Good whole grain bread (4 breads)

Soak in 1 liter (1 quart) water overnight Mix all this with soaked grains and

Mix together to a loose dough. Let rise until doubled in size. Grease four bread pans (1,5 liters/3 pints each), divide the dough in four and put it into the pans. Let rise again for about 30 minutes.

Bake on the lowest shelf at 200 degrees C (390 F) for one hour.

Tip: Try substituting whole grain flour for some of the white flour. If you can't get whole grain rye, use only wheat instead.
If the dough is worked in an electric mixer before rising, the breads will be less loose and less prone to falling apart, but this is not necessary.

Easy whole wheat bread (3 breads)

Mix everything together. Dissolve 100 grams live yeast in 1,5 liter (appr. 3 pints) lukewarm water or milk, add the flour mixture.

Pour the dough into three grease bread tins, put them into cold oven (middle shelf) and turn the oven to 100 deg. C (210 F). After one hour turn the oven to 200 deg. C (390 F) and bake for 45 minutes.

Chocolate truffles

(after Kay Hartman's recipe on

Chop 450 g (12 ounces) chocolate and process in food processor until finely chopped. Bring cream to a boil and add cream to the chocolate (keep the food processor running) until the chocolate is all melted and the cream fully incorporated. Leave food processor running and add the liqueur. (The more liqueur you use, the better the truffles get, but the more difficult they will be to shape.) Chill the chocolate mixture completely.

Roll chocolate mixture into balls with your hands, use powdered sugar on your hands to minimize the mess. Chill the balls completely.

Melt the rest of the chocolate and cool until about room temperature. Dip each truffle ball in the melted chocolate and refrigerate them again. Dust the cooled truffles with cocoa powder if desired.

Store the truffles in the refrigerator, but take them out and keep them in room temperature an hour before serving.

Sour cream/apple cake


Beat sugar and butter until white and fluffy, mix in the egg. Mix together flours and baking powder and mix everything gently together. Cover bottom and sides of a round cake tin with the dough. Core apples and cut them in wedges, spread evenly over the dough. Beat sour cream until stiff, beat in egg and sugar and pour mixture over fruit.

Bake on lower oven shelf at 180 deg C (350 F) for about 30 minutes.

Øyvind's yummy cake

Beat sugar and butter until white and fluffy. Mix in eggs and flour. Chop chocolate and add to batter. Pour into greased cake tin, bake at 175 deg C (350 F) for 50 - 55 minutes.

Cheesecake with lingonberry and white chocolate

This one is glorious, and looks very impressive, too!

Mix first 6 ingredients in a pan and simmer for 8-10 minutes until mixtures starts to thicken sligtly. Process mixture in a blender until smooth, pour it through a sieve into a bowl and cool.

Set oven to 230 deg C (450 F). Melt white chocolate slowly and let it cool somewhat. Beat cream cheese with sugar, add one egg at a time while you continue beating, add melted chocolate last. Pour half of cheese mixture into a 23 cm (10 inch) round cake tin, pour half of lingonberry mixture onto it and use a sharp knife to make a marbled pattern. Add rest of cheese mixture and then rest of berry mixture, and use a knife again to make a pattern. Bake cake for 10 minutes, turn down oven to 120 deg C (250 F) and bake for a further 40 minutes. [I baked it for 60 minutes and the cake was still not firm when served the next day; I will try 80-90 minutes the next time.] Run a knife around the cake to loosen it from the tin to avoid cracking, and cool in the tin until next day.

Banana brownies

This is a fairly "healthy" type of cake which goes great with a cup of good coffee (or a glass of cold milk!).

Mash the bananas and mix with sugar and vanilla. Mix cocoa powder with milk and add this to the banana mixture. Lightly beat the eggs and mix thoroughly with the cocoa-banana mixture. Mix flour, oat bran and baking powder (and spices, if using) and add this to the rest. Pour batter into greased, round cake tin and bake at 180 C for 40 minutes or until baked through. Cool cake in tin for 10 minutes before removing from tin and cooling completely on rack. Can be decorated by sifting confectioner's sugar on top before serving.

Banana cake

Moist and delicious banana cake. The recipe can be doubled and baked in a large breadpan.

Beat eggs and sugar until white and fluffy. Mash bananas and mix in. Add melted butter and milk. Mix dry ingredients together and sift into the batter. Pour batter in greased cake tin and bake at 175 C for about 45 minutes.

Turid's brownies with nutty topping

I got this delicious recipe from a woman named Turid on a Norwegian cooking newsgroup.

Melt butter and chocolate, add sugar, eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Mix in the flour and pour batter in small breadpan (appr. 33 x 23 centimeters).

Topping: Melt butter and add brown sugar. Mix in eggs and vanilla, and finally the chopped walnuts. Spread topping over the batter.

