18 Danish Christmas Food for the Holiday

Danish Christmas Food
Image credit: scandinaviastandard.com

Christmas is just around the corner, and we know that Danish Christmas food plays an important role in celebrating Christmas in Denmark.

Danes are known to love Christmas time, and it’s not difficult to see why! The family celebrates the holidays and decorates the house with Christmas lights.

Also, beautify the tree with colorful decorations, and gather around the dinner table to enjoy delicious food together.

Anyways, here is the list of Danish Christmas food you need to try this year! Are you ready to fill your Christmas table?

1. Risalamande (Cold Rice Pudding)

Risalamande (Danish for rice pudding) is a traditional Scandinavian dish that is typically served on Christmas Eve. It’s made by cooking long-grain rice in milk and sugar. Then, pour it into a large bowl and let it cool. 

Next, you whip up egg yolks with sugar, vanilla extract, and salt until they’re light and fluffy. Then you pour the egg mixture into the rice pudding while stirring constantly.

This makes this Danish Christmas food light and airy, thereby giving you all its freshness and sweetness.

2. Homemade Rolled Sausage

While this is a time-consuming recipe, it’s well worth the effort. Homemade rolled sausage is delicious, and the family will love it.

Also, it’s a great way to use up some of the leftover ham from your holiday dinner. The best part about making this Danish Christmas food is that you can customize it any way you like.

For example, you can add chopped onions and minced garlic for Italian-style sausage. You can also use fennel seeds for an Italian-Asian fusion dish.

3. Rugbrod (Whole Grain Bread)

Rugbrod is a Danish whole-grain bread. It’s typically cut into long slices and then buttered, but it has also been served with cheese, ham, or an omelet. Rugbrod can be found at every meal of the day.

In fact, below is the Rugbrod, a Danish Christmas food, in summary:

  1. Rugbrod (whole grain bread) is a traditional food item in Denmark, eaten by Danes at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  2. The best part about rugbrod (whole grain bread)? This hearty loaf tastes best when sliced into long pieces and spread with butter!
  3. Many rugbrod (whole grain bread), including rye, spelled, and wheat varieties.

4. Klatkager (Rice Pudding Pancakes)

Klatkager is a dish made of rice pudding pancakes and can be served for breakfast or dessert. The pancakes are usually enjoyed with jam, syrup, or powdered sugar. Klatkager is made from rice flour, sugar, salt, eggs, and milk. 

Moreso, they are cooked in a frying pan with butter or margarine until brown on both sides. It is not uncommon to see klatkager served with applesauce.

When rice pudding is still popular at Christmas, it might be topped with whipped cream instead of pancake batter. 

5. Risengrød (Rice Pudding)

A Danish Christmas food known as Risengrød is a traditional rice pudding made during the holidays. There are many different ways to make it, but it’s a very popular dish in Denmark.

All of the ingredients for risengrød go into the pot, and then you just have to stir it constantly until the rice has absorbed all the liquid.

Meanwhile, don’t let it boil, or your dessert will be hard. Once that’s done, let it sit for at least half an hour before serving. This is so that the pudding can firm up and soak in all of its flavors.

6. Danish Glögg

Danish glögg is a hot beverage usually served during the holiday season. It is a red wine mulled with sugar and spices, often containing raisins, almonds, cinnamon sticks, or cloves.

The drink is also called ‘glögg’ in Sweden and Norway, where it’s served cold and consumed as an apéritif. 

Furthermore, the word ‘glögg’ comes from the old Norse words gul meaning yellow (referring to the color of port wine), and öl, meaning ale or beer. Above all, it is likewise considered a sumptuous Danish Christmas food.

7. Dough Angel Wings (Klejner)

Dough angel wings are a traditional Danish Christmas food. They are deep-fried dough balls with a hole in the middle that you can fill with raspberry jam or custard.

This dalfodil-shaped pastry is served during Christmas and is one of the best Christmas desserts. Plus, these doughy delights are easy to make, don’t require much effort, and always turn out delicious.

The recipe for these doughy treasures only requires three ingredients: flour, sugar, and yeast, making them perfect for novice cooks! 

Mix the flour, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl until it forms a dough ball. Add those ingredients if you want your dough angel wings to be flavored with vanilla extract or lemon zest.

8. Danish Christmas Cookies

Danish cookies are a Danish Christmas food, a quintessential holiday treat. They come in many shapes and sizes, often with various flavors. However, some of the most traditional cookies are the Julekage (Christmas cake), Lefse, and Rosettes. 

Julekages are typically thin cookie wafers that have been iced and then decorated with figures made of icing or marzipan.

Lefse is a soft Norwegian flatbread that is usually served with butter, cinnamon sugar, or jam. Rosettes are delicious deep-fried dough balls dusted with powdered sugar or other toppings such as chocolate sprinkles.

9. Brunede Kartofler (Sugar Potatoes)

Similarly, Brunede kartofler is a traditional Danish Christmas food you need to try for the holidays. It’s a type of potato dish that has been around for centuries and is typically served as an appetizer.

The potatoes are peeled and boiled, then submerged in water with sugar and butter. Afterward, they’re fried until they’re crispy on the outside but soft in the middle.

They’re served with a brown sauce from butter, onions, garlic powder, flour, salt, and pepper. Or with savory sauces such as green peppercorn sauce or red wine sauce.

Brunede kartofler can be eaten hot or cold, which makes it perfect for holiday parties where guests may show up at different times.

10. Aebleflaesk (Apple Pork)

One stands out as a must-try among the many delicious foods served in the Julefrokost tradition. The aebleflaesk is a pastry filled with apple and pork and dusted with sugar on top. 

