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Nov 28, 2009 08:57 AM

Scandinavian Christmas dessert?

i'm doing a Scandinavian-inspired Christmas again, and would like help on a better dessert. The menu is gravlax with cucumber sorbet, mushroom consomme, ham with coffee-mustard sauce, Jansson's temptation, and red cabbage. I know the tradition is rice pudding with an almond hidden in it, but I hate rice pudding. Last year same menu, and I did a gingerbread trifle, which was fine but not exciting.

Any thoughts?

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  1. I don't know how exciting they are, but I've made both a cardamom pound cake and a Swedish apple cake several times, and they are both delicious. Let me know if you want recipes.

    2 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      Yes, I'd love those recipes. Thanks!

      1. re: katelynne

        Photo of the apple cake here:

        Link to Cardamom cake recipes:

        I'll type up the apple one for you later, and also take a look at Scandinavian Feasts, which I think will have some other good suggestions.

    2. The PBS Create network has two Scandinavian cooking shows, Perfect Day and New Scandinavian Cooking, that might inspire you. How about lingonberry pudding? Celebrichef Marcus Samuelsson must have some creative fusion desserts in his cookbook, and of course there's Beatrice Ojakangas.

      1 Reply
      1. re: greygarious

        My top choice right now is from Samuelsson's book, with glogg poached pears served with sauteed endive, walnuts, and blue cheese.

      2. I grew up with awesome krumkake, Danish pastry, and all kinds of Norwegian and Swedish cookies (think almond), and something that I recall must be the Scandinavian version of panna cotta (started with an M). She always served it with a berry sauce. A local restaurant does a cardamom panna cotta with blueberries that rocks.

        My mom's pastry was truly a thing of beauty in flavor and looks. Maybe scope Danish pastry type recipes out? Make sure your almond extract, butter and eggs are fab. And if you're brave, krumkake done on an old fashioned iron griddle are truly beautiful. They also tend to incur burns and small butter fires hehe. Some griddles make much prettier designs than others, I've noticed. I really respect the labor that goes into those cookies.

        What about a dried winter fruit soup? Or cherry fruit soup? I think those are traditional.

        I'm into much more adventurous flavor profiles, generally, but the desserts I grew up with were uniformly beautiful and rich. All about quality ingredients, since they were simple.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Vetter

          I heartily second the krumkake idea. I grew up with that too, and my grandmother's krumkake so beautiful. My mom tried all sorts of different ideas with it, and had so much fun with it too. Especially if you're going to do fillings, it was nice because you could do them ahead of time.

          1. re: Vetter

            I just made a batch of krumkake this morning to freeze for Christmas. I am SOOOO excited because history was made...for the first time EVER (in 20+ years of making them) I didn't have to throw away a single one...none stuck, none burned. I'm so excited, that I just had to share with Chow friends.

          2. You could make a Princess Cake, though I've never tried to do so. I think there maybe a thread here about it.


            1. I grew up around the corner from a Danish family and their bakery. Their nec plus ultra dessert for Christmas or other celebrations was a kransekage - a tower of rings of almond paste -based macaroon dough, decorated with drizzled-on hard white sugar icing and little paper Danish flags. It is apparently fairly difficult to make - you need a set of circular molds to make the rings and construction could be a bit iffy - I have never attempted to make one. It is however a beautiful thing to behold (and seasonal, since it is basically Christmas-tree shaped). They are available from online Danish bakeries in the Midwest, as is the world's best coffee cake for almond fanciers, the smorkage. But that would be cheating, wouldn't it?