9 Classic Norwegian Desserts You Should Know

Scandinavian Sweets to Make at Home

Norwegian Krumkake Cookie
The Spruce

"Veldig deilig" means very delicious in Norwegian, and we're sure that's just what you'll say when you taste these very special, traditional Norwegian desserts that are wonderful for enjoying at any time of year, but especially during the Christmas season. We've gathered up classic recipes for our favorite Norwegian cookies, cakes, breads, and pastries, including an insanely delicious coconut-dipped, vanilla-filled sweet bun that kids will love.

  • 01 of 09

    Norwegian Christmas Bread (Julekake)

    Norwegian Christmas Bread (Julekake)

    The Spruce/Viktoriya Stoeva

    Unlike traditional British fruitcake, which is often made weeks in advance of Christmas Eve, this Norwegian holiday bread can be made in a single afternoon. The classic recipe provided here produces two lovely loaves filled with the candied fruits that are popular at holiday time. Enjoy it warm as a treat or snack, spreading with a pat of salted butter.

  • 02 of 09

    Poor Man Cookies (Fattigman)

    Poor Man Cookies (Fattigman)

    Kari Diehl

    Fattigman, or Norwegian "poor man" cookies, are fried quickly in hot oil, instead of baked on an elegant cookie iron as are other cookies from the region, which is the reason for their unfancy name. Make no mistake, though, these diamond-shaped cookies are deliciously sweet and full of special ingredients, including superfine sugar, heavy cream, and optional cognac or brandy. Nibble on a few while you trim the Christmas tree, or arrange them in pretty tins for gift-giving.

  • 03 of 09

    Norwegian Krumkake Cookies

    Norwegian Krumkake Cookie
    The Spruce

    Norwegian krumkake (pronounced kroom-ka-ka) are fragile, sugary, rolled waffle cookies traditionally enjoyed in Norway at holiday time. They are made using a krumkake iron, which is similar to a waffle iron, and imprints the cookies with their signature beautiful pattern. Make them for cookie swaps or your holiday table, storing in tightly-sealed containers to retain their crispness.

  • 04 of 09

    Norwegian Ring Cake (Kransekake)

    Norwegian Ring Cake (Kransekake)

    Gunnar Bothner-By/Flickr/CC By 2.0

    Ring cake, or kransekaka, is the signature, splendid, tall flourless cake of Norway enjoyed at all types of celebrations, from weddings to baby showers. It is gluten-free, as it is made with ground almonds instead of wheat flour. The cake is baked in concentric rings that are layered to form a tower, with heavenly almond paste holding the whole thing together, for a show-stopping appearance.

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  • 05 of 09

    Norwegian School Bread Dessert (Skolebrød)

    Norwegian School Bread Dessert (Skolebrød)

    Ole Husby/Flickr CC 2.0

    Norwegian school bread is more like a filled donut than a bread, which explains its popularity as a lunchbox treat for Scandinavian children. Sweet, yeasty dough is formed into buns, filled with smooth, creamy vanilla pudding, and baked until golden-brown. These are glazed with sugar, and dipped into sweetened shredded coconut. Don't let the kids eat them all!

  • 06 of 09

    Norwegian Butter Cookies (Berlinerkranser)

    Norwegian Butter Cookies (Berlinerkranser)

    The Spruce/Teena Agnel

    Despite the fact that the name "Berlinerkranser" means Berlin wreaths, these heavenly butter cookies are a beloved Norwegian treat that are ideal for holiday gifting. While similar to Danish butter cookies, this classic Norwegian recipe uses hard-boiled egg yolks for its batter, instead of raw egg yolks, resulting in cookies with a more tender, crumbly texture.

  • 07 of 09

    Scandinavian Almond Cake

    Scandinavian Almond Cake

    Carin Krasner/Getty Images

    Bake this popular Scandinavian-American cake for potluck parties, holiday dessert swaps, or when hosting friends for brunch. It is easy to bake in a loaf pan or cake pan, and uses common baking ingredients, with almond extract adding a wonderful fragrance. Sprinkle toasted almonds into the prepared cake pan before pouring in the batter for wonderful richness and texture in every slice. Top with powdered sugar for serving.

  • 08 of 09

    Scandinavian Rosette Cookies

    Scandinavian Rosette Cookies

    Wikimedia Commons/Flickr/CC By 3.0

    You don't have to be Norwegian to enjoy these delicate, crispy, fried-in-oil, vanilla-scented rosette cookies. All you need are a few basic baking ingredients, a rosette iron, and the patience to learn how to use it to make this traditional favorite holiday treat. Sprinkle them with cinnamon and powdered sugar to serve immediately, or freeze the fried, undecorated cookies up to two months, sealing them in an airtight plastic bag.

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  • 09 of 09

    Scandinavian Sweet Soup

    Scandinavian Sweet Soup

    Brett Stevens/Getty Images

    Sweet soups made with dried fruits, tapioca, and warming spices are popular across Scandinavia, where they are served warm in winter, and chilled in summer. Enjoy Norwegian-style sweet soup for dessert with this easy recipe which needs only a handful of ingredients, plus water, and less than 30 minutes to cook. Feel free to to experiment with the types of dried fruit used, depending on what ingredients you have on-hand.