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Bendtsen's Bakery

3200 Washington Ave., Racine, WI - (262) 633-0365
Posted By Michael Stern on 7/17/2007 11:20:00 PM
Route 20 between I-94 and downtown Racine takes you past one of the premier kringle bakeries in town, therefore one of the best in America. Kringle is a pastry with Danish ancestry, but known on this continent only in and around Racine.

If you don’t know what one is, think of an ordinary Danish, like you have with morning coffee. Now, imagine its crust buttery and feather-light, almost like a croissant; and imagine it filled with a ribbon of pecan paste and chopped nuts, or a layer of almond macaroon paste, or a low tunnel of cherry and cheese. Picture it as a huge ring like a Christmas wreath, about a foot-and-a-half across and iced with sugar glaze or flavored frosting. Finally, imagine it served warm with butter melting on top, accompanied by a cup of coffee. There you have one of the great breakfast (or tea time) treats in America.

Bendtsen's is not a full service cafe, but there are some seats for customers to sit and eat pastries and drink coffee. This is a good thing, because we must warn you that kringle is not car food. It’s unwieldy (crumbles and oozes), and it really should be served warm and eaten with a fork. Nevertheless, we have been known to devour the better of two whole rings on the road between Racine and Chicago, leaving a hail of crumbs on the seat and floor of our vehicular dining room.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
kringle
Seven Sisters
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

A raspberry cheese kringle... ready to eat.
"A raspberry cheese kringle... ready to eat."
Cliff Strutz





A a slice of apricot kringle
"A a slice of apricot kringle"
Michael Stern


Seven Sisters ('smorkaka' in Danish) is named after the Seven Sisters of Pleiades in Greek mythology. It is like a super-duper kringle: thicker and filled with creamed almond filling and custard.
"Seven Sisters ('smorkaka' in Danish) is named after the Seven Sisters of Pleiades in Greek mythology. It is like a super-duper kringle: thicker and filled with creamed almond filling and custard."
Michael Stern


With such a large assortment of kringles on display, trying to decide which one to choose can be incredibly difficult.
"With such a large assortment of kringles on display, trying to decide which one to choose can be incredibly difficult."
Cliff Strutz


Here is how a kringle is wrapped.
"Here is how a kringle is wrapped."
Michael Stern


The menu board shows the flavors that Bendtsen's has available every day.  There are usually another dozen or so special flavors to choose from, also.
"The menu board shows the flavors that Bendtsen's has available every day. There are usually another dozen or so special flavors to choose from, also."
Cliff Strutz


Since kringles don't make ideal food to eat while driving, Bendtsen's small sitting area really comes in handy.
"Since kringles don't make ideal food to eat while driving, Bendtsen's small sitting area really comes in handy."
Cliff Strutz


Almost directly across the street from Larsen's -- another of Racine's top kringle sources -- Bendtsen's opened in 1934.
"Almost directly across the street from Larsen's -- another of Racine's top kringle sources -- Bendtsen's opened in 1934."
Michael Stern


Three generations of kringle makers put Bendtsen's on the map as a prime source for Racine's 'Danish ring of gold.'
"Three generations of kringle makers put Bendtsen's on the map as a prime source for Racine's 'Danish ring of gold.'"
Michael Stern



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