Vital State-istics: Wisconsin’s Official Pastry, the Kringle

By Emma Pankratz
Staff Writer

You may have heard of the light, buttery “kringle”—a thin, oval-shaped pastry treat with flaky crust and fruit or nut filling. But did you know that the kringle is the official Wisconsin state pastry?

This tasty pastry has held the title since 2013—surprising when you consider that Wisconsinites have been baking kringles since the mid-1800s. A tradition brought over by Danish immigrants, some bakeries still use the decades-old recipes inherited from their ancestors.

All over Wisconsin there are dedicated bakers keeping Wisconsin history alive in the most delicious way possible—check out these spots for guaranteed gooey, flaky goodness.  

O&H Danish Bakery – Racine

One of the many hot spots for kringle in Racine, the “Kringle Capital of the World,” O&H has three locations in Racine (Washington, Douglas and Durand avenues), one in Oak Creek and one in Sturtevant offering a delectable array of flavors and themes to suit all your needs.

With seasonal kringles like the Valentine’s Day kringle, birthday kringle and Packers kringle as well as a “kringle-of the month” club, O&H has it down to a science. This popular local spot also does custom order cakes for events as well as other Danish favorites like Danish crown cake, layer cake and coffee cake.

If (for some strange reason) you’re not in the mood for kringle, stop by for their tasty donuts, soup or sandwiches.   

Lehmann’s Bakery – Racine

The oldest continually operating bakery in Racine, Lehmann’s has been crafting indulgent kringles from scratch for more than 80 years. You'll find a second location in Sturtevant.

Bakers spend a three-day period producing more than 140 melt-in-your-mouth layers for the flaky crust of each kringle, working tirelessly to keep the Danish tradition alive.

Lehmann’s offers more than 30 different kringle flavors to choose from as well as a variety of other classic pastries and coffee drinks at their cafe. Either order online or stop in their store—you won’t regret it!

Bendtsen’s Bakery – Racine

Still family owned, Bendtsen’s has the same location they started out with back in 1934! Ben Bendstsen, whose grandfather originally started the bakery, inherited the family business from his father, and has since stuck with tradition.

Using the same hand rolling technique and family recipe year after year, Bendtsen’s bakers achieve a perfectly thin, flaky crust on their kringle. Their yummy kringle and unique family history even earned a feature on the Food Network.

And to round out your tour of Racine kringles, don’t forget to stop by Larsen’s Bakery.

Lane’s Bakery – Madison

If you’re traveling in central Wisconsin never fear, kringle is still near! Lane’s Bakery is one of the only places to find genuine kringle in the area, and you don’t want to miss out on this taste of Madison.

After a brief hiatus, the popular bakery has reopened with a makeover and new menu items, but has kept the delectable cakes, cookies, kringle and other baked goods that locals love. With a low-priced menu with 25 flavors of kringle to choose from, along with delicious seasonal flavors, you can’t go wrong.

Uncle Mike’s Bake Shoppe – Green Bay area

You won’t see bakers at Uncle Mike’s Bake Shoppe cranking out any O-shaped pastries—they stand by the pretzel shape, the original Danish way.

Located in the Green Bay area with a location in De Pere and another shop in Suamico, Uncle Mike’s has collectively won more than 100 awards for their baked goods and cake decorating. They officially have bragging rights to the “Best Kringle in North America,” taking home the top prize for their sea salt caramel pecan kringle at the North American Kringle Competition in 2014.

So if you’re ever in Packers’ country, you’ve got no excuse—stop by and see how northern Wisconsin does kringle!

Bonus Tip

If you’re looking for a different way to get your kringle fix, Death’s Door Distillery in Middleton has you covered—they make a signature kringle liqueur! The rich, buttery flavor of their popular Kringle Cream goes perfectly with coffee, hot chocolate or a sweet, mudslide-like cocktail.


Can't get enough Wisconsin pastries? Check out the state's top doughnut shops

This entry was posted in Other Specialty Foods