A Christmas Brown Cheese from Norway


A Christmas Brown Cheese from Norway


You’ve might heard about brown cheese (aka gjetost), an iconic cheese from Norway, but have you heard about a Christmas brown cheese?

In Norway you can buy them in the stores before Jul (Christmas), but if you have access to an ordinary brown cheese, it’s quite easy to make yourself. In this article I’ll show you how!

To make sure to get it right I headed out to the countryside, about an hour drive east of Oslo, to meet up with master chef Karin. You might remember Karin from my YouTube-episode Norwegian Grandma baking Christmas cookies. Actually, the first time I tasted a home made Christmas brown cheese, was at Karins place a few years back, and to be honest it’s the best one I’ve ever had!

Making Christmas Brown Cheese with Pål

Karin and Pål making homemade Christmas Brown Cheese

What is a Christmas Brown Cheese?

To be able to put Christmas into a brown cheese the most important ingredient is the brown cheese itself. For Norwegians its available in every supermarket, but if you live outside of Norway it might be harder to come by. A tip could be to check out Amazon, where you’ll find a decent selection of Gjetost (brown cheese), branded as “Ski Queen”. Ski Queen is very similar to the Norwegian type named “Gudbrandsdalsost”).

Link: Find brown cheese on Amazon



Brown cheese and slicer

Brown cheese and slicer

In addition to brown cheese you’ll need margarine, white sugar and cardamom spice. The margarine could be replaced with butter, but the brown cheese itself is already very rich, so margarine works well (and it’s what Karin uses). The cardamom obviously gives the cheese the flavor of Christmas, but if there are other spices that you associate with Christmas you could always experiment.

White sugar, margarine and cardamom.


There are no exact measurements to be given. Karin used a bit of margarin, a bit of sugar and a teaspoon of cardamom + a few blocks of brown cheese. Go ahead and experiment to find your perfect Christmas brown cheese. Still, keep on reading for how to cook it.

The Cooking Process

Cut or slice up the brown cheese into thin slices and melt the margarine in a pot.

brown cheese pal.jpg

melted butter.jpg

Add sugar to the melted margarine and mix it together then start adding the brown cheese while stirring around. Keep on adding as the cheese is melting, and let it all cook into a nice brown “paste” on low-medium heat.. while stirring.

Melted brown cheese and butter

Then add the cardamom and stir.

melted brown cheese and cardamom.jpg

brown cheese brunost pal.jpg

Pour the cheese into a milk carton. A carton is handy because you can rip of the sides as you are cutting into the cheese. Put the cheese in the fridge

brown cheese milk carton.jpg

brown cheese milk carton-2.jpg

When it’s cooled off and become hard, it’s time to eat! Slice it thin with a cheese slicer, and put it on a lefse or an open faced sandwich with some butter under.

Lefse with home made Christmas brown cheese


I hope you enjoyed this recipe! Good luck making it, and I wish you a God Jul, Merry Christmas!

Karin & Pål

Your friend in Norway,


Pål of Norway With Pål

Pål of Norway With Pål

Norway native, veteran travel guide, sailor, filmmaker, and writer (you might have seen me in one of Rick Steves’ guidebooks!). I want to help you enjoy Norway the right way — like a local. Learn more about me.

DISCLAIMER: Products on this page may contain affiliate links, and I might make a small sum per purchase. For you this does not affect the product price, but supports me and my work, and makes me able to continue sharing my passion for Norway with you. Read the Disclaimer policy. Thank you, tusen takk!

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