A Guide to the Best Danish Pastries

A guide to Danish pastries
A guide to Danish pastries | © Ysuke Kawasaki / Flickr
Aliki Seferou

Apart from other culinary delicacies, Denmark is particularly famous for the local pastries. It’s not uncommon for visitors to have a hard time deciding between trying a Wienerbrød, a piece of Dream Cake or a Kanelsnegle. Read on for an overview of Denmark’s most exquisite, mouth-watering pastries that will make you want to embark on a gastronomic quest to Scandinavia.

Kanelsnegle (Cinnamon rolls)

Cinnamon rolls or as Danes call them Kanelsnegle, are quite popular in many countries around Europe and in the US. However, Danes prepare it with a slightly different dough that is quite similar to the one used for croissants. The result is a flaky and light cinnamon bun full in flavor.

Cinnamon rolls are among the most popular pastries in Denmark

Wienerbrød (Danish)

Wienerbrød (Viennese bread) is a pastry made of yeast-leavened dough which is folded 27 times over. Despite many beliefs that it is originally from Denmark, it actually originates in Austria, hence the name Viennese bread. It was first made in Denmark in the mid 19th century and it still is one of locals’ favorite. You’ll find it in different sizes and with various fillings such as cream or jam.

The Danish pastry is called Wienerbrød in Denmark

Danish Butter Cookies

Are you familiar with the Royal Dansk blue tins that contain the Danish butter cookies? Vaniljekranse are very popular not only in Denmark but in other countries as well. Though you’ll find them in supermarkets and souvenir shops throughout the year, it’s a Danish tradition to bake the vanilla-flavoured cookies during Christmas. Due to their beautiful package, they are also a very common Christmas present and a souvenir gift.

The Danish Butter Cookies is a popular Christmas gift

Æbleskiver (Pancake Balls)

Æbleskiver translates to apple slices despite not tasting like apples at all. The pastry got its name from locals who originally included apples or applesauce in the recipe. Æbleskiver are a popular Christmas delicacy and it’s very common to eat them during the winter, particularly in December. They’re served accompanied with raspberry, strawberry, or blackberry jam and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Æbleskiver is a traditional Christmas delicacy

Drømmekage (Dream Cake)

Dream Cake (drømmekage) is a Danish sponge cake known for its extremely delicious caramelized coconut top layer. Drømmekage became widely known in the 1960s when Jytte Andersen a 13-year-old at the time girl made its grandmother’s cake recipe and won a cooking competition. It is still considered one of the must-try Danish pastries and it’s served in bakeries all over the country.

Danish dream cake


7 weeks before Easter Sunday, Danes celebrate Fastelavn which is the Danish carnival. On this day children in Denmark are dressed up in costumes, walk from door to door singing a traditional Danish song and ask neighbors to treat them Fastelavnsboller or other candies. Therefore, Danish women make sure to have prepared the cream-filled buns from the night before. Although it’s a tradition to make Fastelavnsboller on that day, you can find the creamy sweet rolls at bakeries throughout the whole year.


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