) To make the glaze: Stir together the confectioners' sugar, salt, flavor (if you're using it), and enough milk or cream to make a pourable glaze. Drizzle it over the kringle.

14) To serve, cut the kringle in 2" slices. Yield: one large (12" x 16" oval, or 14" round) kringle, about 2 dozen servings.


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  • star rating 12/31/2013
  • roo666 from KAF Community
  • This was as easy as described. But, next time I will cut back on the amount of the caramel, made it a little too sweet, it needs to be included, just diminished a bit.
  • star rating 12/25/2013
  • Sherri from PA
  • Made this for Christmas breakfast and it was terrific. Nothing difficult about it. It got rave reviews from everyone including those who didn't really think they would like it. Not toooo sweet.
  • star rating 11/01/2013
  • from
  • Very easy to make, disappointed with the overall taste, esp. after reading alot of the other reviews. Is sugar in the base or the pastry topping missing from this recipe? Even with the caramel topping, bottow two layers tasted bland and not what I was expecting. Any help for remaking this would be helpful. Thanks.
    I am sorry this recipe didn?t work for you. Please call us at the Hotline (855 371 2253) so that we can troubleshoot together. ~Jaydl@KAF
  • star rating 05/01/2013
  • peachy463 from KAF Community
  • I made this Kringle for Easter brunch and it was a roaring success with the family. I did cut down on the nuts and caramel just a bit. What a beautiful Kringle! Thank you for the easy and delicious recipe.
  • star rating 01/27/2013
  • Kari from South Milwaukee, WI
  • I made this yesterday and I just saw the blog photos today. It would have been so much easier if I would have looked at the photos first:-) I stood in the kitchen with the first part all mixed as I scratched my head trying to figure out the second part. It wasn't logical to think "make a dough and then make a second dough to put on top of it." KAF recipes have never steered me wrong, so I just took a leap of faith and did what the recipe said to do (and then I planned to send my husband to a local frozen custard shop for dessert for the company that was coming over just in case this didn't.) It ended up there was no need for a replacement dessert. This was wonderful! It wasn't difficult, but when you tell people you made homemade Kringle you'll get some extra points for effort. I'll make it again. Next time I'll use some of my homemade blueberry jam rather than caramel. Oh yeah, I forgot to put the confectioner sugar drizzle on it. I don't think it was necessary for taste, but it would have made the presentation even better.
  • star rating 12/21/2012
  • barkhousebob from Klamath River, Ca
  • I made this recipe and had great results. My new Christmas treat is now Butter Pecan Kringle. I have been making my Mothers recipe for stollen for the last twenty years and this Kringle is replacing it, sorry Mom. For those that are new to baking and have a hard time understanding the ring, just go to the blog for this recipe. The photos take all of the mystery out of how to make the ring. Ten stars to King Arthur flour for providing the blog and photos. When in doubt just go to the blog.
  • 12/09/2012
  • Cathy from Saint joe mi
  • Confused about the directions at the beginning; first an 8x10" oval and then flatten into a 1 and 1/2" size? What's that?
    The ring should be about 8" wide, 10" long and 1 1/2" high. Hope this helps. MJR @ KAF
  • star rating 11/26/2012
  • Paula from Poughkeepsie, NY
  • I have a question: Can you substitute dark chocolate as a drizzle over this pastry, and skip the caramel and glaze? Has anyone tried this? The danish pastries we recently had at KAF's baking center have spoiled us forever. Am looing for a recipe for those, this looks close. Thanks!
  • star rating 09/28/2012
  • peachy463 from KAF Community
  • This was so easy to make and tasted heavenly. Can't wait to serve it to guests. I did find that 12 oz. of caramel was about 1/3 cup too much. Just could not load on anymore. I also broke up the pecan halves so it would be easier to cut without mashing. Cut the pecans down to 6 oz. and there was PLENTY to cover the entire top. My Kringle came out looking picture perfect, and when my husband saw it he started to smile and went for a knife to cut a slice. Thank you for such a great recipe.
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