Christmas food with sugar-browned potatoes and duck

Traditional Danish Christmas dishes in the Top of Denmark

Many of the traditional Danish Christmas dishes used to be foods for parties many years ago. They were fine dishes served at special occasions or festivals. Usually one of the best pigs was slaughtered for Christmas in order to keep plenty of meat for the festivals and parties during Christmas. Here you find the recipes for some of the traditional Christmas dishes from North Jutland and the Top of Denmark.


The dish Krystkål is an old speciality from North Jutland that is still served today to many of the rich dishes with pork. Krystkål has other names in other parts of Denmark.

How to cook Krystkål

Chop a head of cabbage coarsely and cook in lightly salted water for about 1 hour. Cool off the cooking pot. Poor the boiling water off. Take a handful of the cabbage and wring out the water. Chop the watered-down cabbage balls coarsely with a knife - or if you want finely chopped cabbage, use a mincer.

Add the cabbage to a stewpan with a spoonful of spiced fat. Warm up the cabbage and add some whipping cream, but not more than enough to give the cabbage the consistency of firm minced meat. Add salt and white pepper to taste.

The cabbage is served with sugar and cinnamon what makes many foreigners suspicious, but once tried this is tradition.

In some families the cabbage dish is called "Christmas cabbage"; partly because the dish is only served at Christmas and because it is served with sugar and cinnamon. Also serve with rye bread and brawn or cabbage sausages with moustard.


Fulling is a Christmas dish from North Jutland on the West coast and was traditionally served on Christmas morning and New Year's morning. There are many varieties of the fullings roast as it is called but this is still served - however not in the morning. Fulling consists of 3 main ingredients: meat, pancake and sauce.

How to cook Fulling

Pancake: (1 pan - ca. 4 persons)

5 egg yolks

1 tablespoon sugar

2 cup of flour

1 teaspoonful of baking soda

about 1 cup milk

5 egg whites

Stir the egg yolks a little with sugar. Baking soda, salt and flour is mixed and added to the egg yolks mixture and stir together with milk. Mix the egg whites and put these gently in. Put margarine on the pan and bake the dough at low warmth. When half baked, turn it on a pot lid and bake until done.

The pancake is about 4-5 cm thick when done. While baking the pancake, the meat is cooked. Most people use a the neck roast and roast it in due time before Christmas and freeze it. When Christmas comes, you thaw the roast out, cut it in not too thick slices and fry on a pan in lard.

Once the two things are ready, the sauce is prepared in the pan used for the meat. It consists of lard and golden syrup heated up together. It is difficult to name the volumes but about 1/4 of lard and 3/4 syrup. Now the dish is ready.

Æbleflæsk (apples with bacon)

Æbleflæsk is a nice dish that unites the sweet-sour taste with the fatness of the pork in the best way. Use slices of fresh pork available in all supermarkets.

How to cook æbleflæsk

Fresh pork in slices (bacon slices - number decide yourself)

Slightly sour, medium sized apples (2 apples per slice of bacon)

1 coarsely chopped onion




Peel apples and cut them in large pieces. Brown the bacon slices in a dry stewpan. Add onion and apple pieces to the meat with a little bit of water. Put a lid on the pot and cook the dish over a low heat. Add salt, pepper and some cinnamon to taste. Once the dish has the consistency of lumpy, thick stewed apples, it is done. Serve the dish smoking hot with rye bread.

Æbleskiver in the year 1710

The Christmas dish æbleskiver is known from the Middle Ages when they were made from apples slices in dough and fried on a pan. From the beginning of the 1700s the dish was made in special frying pans for æbleskive. The dish æbleskiver was used as party food, e.g. for shrovetide or as a sweet dessert.

How to cook æbleskiver

½ kilo flour

5 eggs

2 tablespoonful sweet wine, e.g. port

1/4 package of yeast

about 1 decilitre cream

Apples cut in small pieces

Beat together flour, eggs and wine. Stir the yeast in some lukewarm water and stir it in the dough. Warm up the cream and pour it in a couple of times. The dough must be running, but a little thick in consistency. Put the dough in the pan and put a little piece of apple in each apple slice before it is turned. The most easy way to turn the slices is with a thin knitting needle.

Serve hot directly from the pan with the sort of jam that you like best.

Old-fashioned brawn

When Christmas comes in Denmark, brawns appear in all stores. The brawn is a very old-fashioned brawn that goes back to the Middle Ages in king Valdemar Sejr's time. The meat in the brawn is among other things from the head and the shank. The meat was boiled, cut and put together. Afterwards the soup was cooked and poured over the meat. Once the soup was cold, it stiffened and the brawn was preserved well. The brawn is still a big part of a traditional Christmas lunch.

Not many people cook their own brawn today, they often buy it at the butcher's.



(French: Riz á l'amande = "rice with almond") is a rice dessert.

Few things are as sacred as the Risalamande in Denmark. It is prepared in one way only, and it must taste exactly the same every year. Some Danes swear by vanilla essence and chopped almonds, others call this sacrilege. Some like the dessert with lots of whipped cream and others with more rice. No matter how it is prepared, risalamande is the traditional dessert for Christmas Eve in most Danish homes. According to tradition one whole almond must be in the prepared portion. The person finding the almond wins a gift. In homes with children cheating is often allowed by putting a whole almond in the children's portions. At least so goes the rumour. This keeps the Christmas spirits.

How to prepare the dessert risalamande

Ingredients (6 persons)

Rice pudding

3 dl water

180 g pudding rice (ca. 2½ dl)

1 liter milk

100 g blanched almonds

2 vanilla pods - the grains

4 tablespoonful sugar

1/4 litre whipped cream 38%


1 portion warm red berry sauce or cherry sauce

Boil water and rice in a pot. Cook the rice at even heat and while stirring in about 2 min. Add milk and cook the pudding at even heating, still stirring for about 10 min. Put on the lid and cook for about ½ hour - stir once in a while. Put the pudding in the refrigerator until cold - until next day.

Put one whole almond aside and chop the rest. Mix together the rice pudding, vanilla grains, sugar and the chopped almonds. Whip the cream and turn gently in the pudding with the whole almond. Put the dessert in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Taste.

Source: Arla - Karolines Køkken

Sugar-browned potatoes

(accompaniments for 4 persons)


85 g sugar (ca. 1 dl)

25 g butter

1 kg peeled, cold, small, firm potatoes

Spread the sugar in an even layer on a cold pan (ca. 21 cm in diameter). Melt the sugar without stirring - start with heavy heating for 2 min. and continue with even heating. Add butter and turn up the heating. Put the potatoes in a colander and spray with cold water. Brown the potatoes at heavy heating for about 6 min. Turn the potatoes gently. Add a little bit of water if the potatoes begin to dry.

Source: Arla - Karolines Køkken

Share this page

Traditional Christmas foods

Find recipes for the following traditional Christmas dishes.





Old-fashioned brawn


Sugar-browned potatoes

Rice pudding

In the past pudding was a very common dish. Normally it was cooked with water, but for festivals it was cooked with milk - as Danes do today with rice pudding. It was also tradition to start the Christmas dinner with a portion of pudding. This tradition is not common anymore, however the Danish royal family still does this.

Summer in the top of denmark

Summer in the Top of Denmark

Summer in the top of Denmark is a wonderful season where you can enjoy lots of events and activities.