THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY
Watkins, the Minnesota-based company whose gourmet spices and baking ingredients have been used in kitchens since 1868. Watkins Extracts & Organic Spices are extremely high quality, seriously flavorful, & they’re crafted free of artificial ingredients – my long-time go-to, especially during the holiday baking season! All thoughts & opinions are my own.
A Beloved Breakfast Pastry, Made Even More Festive for the Holidays!
As a born-&-raised Wisconsinite, the mark of any special occasion throughout my childhood was kringle. This deliciously flaky, gloriously golden brown filled breakfast pastry will forever be one of my most beloved nostalgic treats! Spotting a kringle on Mom’s breakfast bar usually meant one of two things: either 1) my Wisconsin grandpa was visiting us (having a slice kringle with his morning coffee was his favorite) or 2) it was a holiday. And on the very best days, it meant both.
Inspired by childhood nostalgia & fond memories of belly laughs at the breakfast table with Grandpa, this Christmas Kringle is the ultimate holiday treat! It gives the classic kringles of my childhood an extra-festive update with…
- 2 seriously good fillings! After all, why choose between a cream cheese kringle & raspberry kringle when you can have both?! This Christmas kringle is layered with vanilla cream cheese & a homemade spiced raspberry jam laced with the festive warmth of cinnamon, ginger, & nutmeg.
- puff pastry! Rather than using homemade Danish dough, this recipe leans on good ol’ store-bought puff pastry to create buttery, flaky layers without any extra work.
- a festive star shape! While oval rings are the traditional shape of kringle, this version has a festive shape that makes it totally worthy of a spot on your holiday brunch table! (The inspiration for this update comes from the star breads that have gone viral in the past 3 years or so. My first encounter with this idea was through the delightful Zoë Francois.)
We’re sharing this puff pastry kringle recipe in partnership with Watkins, who I’m beyond thrilled to celebrate the holiday baking season with this year! I’m a longtime super-fan. Not only are they a Minnesota-based company with a legacy spanning over 150 years, I love Watkins because they’re just as obsessed with quality as I am. Crafted with flavor in mind, all of Watkins’ products are free of artificial ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup & dyes. Watkins Organic Original Gourmet Baking Vanilla & Watkins Organic Spices layer this Christmas kringle with the kind of rich, warm flavor that makes you think of the holidays, & while it’s a seriously special & impressive breakfast treat, it’s really easy to throw together!
A total Christmas-morning must-have! ♡ Read on to learn more about this Raspberry Christmas Kringle, or jump straight to the recipe & get baking!
First Thing’s First – What is a Kringle?
What is kringle? Kringle is a traditional Danish filled pastry. Starting with a dough that is light & buttery, with tons of flaky layers – much like the buttery dough used in famous French laminated pastries – kringle is typically stuffed with nut or fruit fillings, formed into a large oval ring, & finished with a sticky-sweet glaze. It is so good!
Origins of kringle. While the origins of traditional Danish kringle date back to the 12th century, the American-style kringle we know & love here in the States is attributed to Danish immigrants who settled in southeast Wisconsin in the 1800s. So, while it’s a global pastry with a very rich history, kringle is particularly special to Wisconsinites. We love kringle so much it was declared the Wisconsin State Pastry & the “Kringle Capital of the World” is our very own Racine, WI.
What’s Christmas Kringle, then? Drawing inspiration from the classic kringle of my childhood, this Christmas Kringle is amped up on every level. Layered with spiced raspberry jam & cream cheese fillings & shaped into a festive holiday star, this easy-to-make puff pastry kringle is the perfect extra-festive addition to any special occasion brunch – especially Christmas morning breakfast!
Christmas Kringle Key Ingredients
This Christmas kringle consists of 4 key components – puff pastry dough, spiced raspberry jam, cream cheese filling, & a simple icing. While each component requires a little bit of hands-on work, they’re all made with very simple baking staple ingredients that you probably already have on hand during the holidays!
Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.
- Puff pastry – This raspberry kringle star is made with 2 sheets of prepared puff pastry. In my opinion, this is an instance in which store-bought options are just as good as homemade! It’s the easiest timesaving shortcut, eliminating the hassle of preparing Danish pastry dough from scratch, with deliciously flaky & golden results every single time.
- Cream cheese – It’s not a Danish without cream cheese filling! For best results, use full-fat cream cheese.
- Fresh raspberries – The raspberry kringle filling is a quick homemade jam made with fresh raspberries. It’s so simple to make, with a ridiculously delicious payoff in flavor.
- Vanilla – Laces both the spiced raspberry jam & cream cheese filling with aromatic & natural caramelly sweetness. I am obsessed with using Watkins Organic Original Gourmet Baking Vanilla in all of my baked treats. Formulated specifically for baking, cooking, & freezing, it retains delicious flavor that doesn’t lose its flavor at high or low temperatures. Plus, it’s Organic Certified & made with no artificial flavors or colors!
- Spices – The holiday spice trifecta of organic ground ginger, cinnamon, & nutmeg infuse the raspberry filling with the kind of spiced warmth that makes it feel like the holidays. I use Watkins Organic Spices, which are seriously fragrant & boldly flavored. Learn more about Watkins below!
