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Norwegian Tea Log

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1/2 cup warm whole milk
2 packages active dry yeast
4-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 eggs
1/2 cup dried currants
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup butter
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 to 6 tablespoons heavy cream

Norwegian Tea Log

The best recipe ever - ever! - is a special coffeecake made with a rich filling and browned butter frosting.

  • Serves 8
  • Medium

About This Recipe

This recipe for Norwegian Tea Log is my favorite recipe in the whole world. Period. There is nothing better than this yeast coffeecake, which is rich with a tender and flaky dough, a buttery brown sugar, nuts, and a browned butter frosting.

The original recipe was a Pillsbury Bake-Off recipe called Swedish Tea Log that was entered into the content in the 1960s. But since my heritage is from Norway, I renamed it. I also fiddled with the recipe, increasing the filling and frosting amounts. There is now an entire package of butter in this recipe. And it’s worth every drop.

We have this Norwegian Tea Log at every family celebration, from a wedding shower to Christmas breakfast to Easter breakfast or brunch. It is simply perfect. Once you have made it, you’ll never make another yeast coffeecake.

There’s nothing else to say! Go make this!

Tips for the best Norwegian Tea Log:

  • Make sure that you measure the flour by spooning the flour into the measuring cup. Do NOT dip the cup into the flour. Because of the way this recipe is made, you have to have the correct measurement from the start.
  • Mix the flour mixture and liquid just until they combine. Don’t overwork the dough; it doesn’t need kneading.
  • Take your time when assembling the coffeecakes. Roll the dough carefully but work fairly quickly so the dough stays cold.
  • You must chill the dough for the time specified. Don’t skip this step.

Why this recipe works:

  • The dough is unusual because it’s made like a traditional pie crust. Butter is cut into a yeast and flour mixture, then liquid is added to form a dough. This technique makes a flaky dough that is tender. Don’t overwork the dough once it has formed.
  • The filling is rich but not liquid, which means the dough stays flaky and doesn’t get soggy as it bakes.
  • And the frosting is sublime because it starts with brown butter, which has much more flavor than plain old melted butter. Have patience while the butter browns. It will seem that it will never happen, then all of a sudden brown areas will appear in the butter. Watch it carefully and don’t leave the stove or you will risk burning it, which means you’ll have to start over.

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Put the warm milk into a small bowl and add the yeast. Stir and let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes until it starts bubbling.


Put the flour, granulated sugar, and salt into a large bowl and stir. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in 1 cup of the butter (the butter should be cold for this step) until the particles are fine.


Stir 1/2 cup cream, the eggs, the softened yeast mixture, and the currants into the flour mixture. Mix just until the ingredients are combined. You want the butter to stay cold and in pieces so the finished coffeecake has a flaky texture. Cover the bowl and chill for at least 2 hours. I chill it in the fridge overnight.


When you're ready to bake the coffeecakes, make the filling. Combine 1/2 cup butter and the brown sugar until smooth. Add the pecans.


Now you're ready to shape the coffeecakes. Divide the dough in half, then divide each half into thirds. Roll out each on a floured surface to a 6" x 12" rectangle.


Divide the pecan filling among the dough pieces. Carefully spread the filling (I find this is easiest with my fingers) over the dough. Roll up each piece, starting with the long side. Pinch the dough edges to seal.


Now put the rolls on cookie sheets. I put three on each sheet. Curve them to form a crescent and make sure the seam side is down.


Now cut each crescent into 12 pieces on the outside edge, cutting to within 1/2" of the inside edge of each crescent. In other words, you are cutting into the dough without cutting through to the other side. All of the cut pieces will remain attached to each other. Now turn the cut pieces on their sides. Twist them so the filling is visible.


Cover the coffeecakes with a clean towel and let rise for for about 45 minutes.


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the coffeecakes for 20 to 25 minutes or until they are golden brown. Carefully, using two spatulas for each, remove the coffeecakes to a wire rack.


Now make the frosting. Put 1/2 cup butter into a heavy saucepan over low heat. Let the butter brown. You'll hear a lot of sputtering. Swirl the pan from time to time. Watch carefully as the sputtering sounds start to stop. When the butter is light brown, remove the saucepan from the heat.


Beat the powdered sugar, vanilla, and enough cream to make a nice spreading consistency into the browned butter. Frost the cooled coffeecakes. And devour!


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 54 books (53 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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