A Christmas Tradition: Swedish Tea Ring

I think, next to celebrating the birth of Jesus, the thing I most look forward to about Christmas each year is the food. We’re spending the holiday this year with my husband’s family, and it will be full of Scandinavian culinary delight: lefse making, krumkake, a massive Christmas Eve feast, and of course, my mother-in-law’s Swedish tea ring on Christmas morning. I can think of no better accompaniment to gift-giving than a recording of the King’s College Choir, a cup of strong black coffee, and a slice of Swedish tea ring.

So it’s with much joy that I share the recipe with you. It’s easy to multiply and make a bunch; they are wonderful gifts, and freeze beautifully as well. They’re fantastic without icing, but if you’re feeling decadent, you can make a simple powdered sugar icing to drizzle over.


Tea Ring
1 envelope dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water, between 110 and 115 degrees
1 cup heavy cream
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
3 1/3 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature, plus extra for brushing

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Dissolve yeast in warm water with 1 teaspoon sugar. Let proof 10 minutes. In a small bowl, mix cream, Eagle Brand, & egg yolks. Stir in yeast mixture.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, & salt. Cut in butter until crumblike. Stir in yeast mixture. Spread dough with a light film of butter and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or up to 4 days.

Combine brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon and pecans to make filling. Knead the dough a few times and roll out to a 24 x 20 rectangle. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with filling. Roll up like a jelly roll, join ends and seal. Slit down to first layer of filling every 2 inches. Let rise 1 hour, until double. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Can be re-warmed in the microwave, or in a 300 oven for 5-7 minutes.

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