Instructions

  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. For the base: Mix together the butter, flour, and salt in a medium bowl until crumbly. Add the water, a tablespoon at a time, mixing in between until you’ve made a soft, sticky dough. Divide the dough into four pieces and roll each piece into a 9" rope. Connect the pieces into a 12" x 8" oval on the prepared baking sheet and, with wet fingers, flatten the dough to 1 1/2 ̋" wide, retaining an oval opening in the center.

  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. An easy way to approach this is to first divide the dough into four pieces; roll each piece into a 9" rope, then connect the ropes and shape them into a ring.

  4. For the pastry: Place the water, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Add the flour all at once and stir vigorously until the mixture is cohesive and forms a ball. Transfer the batter to a mixing bowl and beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating until each egg is absorbed before adding the next. Add your choice of flavoring at the end.

  5. Spread or pipe the pastry over the ring, to make an oval of pastry that completely covers the oval of dough. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until deep golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

  6. For the topping: Melt the caramel in a heatproof measuring cup at half power in the microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring after each round, until the caramel is smooth. Pour the caramel over the pastry and immediately top with the toasted pecans. Let cool.

  7. For the glaze: Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, salt, flavoring, and enough cream (or milk) to make a pourable glaze. Drizzle over the kringle before serving.

  8. Store at room temperature, lightly tented with plastic wrap, for a day or so; freeze for longer storage. Kringle is best served the same day it's made. If you plan on serving it the next day, add the caramel, nuts, and glaze just before serving.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Want to make this gluten-free? For great results, substitute King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour for the all-purpose flour in this recipe, no further ingredient changes necessary. Be sure to bake thoroughly; gluten-free baked goods often need a bit more time in the oven.

  • Want to get a head start? Bake the base pastry up to two days ahead, then cool, wrap, and store at room temperature. Top with filling and icing just before serving.
  • Want a change from caramel? Top the kringle with your favorite combination of filling and icing: raspberry jam and lemon icing, for instance.