- Sugar – Granulated sugar lightly sweetens both the spiced raspberry jam & cream cheese filling, while confectioner’s sugar creates a perfect simple icing.
- Egg – A simple egg wash creates the most perfect glossy & golden finish for your puff pastry kringle.
How to Make a Puff Pastry Kringle Star
While it’s a seriously special & impressive breakfast treat – worthy of any holiday brunch spread, for sure! – the really nice thing about this Christmas kringle is that it’s much easier to throw together than you’d ever guess! There are a few components involved, but they’re all very straight-forward to prepare & make-ahead friendly.
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
Prepare the kringle fillings. For the spiced raspberry jam, simply heat raspberries with a little lemon juice & sugar until they’re totally softened, then fold in Watkins Organic Spices & a little cornstarch to tighten it all up. For an extra-smooth seedless jam, you can pass your raspberries through a fine mesh sieve. For the cream cheese filling, simply fold a little sugar & Watkins Organic Original Gourmet Baking Vanilla into softened cream cheese until a smooth mixture forms – pretty easy! Make-Ahead Tip! ⇢ Both of these kringle fillings can be prepared up to 3 days in advance. Check the Recipe Notes, below, for more guidance!
Prep the puff pastry. Trim 2 sheets of puff pastry into uniform circles. To fill the kringle, gently spread the cream cheese filling into an even layer over one of the puff pastry circles, leaving a small border around the edge. Repeat, spreading the spiced raspberry jam over the cream cheese. Once the layers are complete, brush egg wash around the border, place the second puff pastry circle over top, & seal the edges shut.
Make the kringle star. This is where the magic happens! Place a small bowl in the center of the stuffed puff pastry circles. Working from the bowl to the edge of the pastry, slice the kringle into 16 strips. It’s helpful to start by creating quadrants, then dividing each quadrant into quadrants to ensure each strip is uniform. Twist 2 adjacent strips away from each other 2-3 times, then press the edges together to create a point. Repeat with the remaining strips until you have a star with 8 points.
Bake the puff pastry kringle & serve. Place the kringle in a 400 degree F oven & bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Tip! ⇢ Rotate the kringle halfway through to promote even browning.
Other Kringle Recipe Tips & FAQs
Christmas Kringle Serving Suggestions
How long does kringle keep?
While your Christmas kringle is best enjoyed fresh, leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Be sure to wrap it tight or store it in an airtight container to prevent drying. Enjoy the leftovers cold or reheat them in the microwave or oven until warmed through. Refer to the Recipe Notes, below, for more guidance!
Can I prep kringle the night before?
Yes – the beautiful thing about this Christmas kringle recipe is it’s incredibly make-ahead friendly, something I always appreciate in a Christmas morning breakfast pastry. Depending on how much prep you’d like to do in advance, there are a couple of different approaches to making your kringle ahead of time.
- Make-Ahead Kringle Option #1: A less prep-intensive approach, work on preparing the kringle components ahead of time (make the spiced raspberry jam, mix up the cream cheese filling, etc.). Assemble & bake on Christmas morning – a fun little baking project!
- Make-Ahead Kringle Option #2: Take care of more prep in advance by assembling the puff pastry kringle the night before. All you have to do on Christmas morning is preheat the oven & bake it off – all in all, pretty hands off! (This is my preferred make-ahead approach).
Refer to the Recipe Notes, below, for more guidance!
I can’t wait for you to try this Christmas Kringle! It’s an easy-to-make & extra festive breakfast pastry that I know you’ll absolutely love. If you do give it a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations!
Looking for more Christmas Morning inspiration? We’ve got you covered! Be sure to check out my famous Christmas Morning Cocoa, this Make-Ahead Eggs Benedict for a Crowd, or these incredible Chai Scones with Maple Chai Glaze next. ♡ Happy cooking!Print
This extra-festive Christmas Kringle is worthy of a spot on any holiday brunch menu! A puff pastry kringle filled with vanilla cream cheese & homemade spiced raspberry jam, shaped into a festive holiday star, & finished with a simple icing for the perfect kiss of sweetness – the only thing missing is a warm cup of coffee!
Make-ahead instructions included in the Recipe Notes, below.
- 2 sheets puff pastry (about 18 ounces total), homemade or thawed from frozen (see Recipe Notes)
- all-purpose flour, for dusting
- 1 large egg, whisked with 2 teaspoons water
- spiced raspberry jam (below)
- cream cheese filling (below)
- simple icing (below)
for the spiced raspberry jam:
- 6 ounces fresh raspberries
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 lemon, juiced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 teaspoon Watkins Organic Ground Ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon Watkins Organic Ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon Watkins Organic Ground Nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch, whisked with 2 teaspoons water
for the cream cheese filling:
- 3 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon Watkins Organic Original Gourmet Baking Vanilla
for the simple icing:
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk or heavy cream
- Soften the raspberries: Place the raspberries, sugar, & lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries are softened & broken down, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. For a smooth, seedless raspberry jam, carefully pass the berry mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. It’s helpful to work in batches, using a spatula or spoon to stir & press the berries through the sieve. Be sure to scrape any raspberries on the underside of the sieve into the bowl. Discard the seeds in the sieve.
