• Sandkaker / Sandbakkelse

    Norwegian Christmas Cookies: Sandkaker / Sandbakkelse

    I never tire of seeing the variety of cakes and cookies in the Scandinavian tradition. With little more than butter, sugar, eggs, and flour, and often a scattering of spices, we can create an extensive assortment of treats. Sometimes elegant…

  • Pepperkaker

    Norwegian Christmas Cookies: Pepperkaker

    I returned home the other day and was surprised by the warmth and smell that greeted me. Cinnamon and cardamom, clove and ginger. Warm butter and sugar. The scents of baking. Earlier in the day I had made pepperkaker, but…

  • Berlinerkranser

    Norwegian Christmas Cookies: Berlinerkranser

    I grew up knowing the tradition by taste rather than by name. Syv slags kaker–or seven sorts of cookies. The way it goes, you wouldn’t be a proper Norwegian if you didn’t serve at least seven types of cookies at Christmastime. I…

  • Krumkaker

    Norwegian Christmas Baking: Krumkaker

    I still remember what it was like, cupping my hand under my mouth to catch the crumbs. Biting into a krumkake at my grandparents’ house at Christmastime, I knew that the cookie would inevitably shatter. I just had to be…

  • Kladdkaka

    My Favorite Kladdkaka (Swedish Fudgy Chocolate Cake)

    Life is full of reasons to celebrate, I’m convinced of that. It’s so easy to get caught up in the movement and the swiftness of the everyday. Sometimes—as a friend put it the other day—the monotony. But I’m trying to…

  • Scandinavian Cinnamon Rolls

    Scandinavian Cinnamon Rolls

    While the cloudless blue sky and wind-free warmth of August hardly seem like the start of a new season, in reality autumn will creep up surely in the coming weeks—subtly at first, then erupting into its crisp, fog-laden fullness. I’ve…

  • Norwegian Sunshine Cake (Solskinnskake)

    Lemon-Flecked Norwegian Sunshine Cake (Solskinnskake)

    My earliest memory is of the sun shining diagonally through the eastern-facing window of my nursery room. The door swings open as my mom steps through. I see it all through crib-slat lines, the geometric triangles of light and the vertical pillars of…

  • Norwegian Success Tart (Suksessterte)

    I think it’s time we bring back the recipe card. You know the ones I’m talking about, often with yellowing paper and the swooping script of someone held dear. I have a storage box full of hundreds that my grandma…

  • Bløtkake

    Norwegian Bløtkake with Strawberries and Cream

    When it comes to cake, I know two things for sure: A mediocre one is barely worth eating, and Scandinavia–especially Norway–boasts some of the best in the world. Take the classic Norwegian birthday and celebration cake, bløtkake–which translates roughly to wet…

  • Sviskegrøt

    Old-School Norwegian Prune Porridge (Sviskegrøt)

    I can’t help but feel like a detective or a historian when I go digging into traditional Scandinavian recipes, trying to find clues to help me understand my heritage and family history better. The way my story goes, my grandma–the…