Rachel Allen visited Today with Maura and Dáithí to share her Granny's Icelandic Kleinur recipe.

These are light and puffy donut-like knots that are enjoyed as a snack in Iceland with a cup of coffee or cold glass of milk. My Amma used to make them as my grandfather loved them and now Scarlett regularly asks me to make them for her. You could make half the dough if you wish, and use just half an egg.

Makes: 30-35


  • 300g flour
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • Three quarters of a tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Half tsp freshly ground seeds from green cardamom pods
  • 50g butter
  • 175ml natural yoghurt
  • 1 egg


  1. Place the flour in a mixing bowl and add in the caster sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and the ground cardamom seeds.
  2. Cut the butter into cubes and rub it in to the dry ingredients. Place the yoghurt and the egg in a separate bowl and whisk well together. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well to form a ball of dough, kneading it lightly to bring it together.
  3. Roll it in a bit of flour and place the ball of dough, slightly flattened, in a plastic bag or covered with cling film, in the fridge for half an hour. Meanwhile heat oil (such as sunflower oil) in a deep fry or in a saucepan to 180’C.
  4. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll till it is about 3mm thick. You'll need to regularly dust it on top and underneath with flour to stop it sticking. It should be about 45cm square. Trim the edges and cut the dough into strips about 6cm wide, then cut the strips diagonally into diamonds, so that the diamonds are approximately 12cm long.
  5. Take each diamond and cut a line, approx 3 or 4cm long down the centre of each diamond, then bring one end of the diamond, tuck it through the hole and bring it out the other side. Now you have the Icelandic Kleinur twist.
  6. Repeat with the rest, leaving them to sit on a floured worktop while waiting to be cooked. Cook a few at a time, they'll brown quite quickly, turn them over and cook on the other side. As soon as they're a rich golden brown, quickly lift them out of the oil and drain in kitchen paper.
  7. They are not normally dusted with sugar, however if you wish to give them a sugar-coating then sprinkle them with sugar as soon as they come out of the oil, or cinnamon sugar as my grandfather used to enjoy. Serve with coffee or a cold glass of milk.