- Prepare the spiced raspberry jam: Transfer the strained raspberry mixture back into the saucepan with Watkins Organic Ground Ginger, Organic Ground Cinnamon, & Organic Ground Nutmeg. Stir to combine, then return the pan to medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until simmering. Add the prepared cornstarch slurry, stirring until thickened slightly, 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat & allow to cool completely. Set aside to cool for immediate use, or transfer to an airtight container & store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Prepare the cream cheese filling: Add the softened cream cheese, sugar, & Watkins Organic Original Baking Vanilla to a medium bowl. Mix to combine well. Set aside for immediate use, or transfer to an airtight container & store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Prepare the puff pastry: Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper & set aside. Lightly dust a clean, sturdy work surface with flour. Carefully unfold 1 of the puff pastry sheets, lightly dusting it with flour. Use a rolling pin to gently roll out the puff pastry into an 12×12-inch square. Gently set a plate or bowl 11 inches in diameter in the center of the puff pastry. (If you do not have an 11-inch plate or bowl, you can draw out a template on parchment paper.) Using a pastry cutter or paring knife, trace around the plate or bowl, cutting the puff pastry into an 11-inch circle. Set aside & repeat with the remaining puff pastry sheet.
- Fill the puff pastry: Place the cream cheese filling in the center of the puff pastry. Leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge of the puff pastry circle, spread the cream cheese into a thin, even layer, about 1/8-inch thick – an offset spatula is really handy for spreading. Place the spiced raspberry jam over top, spreading it out over the cream cheese in a thin, even layer, about 1/8-inch thick, maintaining the 1/2-inch border around the edge. Lightly brush the egg wash around the 1/2-inch border. Place the second puff pastry circle over top. Working out from the center, press out any air bubbles then gently press down along the edges to seal.
- Create the puff pastry star: Place a small bowl or ramekin, roughly 3 inches in diameter, on the center of the filled puff pastry. Using a pastry cutter or a paring knife, create 4 quadrants from the edge of the bowl to the edge of the pastry. Repeat, slicing from the edge of the bowl to the edge of the pastry through the center of each quadrant, creating 8 sections. Repeat once more, slicing from the edge of the bowl to the edge of the pastry through the center of each eighth, resulting in 16 radial sections. Take 2 adjacent sections & twist them away from each other 2-3 times. Press the ends together & shape into a point. Repeat 7 times, creating a star with 8 points. Carefully slide the parchment paper onto a large baking sheet & set in the refrigerator to chill as the oven preheats.
- Preheat the oven: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, ensuring a rack is positioned in the center of the oven. Once preheated, remove the puff pastry star from the refrigerator. Lightly brush the egg wash over the surface of the star, taking care to avoid the exposed spiced raspberry jam & cream cheese filling.
- Bake the puff pastry star: Place the baking sheet in the oven & bake 25-30 minutes, rotating halfway through as desired to promote even browning. Remove from the oven & allow to cool slightly.
- Prepare the icing & serve: Meanwhile, as the puff pastry star bakes, prepare the icing. Combine the powdered sugar & milk in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine well. Set aside for immediate use, or transfer to an airtight container & store at room temperature for up to 3 days. Once the star is cooled slightly, drizzle or brush the prepared icing all over the surface. Enjoy immediately, with coffee, hot cocoa, & plenty of Christmas cheer. Merry Christmas!
- Puff pastry: While you can certainly make your own homemade puff pastry, in my opinion, it’s one of those instances where our store-bought options are just as good. Puff pastry is usually sold in the “dessert” freezer section of the grocery store, next to bread dough & pie crusts. The box I typically buy contains two 9-ounce sheets of pastry, perfect for this Christmas Kringle!
- Storage: This Christmas Kringle is best enjoyed fresh, though leftovers will keep, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days. Enjoy leftovers cold or reheat in the microwave or a 250 degree F oven until warmed through.
- Make-Ahead Christmas Kringle: If you’d like to do some prep work in advance to reduce active prep time required Christmas morning, there are 2 options:
- Option 1: Prepare components: Up to 3 days in advance, prepare the spiced raspberry jam (Steps 1-2, above), cream cheese filling (Step 3, above), &/or the simple icing (Step 9, above), storing as described in Recipe Directions (~20 minutes active prep). On Christmas morning, all you have to do is assemble & bake the puff pastry star according to Steps 4-8 (~20 minutes active prep). For best results, let the spiced raspberry jam & cream cheese filling come to room temperature prior to assembly.
- Option 2: Assemble the puff pastry star: Up to 1 day in advance, prepare & assemble the puff pastry star according to Steps 1-6 of Recipe Directions, above (~40 minutes active prep). Wrap the baking sheet with the assembled puff pastry star tightly in plastic & store in the refrigerator. On Christmas morning, simply bake & serve according to Steps 7-10 of Recipe Directions, above (<10 minutes active).
Recipe and Food Styling by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by Rachel Cook, Half Acre House.