The Seven Best Norwegian Christmas Cookies (+ Recipes) (2024)

Growing up I spent most of my Christmases in Norway, but even when we stayed in the US for Christmas my Norwegian mother of course had us baking lots of Norwegian Christmas cookies. So I guess that means I’m biased, but I really do think Norway has some of the best Christmas cookies in the world.

Traditionally Norwegians make seven types of cookies each Christmas, and if that sounds like a lot of work, it is. But the fun part is that every family chooses which seven they want to bake, so then when we exchange with friends and colleagues we can end up with thirty different kinds of cookies! It’s okay, we need a bit of fat on our bones to survive these cold temperatures.

This means that over the years I’ve done a lot of research into the best Norwegian Christmas cookies. And based on all that research, here are my seven Norwegian Christmas cookies – with recipes, because you’re definitely going to want to make these this Christmas:

And don’t forget to get some festive cookie tins to store your Norwegian Christmas cookies in!

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Table of Contents

Sandnøtter | Sand cookies

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Sandnøtter, or sand cookies, are a simple shortbread cookie, but they’re actually my favorite Norwegian Christmas cookie! Though I remember my Aunt Hege making a bunch of different Norwegian Christmas cookies for her American friends in the US one year and saying that the sandnøtterwere the least favorite amongst her friends, so maybe they don’t appeal to everyone? I still think they’re the best.

Serinakaker are a similar Norwegian Christmas cookie, usually topped with almonds, as well as vaniljekranser (vanilla wreath cookies), which are made with a mix of all purpose and almond flour. But my favorite of the bunch are sandnøtter.

There are a lot of slightly different versions of sandnøtter, but the best are with lemon zest! I adapted thissandnøtter recipe (it’s the third recipe on the page), which is nice and lemony. It’s in Norwegian, but I’ve shared my adaptation in English onmy Norwegian food blog here. The recipe also includes a video, so you can see exactly how I make them.

These Norwegian sandnøtter are made with potato starch, so they also happen to be gluten free Christmas cookies!

Risboller | Chocolate puffed rice balls

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I decided to makerisboller this year for the first time in a long time. My Aunt Hege always makes these, and as a child they were my favorite Norwegian Christmas cookies. They’re no bake Christmas cookies, which also makes them great Christmas cookies to make with kids!

Most Norwegian recipes for risboller include raw eggs, but since a lot of you are American and raw eggs are not always safe to eat in the US, I created a version of risboller without eggs. And I actually think this is my favorite risboller recipe now! They’re so easy to make, but they taste quite unique and always get so many compliments.

I’ve shared my risboller recipe without egg, including a video, on my Scandinavian food blog here.

Mandelflarn | Almond lace cookies

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My grandmother always included mandelflarn, or almond lace cookies, in her Christmas cookie boxes, and they are so delicious. I decided to make them this year even though I remember them being really difficult. But it turns out they’re super easy – the only difficult part is shaping them into cylinders, which my grandmother always insisted on, but I sometimes skip that step and enjoy the flat cookies just as much.

I used this mandelflarn recipe in Norwegian. Make sure you only use a small teaspoon of dough per cookie, and give them lots of space on the baking sheet to spread out. Oh and keep an eye on them in the oven, as they burn quickly. The recipe said to bake for seven minutes, but mine were done in five!

I’ve translated the recipe to English and filmed an instructional video of how to make them on my Scandinavian food blog here.


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Norwegian krumkaker (the plural of krumkake is krumkaker) are so delicious, and actually a lot easier to make than you might expect.

You will need a special krumkake iron and wooden roller for these, which I agree is not ideal if you’re short on storage, as krumkake irons can really only be used to make krumkaker. But the good news is that krumkaker are so tasty you could absolutely make them year round to really get your iron’s worth.

My mom likes to form krumkaker into little cups by cooling them over a glass or cup and then she serves them with a scoop of ice cream inside! They have a beautiful pattern stamped into them from the iron, making for a quite unique and very Norwegian dessert.

I’ve shared my krumkaker recipe, including a helpful video, on my Scandinavian food blog here.

Sarah Bernhardt cookies

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Sarah Bernardt cookies are technically Danish, and named after a French actress, but they’re beloved in Christmas cookie boxes here in Norway.

These are one of my absolute favorite Christmas cookies and well worth the multiple steps in the recipe.

I’ve shared my Sarah Bernhardt cookie recipe along with a video on my Norwegian food blog here.