The best part? It tastes just like traditional Danish apple pie! But it’s a savory dish instead of a sweet one. And since apples are quintessentially Danish, you can’t go wrong by trying this dish at your next julefrokost or Christmas party!

11. Rodkal (Red Cabbage)

Rodkal is a type of red cabbage that is used in traditional Danish dishes. It can be boiled, baked, or fried. It is often served with rice, meat, and potatoes.

To prepare this Danish Christmas food:

  1. Boil the cabbage for about 20 minutes until tender. Then fry it for about five minutes in some butter or oil. Season with salt, pepper, and apple cider vinegar. 
  2. If you don’t want to fry the cabbage, bake it instead by sprinkling some olive oil over it. Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes until browned but still crisp on top. 
  3. A different way to make rodkal is by boiling it first, cooling and shredding it. Then mix equal parts of mayonnaise, grated horseradish, and sour cream, and add salt/pepper if needed. Mix well before serving (this dish tastes better after refrigerating overnight).

12. Fåsselår (Lamb Leg)

Fåsselår (lamb leg) is a traditional dish served at many celebrations in Denmark. It is a traditional dish for Easter, but it is also served as the main course on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. It can be served roasted or boiled.

Additionally, the lamb leg and the vegetables are typically boiled with other spices and herbs, such as bay leaves and thyme. Then, season with salt and pepper before being roasted in the oven for about an hour. 

Finally, it is garnished with chopped parsley, shallots, red currant jelly, or cranberry sauce. This Danish Christmas food, Fåsselår, can be prepared from November 1st until January 15th if you have access to fresh lamb legs.

13. Flæskesteg (Danish Roast Pork)

Flæskesteg is a traditional dish from the holiday season, and it’s usually cooked in a pan with potatoes, onions, and spices.

The pork can be browned in the oven or on the stovetop before being placed in an ovenproof pan. The ingredients are then covered with water or broth and slowly cooked until the meat is tender. 

Moreover, Flæskesteg has become a popular dish for modern holidays because it’s relatively easy to prepare yet still tastes delicious.

Easily one of the most popular national dishes, flæskesteg (Danish roast pork) is often served at parties and celebrations during the holiday season. It can either be roasted in an oven or browned on a skillet. 

Then put it into a casserole dish with vegetables, broth, and seasoning. If you’re looking for something more hearty than your typical Thanksgiving fare, this Danish Christmas food could be just what you’re after!

14. Ableskiver (Pancake Balls)

Ableskiver is a traditional Danish dish that is eaten mostly at Christmas time. They consist of small balls of pancake dough fried in oil or fat and served with powdered sugar, jam, or chocolate sauce.

The word ableskive literally translates to pancake ball, which is an accurate description of what these are. 

Moving on, they originated in Denmark during the 18th century when the country was under German occupation. Emperor Frederick II ordered the locals to make them for his troops.

It’s not uncommon for people in Denmark to have three ableskiver for breakfast on December 24th!

15. Ribbe

Ribbe is a dish that is traditionally served on Christmas Eve in Denmark. The recipe starts with the boneless pork loin cut into 1-inch pieces and seasoned with salt, pepper, sugar, and thyme. This mixture is then dredged in flour and fried until it browns. 

Next, it is simmered in beer, onion, butter, and cream for about an hour or until the pork becomes fork-tender.

It’s finished with a sprinkling of bread crumbs before being served as a main dish. Do you wish to try Danish Christmas food even before Christmas? There’s the Ribbe for you!

16. Frikadeller

Frikadeller is a traditional dish in Denmark. Ground pork, onions, salt, pepper, and white bread crumbs are the ingredients. The mixture is then shaped into small balls and baked in the oven until golden brown. 

Typically, Frikadeller is served with boiled potatoes, brown sauce (sauce Espagnole), and pickled red cabbage. Your taste buds are sure to be tingled by this delicious Danish Christmas food!

17. Liver pate

Think about a Danish Christmas food that serves as a main dish and, at the same time, a side dish and still nourishing.

Yes! The Liver pate! Liver pate or Leber is a dish made from liver, onions, butter, and flour. It is traditionally served with rye bread and sprinkled with caraway seeds. 

Also, Liver pates are a popular accompaniment to traditional dishes like open-faced sandwiches and frikadeller (meatballs).

Meanwhile, the word leber comes from the Latin word for liver, hepar, which in turn came from the Ancient Greek ἧπαρ (hêpar).

In Dutch, the word for liver is a lever. Liver pate can be prepared in various ways, including baking in an oven until firm or frying on low heat until crispy.

18. Fruitcake

Fruitcake is a traditional Danish Christmas food that dates back centuries. Often made with nuts, dried fruit, and spices like cinnamon and cloves, it’s typically served with a big slice of butter on top. The fruitcake can come in various shapes, sizes, and densities. 

In addition, some are light and fluffy, others dense, like a loaf of bread. It’s not uncommon for family members to buy the cake from the baker in town.

This is in view of the fact that then, they’re guaranteed it will be fresh for the holidays. Instead of something that has been sitting around for weeks or months waiting for someone to eat it.


Danish Christmas food is quite different from other countries, with many unique recipes and flavors you will not find anywhere else in the world.

From traditional Danish Christmas desserts like crispy rice balls to specialties like roast duck with red cabbage, these are some of the best Danish Christmas foods you need to try before you die!

Whether you’re planning your first Christmas dinner or your 10th, give one of these traditional dishes a shot! You’ll fall in love at first bite.

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