Kleinur Icelandic doughnuts

Kleinur Icelandic doughnuts

Try chef Aggi Sverrisson's recipe for traditional Icelandic twisted doughnuts, also known as Kleinur. Deep fry your batter and dust with icing sugar
  • Preparation:
  • Cooking:
  • Total:
  • Serves: 60 persons



  1. Step 1

    Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix on a medium speed for 2 mins until light and fluffy. Mix the flour, baking powder, cardamom and ½ tsp of salt, and add to the butter. Beat together until combined – it will still be quite dry. Combine the lemon juice and milk in a jug then, with the paddle attachment going at a medium-low speed, gradually add the liquid to the dry until combined and just coming together.
  2. Step 2

    Lightly flour a worksurface. Remove the dough from the mixer and knead for 2-3 mins or until a soft dough forms. Flour the worksurface again and roll out the dough into a rough rectangle, approximately 4mm thick. Cut into strips roughly 5-6cm wide. Taking the first strip, slice a small diagonal piece from the top and bottom then continue to cut the strip into diamond-shaped pieces. Make a slit in the middle of each diamond using a sharp knife, tucking one end of the diamond through the hole to form a knot shape. Repeat with the remaining strips. Gather together any excess dough, briefly knead together and repeat the shaping process – you should end up with around 60 kleinurs. Discard any left-over dough, as over-kneading will result in tough kleinurs.
  3. Step 3

    In a deep, wide pan, heat around 700ml of oil (this might vary depending on the size of your pot) over a medium heat to 180C – a cube of bread should be golden after 15 seconds. Fry six or seven kleinur at a time, leaving for 1 min-1 min 30 seconds as they rise before flipping them over and cooking for a further minute or until deeply golden all over. Use a slotted spoon to put them on a wire rack set over kitchen paper to cool slightly, before transferring to a plate. Dust with icing sugar and serve. You can store the kleinur in an airtight container or plastic bag for one day or they can be frozen for up to a month.