Swedish Tea Rings are a delightful holiday confection filled with a raisin filling and topped with an almond glaze, nuts, and cherries.
Once upon a time, Ty and I lived in a town known as “Little Sweden” where we worked and lived at a rather large Bed & Breakfast named The Swedish Country Inn. It had once been a hotel, but was transformed into a lovely Swedish-American B&B, complete with a full Swedish breakfast.
The B&B sold these sweet treats all year long, and there were often special orders made for businesses, luncheons, and family dinners. Everyone knew The Swedish Country Inn was the place to get the best Swedish Tea Rings in town.
Swedish Tea Rings were one of the many perks of living in Lindsborg, KS and enjoying a rich Swedish heritage while we attended college there.
While in school on a music scholarship, I sang in the annual Easter weekend performances of Handel’s Messiah.
Perhaps that is why I began to associate Swedish Tea Rings with Resurrection Sunday. The yummy raisin filling, the delectable almond glaze, the special maraschino cherries dotting the top of a perfectly baked bread – it was something truly special after a long winter!
However it happened, I found often myself making this delightful dessert as part of our Easter holiday celebrations – much to the delight of my family!
Truth be told, Swedish Tea Rings are a wonderful addition to any holiday occasion! Many people like to have them for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. They make a wonderful treat for luncheons or church teas. I even chose to have a Swedish Tea Ring for my birthday one year!
Read about how we handle special food requests for our large family birthdays!
Tea Rings aren’t difficult to make, but they are a bit time intensive with the bread needing to rise twice and then rise again once formed into a ring. We typically start the dough in the morning and are popping it into the oven by mid-afternoon just in time for a lovely dessert after dinner.
It keeps really well, so you could make it several days ahead of a special occasion. Just seal it well to keep the air from drying out the dough.
Tea Rings can also be frozen once baked before glazing! That makes it truly the perfect holiday confection!
Swedish Tea Ring
- 1 package active dry yeast
- ¼ cup warm water
- ¼ cup milk, scalded
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup shortening (can use butter instead)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 4½ cups flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- ½ cup raisins
- 1/3 cup butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1½ tsp almond extract
- 2-4 tbsp hot water
- chopped walnuts and maraschino cherries, optional
- In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, scald milk. Then, add sugar, salt, and shortening to the warm milk. Cool mixture to lukewarm.
- To yeast in mixing bowl, add cooled milk mixture and 1½ cups of flour. Mix well.
- Add eggs and mix, Then, add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead until smooth and elastic.
- Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning dough to grease entire surface. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 hour). Punch down. Let rise again until doubled. (about 1 hour).
- Meanwhile, prepare the Raisin Filling.
- Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 9"x13" rectangle about ¼" thick. Spread each half with 1 Tbsp of softened butter and half of the Raisin Filling. Roll up lengthwise and carefully seal the long edge. Shape each dough roll into a ring with the seam side down, pinching the ends together to seal. Place on greased cookie sheet.
- With kitchen scissors, snip 2/3 of the way to the center at 1½" intervals. Let the rings rise until doubled.
- Bake in a preheated 375° oven for 20-25 minutes. When cool, drizzle with Almond Glaze and decorate with nuts and cherries, as desired.