Bake cake at 175 C for appr. 45 minutes. It should be moist in the middle. Cool and cut into small pieces.

Can be frozen.

Granny's carrot cake

My maternal grandmother gave me this recipe.

Beat eggs and sugar until white and fluffy. Mix in all other ingredients. Pour into greased baking tin, bake at 190 C for appr. 40 minutes.


Melt cream and cheese in double boiler. Mix in sugar. Spread icing on cooled cake.

Easy, dark chocolate cake

Mix everything together - fast and easily done in an electric mixer. (Probably the best order is to first beat butter and sugar, then add eggs and fluids, and then all dry ingredients.) Pour batter into a small breadpan and bake at 180 deg C (350 F) for about 35 minutes at lowest oven shelf. Cool. (Depending on the size of the breadpan, it might be necessary to bake cake for longer or shorter - test for doneness with a knife or similar.)


Mix together all ingredients. Cut cake in two (across the middle, not in two layers!), put one piece on top of the other with a thick layer of filling in between. Spread the rest of the filling evenly over the cake. Decorate as desired.

Success cake

This is a Norwegian variety of the famous Sans Rival cake which is very popular. It's very rich and goes a long way. It keeps well and can also be frozen.

Cake layers:

Beat egg whites and sugar until stiff (this takes quite a while). Mix almonds and meringue mixture. Divide batter between to identically sized cake tins (about 26-27 centimeters across) or draw two circles on parchment papers and spread the batter on these. Bake at 175 C for about 15 minutes (watch closely, they should turn slightly golden, but not brown). Loosen them from the paper while still warm. Cool on a rack.

Egg cream:

Mix egg yolks, sugar and cream in a saucepan. Heat over very low heat, stirring (almost) constantly until it thickens. This takes at least 40 minutes. Do not boil! Let cool slightly. Mix in butter and let the whole mixture cool.

Chocolate icing:

Melt everything in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until homogenous. Cool until thick enough to spread on cake.

Assembling cake:

Spread somewhat more than half of the egg cream on one meringue layer. Place the other layer on top and cover with the chocolate mixture. Decorate with remaining egg cream.

Frozen creme fraiche cake

Beat yolks, sugar and vanilla until stiff. Mix in the creme fraiche and the juice and grated peel of the orange. Beat egg whites stiff and gently fold them into the mixture. Freeze in freezer or ice cream maker. (The original recipe makes this like a cheesecake, with cookie crumbs in the bottom of a springform pan and the mixture poured on top before freezing).

Christmas baking

According to Norwegian Christmas tradition, there should be seven different types of cookies served for Christmas, seven being a traditionally magical number. In my family, we are fond of baking and of cakes and cookies, so we often end up with at least seven different ones, but most people stick to only a couple of the traditional cookie varieties. "Christmas cookies" normally don't include large cakes (tortes), and not lefse or sweet bread either, so these are not counted among the seven, although they are very often made for Christmas.

Here is a collection of some of the baking recipes we use for Christmas:

My grandmother's mørlefser ("tender lefse")

There are lots of different recipes for lefse - the concept is an old one, and the recipes vary from very simple, thin, unleavened varieties made from mostly potatoes and often served with savoury courses, to rich, sweet cakes with plenty of butter and white flour. This recipe for a sweet variety is from my paternal grandmother, who still (at 87) makes them every year for Christmas. Unlike most varieties, this one is baked in a normal oven (usually a special, large griddle is used).

This is rather a large portion! The dough is made one day in advance.

Crumble butter in some of the flour, and mix everything together - don't use too much flour, just enough to keep the dough together. Refrigerate overnight.

Use plenty of flour for the rolling, and add some baking ammonia to this flour, too. Take a small ball of dough at a time and roll it out thinly to a round disk, around 10 inches across. Bake at lower oven shelf at 200-225 deg C (around 400 F) until it just starts to colour (just a few minutes). Cool individual lefses on wire racks if you want them crunchy, or on top of each other if you want them softer.

Spread softened butter on one lefse and sprinkle with sugar, then put another lefse on top. Cut into (6-8) wedges. Can be frozen after being buttered, sugared and cut.


Kransekake ("wreath cake") is a standard at most large Norwegian celebrations. It is a natural centerpoint at the cake table and is decorated according to the occasion. The cake is built from rings of almond dough put on top of each other, gradually getting smaller towards the top,and the rings are usually baked in a special ring mold. They can be made without the molds, too. In that case, you start by making the smallest ring, and then just cut progressively longer chunks of the dough and shape into rings (the difference between two consecutive rings should be slightly less than one half inch).

Kransekake is a temperamental cake and the result can vary from one time to another. Don't give up if you don't get it right - try again.

Note that the dough is made one day in advance. Allow plenty of time for decorating and assembling the cake.

