Grandma Bjorn's Danish Krum Kager

As a young woman my Grandma, Ruth Bjorn, boarded a ship in Copenhagen, Denmark to start a new life in Canada with her husband Alfred and four children. She left behind parents, 12 siblings and innumerable friends and relations and didn't speak a lick of English.

Their Canadian life began in a tiny logging community in northern British Columbia, a place called Crescent Spur. They were befriended by a couple of Swedish families and others who worked at the lumber mill, strangers who became friends, helping the immigrant family learn English and the customs of their new homeland.

It was not an easy life with long, cold winters and a train the only way in and out of town. Grandpa worked long hours at the mill and out in the woods while Grandma ran the house, looked after six children and cooked for her family and the strays that always made their way into her kitchen.

When I was little my Dad, aunts and uncles would tell us stories of hockey games on the frozen river, the library that mailed them books to read, and the time my aunt requested a pound of Danish blue cheese for her birthday, took it to bed and had the entire thing eaten by morning. 

My earliest memories of Grandma are in her warm kitchen. They had a huge dining room table with a low shelf suspended between the legs. I would sit on that shelf for hours, hidden by the table cloth, listening to Grandma and the aunts talking in the kitchen or the grownups chatting around the table with their mugs of coffee.

Grandma didn't just cook good food, she made it beautiful! No dish ever reached the table without a garnish of some kind. Parsley sprinkled over boiled potatoes or mandarin orange segments artfully arranged atop a jello salad.

Grandma is in her 80's now. We have lost part of her to dementia, but we still have HER, and for that we are immensely grateful. She still cooks nearly every day, and always, ALWAYS has homemade cookies ready for whoever might drop by. She makes them in batches and freezes them in empty plastic ice cream buckets, ready to be served with her ever-present, ever-hot pot of coffee.

Last weekend one of my brothers was home so we went up to Grandpa and Grandma's house for a visit. They greeted us with hugs and beaming smiles of welcome then ushered us to the table, draped with Danish linens and set with small plates and coffee mugs ready for filling.

There in the middle was a plate of Danish Krum Kager, beautiful, delicate cookies made in a special press that imprints the dough with swirling, flowery patterns. Crisp, thin and delicious with a hint of spices and citrus, they are a wonderful accompaniment to strong coffee with cream.

I'll share two different Krum Kager recipes with you today, both of them made with a Krumkake Iron.

The first one is made with sweet cream, lemon zest, cinnamon and cardamom.

The second is a bit richer with whipping cream, buttermilk and nutmeg.

Both of them are delicious and freeze beautifully. If you like, while they're still warm drape them over a dowel to form a cone or taco shape, then fill with sweetened whipped cream and dust with cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom.

Krum Kager II
(From Julia Peterson Tufford's Original Scandinavian Recipes)

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
4 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
4 cups flour
1 cup sweet cream
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1/2 tsp cinnamon
10 crushed cardamom seeds

Cream butter and sugar, add well-beaten eggs and then the rest of the ingredients. Bake in Krumkake iron until golden brown.

Krum Kaka III
(From Julia Peterson Tufford's Original Scandinavian Recipes)

4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup whipping cream, whipped
1 cup melted butter
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 tsp soda
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Beat eggs well. Add sugar and butter. Fold in whipped cream. Add buttermilk and flour alternately. Mix in soda, vanilla and nutmeg. Bake in Krumkake iron until golden brown.


  1. The background history to this makes you so real. Those are beautiful cookies.

    I will send you that recipe. I have to break it down to smaller amounts. I make it nowadays in about 16 cup amounts. I want to make sure I remember the correct amount for a smaller quantity.

  2. Thank you, dear Chaya :-) I'm so glad!

    And thank you for sending the recipe! I'm so excited to try all sorts of things with it. :-)

  3. Great tribute to your grandma:)

    And great cookies too!

  4. Thank you, Karine! :-) She's such a luv :-)

  5. Thanks for a great post. It's a good read and very interesting recipe. Thanks for sharing.