I’ve also shared a recipe for an alternative version of Sarah Bernhardt cookies with yellow cream (they’re SO good) here, if you prefer a slightly salty rather than chocolate center. They’re like mini, chocolate covered success cakes.

The Seven Best Norwegian Christmas Cookies (+ Recipes) (7)

Fattigmann | Poor man’s cookies

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I’m not usually a fan of fried sweets, but fattigmann are so nostalgic I have to make them every Christmas. These date back to the Middle Ages and since they’re cooked on a stove, people without ovens could make them. They’re called poor man’s cookies because they’re made with historically expensive ingredients like butter, flour, and cream, so after making them you’ll be poor. I guess they’re also a metaphor for Christmas.

I’ve shared my fattigmann recipe in English and filmed an instructional video of how to make them on my Scandinavian food blog here.


Smultringer are basically an extra delicious old fashioned donut. I always buy these in the grocery store instead of making them from scratch, but my grandmother’s neighbor always used to make these so I do know that the homemade ones are even tastier. I would use this Norwegian recipe for smultringer. Here’s my translation:

Norwegian smultringer recipe

  • 5 eggs

  • 400 grams (2 cups) sugar

  • ½ dl (3 tablespoons)butter

  • 1 ½ dl (9 tablespoons) heavy cream

  • 1 ½ dl (9 tablespoons) cultured milk or kefir

  • ½ teaspoon Horn salt (can be substituted with ½ teaspoon baking powder)

  • 4 teaspoons baking soda

  • 2 teaspoons groundcardamom

  • 750 grams (6 cups) flour, plus plenty of extra for your counter

  • 1 ½ kilos (3 pounds) lard for frying

The smultringer will be easier to fry if you leave the dough overnight in the fridge.

1. Beat the eggs and sugar until stiff. Whisk the heavy cream until fully whipped and mix it into the egg mixture. Add cultured milk or kefir. Sift in the corn salt, baking soda, cardamom and most of the flour. Add the butter and stir everything together into a dough. Leave dough in the fridge until the next day.

2. Roll out the dough approx.1 cm thick on a floured baking sheet.Use plenty of flour on the baking sheet as the dough is quite loose and sticky. You can knead a little flour into the dough before you bake it.Cut out rings with a donut cutter. Dip the donut cutter in flour between each time you roll out a new donut so the dough doesn’tstick.Leave the smultringer in the fridge until they are ready to be cooked.

3. Heat the lard in a pot, preferably an iron pot. Dip a wooden stick (or end of wooden spoon) into the pot to check if the lard is hot enough. If it bubbles around the stick, it is ready for cooking. Fry the smultringer golden brown on both sides. Carefully remove them with the stick and let them drain on paper towels. Make sure that the lard maintains an even temperature throughout cooking. Be sure to dispose of the lard properly after it has cooled.

Bonus: Kransekake

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Kransekake, or “wreath cake,” is made of 18 almond rings stacked on top of each other. I guess it’s considered a cake, but really it is more like a bunch of almond cookies, so I’m including it as a bonus on this list. Norwegians make kransekake for various celebrations throughout the year, including Christmas, New Year’s Eve, weddings, and the 17th of May.

You can find my kransekake recipe here.

Bonus 2: Vepsebol

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I had never hadvepsebol before, but last year my friend Vanessa decided to make them for our Christmas together and they were so good that I’m including them as another bonus cookie to add to my Christmas seven (or eight).

One thing I learned about these last year is that you really need an electric mixer for these because wow, beating meringue is not easy. At least after that workout I was strong enough to carry my Christmas tree downstairs in January.

Vanessa used this vepsebol recipe, but she made them with a mixture of almonds and hazelnuts, which was extra delicious. We couldn’t get the eggs quite stiff enough while beating by hand, so we baked them in cupcake forms so they would keep their shape.

Norwegian vepsebol Christmas cookies recipe

  • whites of 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
  • 125 grams (generous 1/2 cup) superfine sugar (regular granulated is also ok)
  • 125 grams (3/4 cup) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 125 grams (3/4 cup) almonds, finely chopped (can also use half almonds and half hazelnuts)

1.Preheat oven to 170°C hot air (340°F).

2. Whisk the egg whites until thick in a bowl. It’s best to use a glass or metal bowl, because a plastic bowl may have small residues of oil which can make it difficult to get the egg whites stiff enough.

3. Mix the vanilla sugar and sugar, and gradually add them to the egg whites, while whipping at medium speed. Continue beating the egg whites until you have a stiff and glossy meringue.

