Danish Coffee Ring

A Rich Danish Pastry

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Six to eight


Appears in

Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer

Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1969

  • About

Would you believe that you can make Danish pastry of an excellence equal to the famed Wienerbrød of Copenhagen and infinitely better than that commonly found in the United States? With this authentic Danish recipe, it is easier than making pie.


  • 3 to 4 cups flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 cup; 1 stick) butter
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 egg yolks (save whites for another purpose)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped unsalted nuts (pecans, walnuts, or blanched almonds)


  1. Place a flour sifter inside a large mixing bowl and add 3 cups of flour, ¼ cup of the sugar, and the salt. Sift the mixture into the mixing bowl. Add the remaining flour to the sifter and set it aside, perhaps on a sheet of waxed paper.

  2. Add the butter to the mixing bowl. Work the butter with a pastry blender or quickly with the fingers until the mixture has the feel or look of coarse corn meal.

  3. Heat the milk in a saucepan but do not let it boil; do not even let it simmer. The milk should be just a little warmer than lukewarm. (If a few drops of the milk are applied to the inside of the wrist they will feel warm but not hot.) Take the saucepan away from the heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of the remaining sugar and the yeast. Stir until the yeast and sugar are dissolved. Add the cream.

  4. Place the 3 egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Beat with a wire whisk until light and lemon-colored. Stir the yolks into the cream mixture.

  5. Pour the liquid into the flour mixture and stir. Mix all together with the fingers and hands. If the mixture seems too sticky, sift in more flour, a little at a time, until the mixture forms a soft dough. Shape the dough into a ball.

  6. Rub a mixing bowl with oil or butter and add the ball of dough. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

  7. In the morning, take the dough from the refrigerator and let dough stand for 20 minutes. Using a knife, cut the dough in half. With the hands, squeeze, press, and with a floured rolling pin, roll half of the dough into a long strip. Repeat this with the other half of the dough. Twist the strips around each other and make a circle by bringing the ends together. Brush the ends with a little water and neatly press together to join them.

  8. Oil or butter a baking sheet lightly and place the ring of dough on it.

  9. Let the ring stand at room temperature for about 45 minutes or until it is double in bulk.

  10. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  11. Beat the whole egg lightly and, using a pastry brush, brush the pastry ring with the egg. Sprinkle the ring with the remaining sugar and the chopped nuts.

  12. Place the ring in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden-brown and cooked through. Let cool almost to room temperature before serving. Serve, if desired, with butter and marmalade or other jellies and preserves.