Work the dough together with your fingers and put it in a saucepan over low heat. Keep working it until you (almost) burn your fingers. Cool and wrap in plastic, let it stand (in a cool place) until next day.

Next day: Beat two egg whites stiff and mix into the dough. (You will have to use some "brute force" to incorporate the egg whites.) Let the dough rest while you butter the ring molds - this is the part that takes the longest time!).

Buttering the molds:
Melt butter and cool until slightly thickened. Butter all the rings and leave them until the butter sets. Butter them again, and this time sprinkle with semolina after buttering. The whole rings should be covered with semolina - this way, hopefully, the cakes will be easy to get out after baking.

Take a piece of dough at a time and shape it into a long sausage, about the thickness of a slim finger, cut into appropriate lengths and put in the ring molds. (Start with the smallest one!) Don't fill all the rings in each mold at a time, or the cakes might stick to each other.

Bake the rings in the middle of the oven for 12-15 minutes at 180 degrees C (350 F). Move the plate with the rings to the lowest rack and bake for an additional 3-5 minutes. They should be light golden brown (according to the recipe, but the recipe uses blanched almonds). Let the cakes cool in the molds - preferably in a cold draught. Turn over the molds to get the cakes out when they are cool.

Mix powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar) with a little egg white to a thick, sticky icing. Pipe the icing in a zig-zag pattern on the rings before glueing them together. Some recipes tell you to use the icing to glue the rings together, but we find this isn't strong enough, so we melt sugar to caramel and use that instead. Put a little caramel (you only need a few drops, don't cover the whole ring) on the largest ring with a knife and quickly put the next ring on top. (Careful! It's hot!) Work your way upwards. Try to look at the cake from all sides to make it as straight as possible.

Decorate the cake with flags, wrapped candy, crackers or whatever you like.

When serving, take off a few of the lower rings, break them into pieces and stack them around the cake. (This way, the cake keeps it shape for as long as possible.)

The cake will keep well if stored cool. Keep it in a tight, lidded jar or bucket with a piece of bread or a moist towel (don't let the towel touch the cake) to prevent it from getting hard. The rings can also be frozen - some suggest that the rings should always be frozen and thawed before assembling and serving, because they will get the right chewy consistency then.

Sand cookies

Sandkaker ("sand cookies") are traditional Norwegian christmas cookies which are made in small molds, like tartelet tins (appr. 5-6 cm in diameter), and can be filled with berries and cream before serving. They are notorious for sticking to the molds, but with this recipe we've never had any problem. The recipe is from Ingrid Espelid Hovig, the most famous and respected TV cook in Norway.

Note that the dough should be made one day in advance.

Beat butter and sugar until white and fluffy, add egg, almonds and flour. Store the dough in a cool place until next day. Set the oven to 180 C. Press dough into ungreased sandkake molds and bake until golden (appr. 15 minutes). Cool slightly before upending the cookies out on to a plate.

Ginger snap cookies with almonds

Ginger snaps (gingerbread) is called "pepperkaker" ("pepper cookies") in Norwegian. These contain neither ginger nor pepper, but they are a delicious and more grown-up variety of the traditional Christmas cookies. They are also very easy to make, but note that the dough should be made the day before.

Bring butter, syrup and sugar to a boil and cool to room temperature. Mix in all dry ingredients. Knead dough until well mixed and shape it into one or more sausage shapes, appr. 6 centimeters (2-3 inches) across. Wrap in plastic and keep in the fridge until next day.

Cut the "sausages" in 2-3 millimeter slices and place on oven plates. (If the slices break before baking, it's OK, just put the pieces close to each other and they will melt together during baking.) Bake in the middle of the oven at 180 C for appr. 10 minutes. (Watch them, so they don't burn!) Cool on rack and keep in a tight jar or box.


Krumkaker means "curved cookies" or "bent cookies". They are made in a special kind of iron that turns out round, thin cakes with complicated pattern on them, and are then curved with a special cone-shaped krumkake shaper, or shaped over a small bowl or big cup. This kind of cookie is very old, and several varieties exist - but nowadays the sweet and buttery krumkake is almost the only one left.

Weigh the number of eggs you want to use. Then beat them until thick and fluffy with the same amount of sugar. Melt the same amount of butter and mix that in, and finally add the same amount of flour to the batter. Mix carefully but thoroughly to avoid lumps. Add a pinch of cardamom if desired.

Make one cookie at a time in the krumkake iron. Shape the cookie (with a cone-shaped wooden shaper or over a small bowl) while still warm, and take it gently off and cool completely on a rack once it's set.

Store in a tight box. Be careful - these cookies are very breakable. Serve with jam and cream on the side, or spooned into the cookies. Cloudberry cream is the most common thing to fill them with. If you fill them, do so immediately before serving to avoid them getting soggy.

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