4. Carefully fold the almonds and chocolate into the meringue using a spatula. Be sure not to stir more than necessary.

5. Spread small peaks of meringue on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

6. Bake for 18 minutes. Be careful not to over bake, as the meringue will harden. Cool on a rack.Store in a cookie tin.

Does your family make seven Norwegian cookies for Christmas? I’d love to know which ones!

The Seven Best Norwegian Christmas Cookies (+ Recipes) (2024)


What are the 7 types of Norwegian cookies? ›

Though preferences vary from family, the cookies most likely to be on the svy slags lineup were sirupsnipper (syrup diamonds), Berlinerkranser (Berlin wreaths), sandkaker (tart-shaped cookies), krumkaker (delicate cone-shaped cookies),smultringer (little donuts), goro (a rectangular biscuit made on a decorative iron), ...

What is the most popular cookie in Norway? ›

Favorite Norwegian Cookie Survey Results
  • 74.54% – Krumkaker / Krumkake / Norwegian cone cookies (1,300)
  • 4.24% – Fattigmann / Poor man's cookies (74)
  • 3.84% – Sandkaker / Sandbakkels (67)
  • 3.1% – Rosetter / Rosettes (54)
  • 3.1% – Smultringer / Doughnuts (54)
  • 2.98% – Kransekake / Almond ring cake (52)
Jan 12, 2023

What is the least popular Christmas cookie? ›

On the naughty list of cookies, Americans gave the lowest win records to anise cookies, which only won 29% of its matchups.

What do Norwegians eat at Christmas? ›

We Norwegians are serious about our Christmas traditions. Here are some of the most common dishes during the holiday. Roasted pork belly, usually served with sauerkraut and boiled potatoes, Christmas sausages, meatballs, and gravy. Salted, dried, and sometimes smoked lamb ribs.

What is the Norwegian tradition of seven cookies? ›

Sju sorters kakor (Norwegian: syv slags kaker), "seven kinds of cookies", is a Swedish and Norwegian tradition where hosts typically prepare seven different kinds of cookies for their guests.

What is the most famous dessert in Norway? ›

Skolebrød (School Bread)

Perhaps one of Norway's most famous desserts is skolebrød, or “school bread,” also called skoleboller, or school buns. What is this? Skoleboller are made with a light cardamom dough, filled with vanilla custard in the center, and then coated in icing and dipped in shredded coconut.

What sweets is Norway famous for? ›

Norwegian desserts
SerinakakerAlmond-flavored butter cookies with sliced almonds and pearled sugar on top
SkolebrødBuns filled with custard and topped with powdered sugar
SmultringTraditional Norwegian doughnut
Spice cakeMoist cake spiced with various flavorings, usually cinnamon or allspice
54 more rows

What is the best selling chocolate in Norway? ›

Freia is Norway's most famous chocolate brand, and their creamy, sweet, milk chocolate Melkesjokolade is the most popular chocolate in Norway, featuring the tagline, "A little piece of Norway."

Which Christmas cookies last the longest? ›

Shortbread cookies and spritz cookies are real holiday troopers, lasting a bit longer than the rest. These buttery and crumbly cookies are a great option for a holiday cookie. Shortbread is known for its rich flavor, while spritz cookies are often made with a cookie press.

What is Santa Claus's favorite cookie? ›

Chocolate Chip cookies

Santa himself lists these as his favorites, and he prefers them soft and gooey with lots of chocolate chips. If you decide to leave these out for him, make sure there's a glass of cold milk nearby!

What is the most eaten cookie in the world? ›

Oreo is the best-selling cookie in the world. It is now sold in over 100 countries. Oreo was first produced in 1912 by the National Biscuit Company, now known as Na-Bis-Co.

What is the #1 cookie in the United States? ›

The chocolate chip cookie is far and away America's favorite cookie This should come as no surprise to anyone who enjoys the tasty treat. More than 53% of American adults prefer the cookies over the next most popular kind, peanut butter.

What is the 1 cookie in the US? ›

America's favorite cookie and the one dubbed “the American cookie” is the Chocolate chip cookie.

What are the 6 basic types of cookies? ›

  • Bar Cookies. Baked in shallow pan and then cut into bars or squares. ...
  • Drop Cookies. Made from soft dough dropped onto a cookie sheet. ...
  • Rolled Cookies. Made from stiff chilled dough cut into different shapes with cookie cutters. ...
  • Molded Cookies. Shaped by hand. ...
  • Refrigerator Cookies. ...
  • Pressed Cookies.

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