Kleinur are a very popular treat in Iceland and everyone just loves them. Icelanders eat tons of them, that’s not a joke. Where coffee is, there are kleinur too. And you can find coffee everywhere in Iceland.
You can hit on them in the whole Scandinavia. In Denmark and Sweden, they are eaten during Christmas time. A long time ago it was also an Icelandic habit, but now people eat kleinur all year round like a common, everyday pastry. Their popularity started to increase in XIX century.
There is something special about the Icelandic version of doughnuts. They have surprisingly unusual aroma. The secret is cardamom and a little bit of nutmeg added to kleinur’s dough.
You can buy kleinur in every supermarket and bakery packed in plastic bags, but we must tell you that a difference between them and these homemade is colossal. The best are still warm right away after frying or at least the same day. They don’t have a topping or filling, but trust us – nothing lacks.
Have a look at our original Icelandic fine art prints!
Kleinur from a package will be just tasty and soft, but homemade will surprise you with their fantastic crispy outside and wonderfully tender inside. Well, in our case the second option definitely wins. We guarantee that after one bite you will want another. Traditionally you don’t sprinkle them with powdered sugar, but we just couldn’t stop ourselves. When you are back home after your Icelandic adventure, and cooking is your thing, remember to make some for your family and friends. They will be thrilled to bits.
“Njóttu máltíðarinnar!” as Icelanders would say. Enjoy your meal!
- 600 g wheat flour
- 180 g sugar
- 180 g butter
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 package vanilla sugar (8 g)
- 4-5 grains cardamom
- nutmeg (just a bit, best if freshly grated)
- half teaspoon sea salt
- 2 eggs
- half cup milk
- 1 cup of sour milk/buttermilk (or plain yoghurt)
- frying oil
Sift flour, mix it with sugar, baking powder, soda and salt. Add nutmeg. Crush cardamom in a mortar and mix it with other ingredients. Add butter (cut into small pieces), eggs, milk and sour milk.
Knead it into soft dough, cover with aluminum foil, keep it in a fridge for about one hour.
Roll out the dough until fairly thin, something about 5 millimetres thick and then cut into strips 5-6 centimetres wide. Cut diagonally across the previous cuts to create the diamond shapes. Cut a tiny slit in the centre of each diamond and very gently pull one end through the slit, to make the twist.
Heat the frying oil (about 5-6 cm) in a pot. It must be very hot. Put raw kleinur into the oil and fry on each side for 1 to 1:30 minutes until they reach golden brown colour. Put them on a paper towel to get rid of the fat. Let them get cold a little and if you like, sprinkle them with powdered sugar.
Bite of tips:
Avoid over-kneading, as this can make kleinur tough. Dough shouldn’t be sticky, so if it is, add more flour.
How do you like it?