In the United States, the breakfast pastry known as a “danish” usually refers to puff pastry dough with some type of custard or filling on top. Growing up in California, I had been to a town called Solvang several times, where Danish settlers had come and established this little home away from home. (see previous posts: https://justcallmequeen.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/solvang-bakeries/ ; https://justcallmequeen.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/solvang/). But I have always wondered, what do “danishes” actually look like in Denmark??
Last week, I had a chance to visit Copenhagen in Denmark and figure out what “danishes” really should be. I started first at Andersen’s Bakery, which is actually bakery chain that can even be found in San Francisco. But I found quite a selection to choose from inside, more so than the shop back home. Thankfully, they had “mini pastries and so I got one of each:
What we would refer to as “danishes” are seen on the left part of the box. In Denmark, they are known as Spandauer. They can have custard in the middle or a fruit preserve. Here, they have cherry, rhubarb, and raspberry fillings. They taste similar to ones I have had in the US but fresher. I liked that the frosting or sugar did not overpower the pastry here, which they are known to do in the US. The two swirly pastries you see, which almost look like cinnamon rolls, are Kanelsnegls. From the name, I guess that is what inspired the “snail” pastries we know in the US. Unlike our snails, it is taller and not made of puff pastry or a yeast dough, but a firmer bread dough. There is cinnamon, sugar, and nuts in the swirl and you can choose what type of frosting you want on top. Here, chocolate, maple, and vanilla were options for frosting flavors, but the minis only came in chocolate and maple. And lastly, the poppyseed pastry in the back is a puff pastry with a light layer of marzipan inside. Not mad and for some reason, even though it’s a chain, tasted different from what I can get in the US.
Another chain coffeeshop and bakery in Copenhagen is Lagkagehuset. They have a pretty good selection of pastries as well but only full sized versions. Their Kanelsnegls came in chocolate and vanilla:
The dough here was more like a puff pastry and both had the cinnamon, sugar, and nuts swirled inside. I liked this more than the one at Andersens. But overall, I preferred this pastry, the Tryksnegl, to the Kanelsnegl:
It’s got a cream cheese based dough with a dollop of vanilla and chocolate frosting on top. I really liked the tart dough against the cinnamon and sugar. There are no nuts in this one and should be eaten right away.
This is their Spandauer:
This is a lot more like what I am used to the US. That being said, this is the best danish I have ever had! The puff pastry was fresh and airy. The raspberry preserves were delicious and there was just the right amount of frosting on top so that it’s not overly sweet.
My last stop was at La Glace, the oldest bakery in Copenhagen. While they had the snegls and the spandaurs, I wanted to branch out a bit. Commonly found in Danish bakeries are long strips of a baked pastry that are cut up into the rectangular pieces to go. This is a slice of pastry dough baked with hazelnuts, vanilla cream, and raspberry preserves:
Next, a marzipan filled tea cake with chocolate on top:
You can get a similar cake with rum or orange flavored frosting on top as well. But, I thought the chocolate was perfect. The cake is delicate and baked into a pastry crust. The chocolate against the almond was yum – like an almond joy!
And lastly, this is a seeded pastry with a cinnamon-sugar mixture inside.
La Glace also gives you a reusable bag to go:
From the breakfast buffet at my hotel, they had these spandauers and snegls to choose from:
So, there you have – Danishes in Denmark!