Object: Cookie iron (Krumkake Iron) - UTSA Institute Of Texan Cultures (2024)

By Carrie Klein. Edited by Kathryn S. McCloud.

This object is a Norwegian krumkake iron. Not to be confused with crumb cake, this Norwegian cookie is pronounced kroom-kai-kuh, and means bent or curved cake. The plural is krumkaker. Krumkake is a traditional Norwegian Christmas cookie. Krumkaker are made from flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and cream. They look and taste very similar to waffle cones, and are made in a device that looks similar to a waffle iron.

Krumkake irons are decorative two-sided iron griddles, with intricate patterns that vary based on what region of Norway it’s from. Older irons were designed to be held and turned over an open fire, and had wooden handles to be able to turn them without getting burned. Newer versions are electric, and allow bakers to make more, in a shorter period of time.

Once the batter is poured onto the griddle, it’s baked to a light golden brown. While still hot, it’s rolled into small cones with the use of a conical rolling pin. Krumkaker can be filled with virtually anything- from whipped cream, to chocolate, to berries, or can just be sprinkled with powdered sugar.

It wasn’t until the 19th century that the term “Christmas cookie” became popular, possibly due to the fact that ovens became popular household appliances around that time. However, cookies in Norway were categorized as one of three types: those baked in an iron, those that were deep fried, and those baked in ovens. Cookies baked in irons- like krumkaker– can be traced back at least a thousand years.

In the pre-Christian Viking tradition, during the dark afternoons of the Winter Solstice, children would go from house to house looking for treats. Because Norway is so close to the North Pole, darkness came by 4 o’clock during the months of December and January.

Before Christmas began being celebrated in Norway, around 1000- 1100, Norwegians celebrated Jul (the English tweaked this to yule) a time to celebrate the last of the harvest, and a way to look forward to spring. It was a celebration of light manifested through the yule log thrown on the fire.

Norwegian Christmas is a celebration of more than a thousand years of beliefs and traditions, all tied together in a month-long celebration. The baking, the solstice, the celebration of light, and Christian faith, all come together for the holiday season.

Perhaps this explains why krumkake has endured. Today, it is a featured element in the tradition of “seven sorts,” which is a Norwegian holiday baking custom. Per tradition, seven traditional cookies are to be baked and served during the holidays. Although which cookies are included in the seven are disputed, krumkake is the most widely accepted, along with pepperkaker (gingerbread).

Norway’s holiday traditions are still honored by Norwegian immigrants and their descendants across the American mid-west, and communities in Texas. The krumkake is just one of many elements of Norwegian tradition that interlock the past and the present.

Object: Cookie iron (Krumkake Iron) - UTSA Institute Of Texan Cultures (2024)


What is a Krumkake iron used for? ›

Krumkake is a very thin Norwegian wafer cookie, served rolled into a cone shape. Batter is poured into the press and cooked with indirect heat by being placed on the accompanying stand. The krumkake iron sold well due in part to Minnesota's large Scandinavian population.

Why is krumkake important? ›

The baking, the solstice, the celebration of light, and Christian faith, all come together for the holiday season. Perhaps this explains why krumkake has endured. Today, it is a featured element in the tradition of “seven sorts,” which is a Norwegian holiday baking custom.

How hot is a Krumkake iron? ›

On my Krumkake Iron, I clocked the surface temperature anywhere between 330° Fahrenheit and 360°. My experience was that the hotter the iron was, the better.

What is krumkake Wikipedia? ›

Krumkake (Norwegian: [ˈkrʊ̀mˌkɑːkə]; meaning 'curved cake'; pl. : krumkaker) is a Norwegian waffle cookie made of flour, butter, eggs, sugar, and cream. A special decorative two-sided iron griddle similar to a waffle iron is traditionally used to bake the thin round cakes, similar to Italian pizzelle and cannoli.

What is the difference between a krumkake iron and pizzelle iron? ›

Like pizzelles, krumkaker are made using a specific iron... but once flattened, they are immediately rolled using a mold, per Taste of Home. This process differs from that of pizzelles, which come flat and ready off the iron.

How to heat a Krumkake iron? ›

To prepare iron for use: Place stove-top iron directly over medium heat on top of stove. Alternately heat both sides of the iron. If using an electric krumkake iron, pre-heat to medium setting. Iron is ready when a drop of water sprinkled inside sizzles.

What is a krumkake in English? ›

Krumkake, which means "curved cake," is a Norwegian waffle cookie that's shaped like a cone. The cookies are traditionally made using a decorative griddle with flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and milk or cream. Norwegian immigrants popularized krumkaker (plural) in New England and the American Midwest.

Why are peanut butter cookies marked with a fork? ›

These early recipes do not explain why the advice is given to use a fork, though. The reason is that peanut butter cookie dough is dense, and unpressed, each cookie will not cook evenly. Using a fork to press the dough is a convenience of tool; bakers can also use a cookie shovel (spatula).

Why do people put fork holes in sugar cookies? ›

You can use a fork or a dough docker to prick small holes all over the surface of the dough. By venting the steam, docking keeps the dough from billowing or heaving as it bakes. It's an important step for crisp cookies or that are baked all in a single sheet and not cut up until they come out of the oven.

How to clean a krumkake iron? ›

Wash iron in warm, soapy water, rinse and dry. Brush inside of plates lightly with butter or vegetable oil. Place assembled iron on stovetop over medium heat about 3-5 minutes. Wipe off excess grease with paper towel; iron is now ready to use.

Why is my krumkake sticking to the iron? ›

Additionally, lightly grease both sides of the iron before your first batter is placed. This will prevent the batter from sticking and ensure easy removal of the cookies. After the first krumkake, you should not have to regrease your iron due to the high butter content in the batter.

Why is my krumkake soggy? ›

Filling krumkake with whipped cream or some other delightful filling will eventually lead to sogginess over time. It's best to wait until the last minute to fill them if you want them to retain a crispy texture.

What is the history of krumkake cookies? ›

Krumkake is believed to be a 1,000-year-old recipe. They are beautifully coned shaped thin buttery cookies with delicate detail from the iron they are baked in. Norwegians have passed down their recipes for Krumkaker for generations.

What is the taste of Danish cookies? ›

Our Danish cookies taste just like the original European bakes from Denmark. Deliciously buttery, with just the right sweetness and crunch, this is a delicious festive gift for all your loved ones.

How to eat krumkake? ›

Krumkake, pronounced “kroom-ka-ka,” meaning “curved cake,” is a classic Norwegian waffle cookie. They should be crispy and simply flavored — and in my opinion, filled with good, homemade whipped cream. But you can eat them plain as well — or as a special ice cream cone!

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