fruit topped Norwegian wedding cake with simple layer cakes

It seems like these cakes are one of the big sensations of summer, and yet we've heard them called a million things, from ring cakes to "those beehive things."  These towers of round rings are actually called kransekakes, and originate in Norway as a dessert for holidays and special occasions.  Traditional throughout Scandinavia, they are sleek, simple, and modern, in keeping with the northern European aesthetic.

Denmark flags and thick icing decorate kransekake

It is popular to decorate these cakes with flags from Norway, Denmark, or Sweden, as well as with the signature ripples of icing on each layer.

Norwegian wedding cake decorated with chalkboard topper and Norway flags

If both the bride and groom aren't from Scandinavia, this is a sensational choice for a groom's cake or part of a cake buffet selection.

top layers of wedding kransekake decorated with Swedish and Norwegian flags
 
close up of delicate layers on Norwegian wedding cake

Although flags are certainly fun, you can also use classic cake decor like flowers, and have them "blooming" from the cake's hollow center (below).

Norwegian wedding cake decorated with flowers and pears

Norwegian wedding cakes are a bit of a hybrid between a cake and macaron, with a slightly crisp, glossy crust and soft interior.  Because they often use almond paste, the rings taste like marzipan.

kransekake on silver platter with flowers
 
tall Norwegian wedding cake on rustic table

You don't cut into a kransekake like a traditional buttercream cake. The couple actually removes the top ring (there is a folk legend that states that however many rings stick to the top layer signifies the number of children they will have) and break it apart.  Subsequent rings are removed and cut into pieces for guests.

Norwegian wedding cake decorated with silver dollar eucalyptus

While they are often quite tall, Norwegian cakes can be smaller stacks to fit a more intimate guest list or for a bridal shower.

Norwegian wedding cake with two chocolate hearts on top

Modern interpretations of the cake also exist, such as this stout version below .

tall, narrow kransekake for celebration

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