Wienerbrød - The Danish Pastries

 The Danish Pastries

Many people think of a "danish" as a type of iced donut with jelly in the middle, but in Denmark it is known as wienerbrød and they will have many varieties at the local konditori.

In 1850 Danish bakers went on strike, so the bakery owners hired foreign workers from Austria to replace them. The Austrians brought their own recipes, which became very popular, and when the strike ended the pastries continued to be made as "Vienna bread" or wienerbrød.

The base of wienerbrød is a dough rolled with butter in many thin layers making the finished pastry very light and airy. It can be shaped in many different ways and filled with marzipan or preserves or topped with nuts, seeds, or chocolate.

Here are some classic types
Wienerbrød - The Danish Pastries
clockwise from the top left are:
  • frøsnapper - a twisted pastry with poppy and sesame seeds
  • tebirkes - hollow with a smear of marzipan inside and poppy seeds on top
  • spandauer - with a lemon cream and almond centre
  • snegle - a spiral pastry topped with chocolate

Other types usually offered at konditori are:
  • hindbærsnitter - a sweet icing topped pastry filled with raspberry preserve
  • studenterbrød  - a chocolate square with icing and nonpareil (coloured sprinkles)
  • romkugler -  rum flavoured nonpareil crusted truffles
  • linser - a kind of mini tart
  • æblesnitter - apple filled turnover with nuts

Every neighbourhood will have a konditori where these and other pastries are available as well as various breads and cakes.
A kringle with a crown on top is the traditional sign of a konditori and dates back to the time of guilds in the 1500's.
Wienerbrød - The Danish Pastries Most bakeries have a small eating counter where you can enjoy your wienerbrød and coffee.

  Konditoriet that I like in Copenhagen:
  • Enghave Konditori - Enghave Plads 7 - in Vesterbrø
  • Johansen's Konditori - Amagerbrøgade 48-  in Amager
  • La Glace - Skoubogade 3 - downtown, Denmarks oldest
  • Reinh. van Hauen - Gammel Kongevej 177 - in Frederiksberg
  • Sø Konditoriet - Nørrebrogade 12 - in Nørrebro

Here is a short video about La Glace, Denmarks oldest konditori (in Danish)

Wienerbrød - The Danish Pastries

Wienerbrød - The Danish Pastries
La Glace - photo from

Wienerbrød - The Danish Pastries
cinnamon snegle

Wienerbrød - The Danish Pastries
æblesnitter at Johansen's

Wienerbrød - The Danish Pastries
linser at Johansen's

Wienerbrød - The Danish Pastries
pastries in the window

photo from

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Virginie M. said...

What a fun and informative post! I really enjoyed it!

Pierre said...

I love danish pastries thanks for the sharing!
I am Pierre Based in Paris France I have created my food blog dedicated to creative French food so feel free to have a visit you are very welcome !
cheers from Paris

Admin said...

I really enjoyed this post. This is Perfect this Christmas! Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas! :)

steve said...

Thanks Bea and Pierre! I hope to post again soon andmore often

Alisa said...

Thanks for sharing this!I love danish pastries and it's wonderful to know more about them from this post!

Gifts Basket Montreal said...

So it's basically an imported menu which became popular. I love Patries but I am afraid that's not available here.

I guess I can try at home if all the required making stuffs I get from the market.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the tebirke recipe, I have looked all over for one that works and will definitely be giving yours a try as the final result looks like it might taste right!
...and then I ended up here and am now drooling all over myself, I need kringler and studenterbrod and rumkugle back in my life!!!
Thank you for making a Dane stranded in the UK very hungry and happy x

Birgitte Tümmler said...

Wonderful page you have! I am danish, living in Brazil. When I found the recipes you posted, I simply travel back to my land! Beautifully described and showed. Congratulations.

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