Riskrem a Norwegian Christmas dessert

Christmas dessert

Riskrem a Norwegian Christmas dessert

Christmas dessert

On Christmas eve in Norway, the 24th of December, Norwegians get together for one of the most important dinners of the year, the Julemiddag (Christmas dinner). With this meal we often serve a traditional dessert named Riskrem – Rice Cream.

A Norwegian Christmas Dessert

The riskrem is a rice porridge mixed with whipped cream, and sometimes chopped almonds. In it normally also goes a whole almond, and the one who gets the almond wins a marzipan pig. That was the quick summary, here’s the whole story + recipe for this iconic Norwegian Christmas dessert.

Btw. It might not be Christmas when you discover this recipe. But there is nothing wrong in making it the rest of the year as well. But save the marzipan pig for Christmas eve 😉

Marzipan Pig


Riskrem – Rice cream recipe

The main ingredient is the rice. In Norway you can buy grøtris (porridge rice) in the supermarket. But basically any short-grain rice will work. For instance the Italian Arborio rice would work well. Since the porridge needs time to cool off, you should make the porridge the day before you plan to serve the rice cream.

Recipe (6 portions ish) cut it in half if you are only 2-3 persons.

1 cup (2,3 dl) short-grain rice

2 cups (4,6 dl) water

1 teaspoon salt

4 1/2 cups (11 dl) of whole milk (>3% fat)

1⁄2 cup sugar (optional)

2 1/2 cups whipped cream. Add some sugar to sweeten it up

1/2 cup almonds, chopped (unsalted)

1 whole almond + marzipan pig, or something else sweet (optional)

Serve with a red fruit sauce. Cherry, raspberry or a strawberry sauce.

short grain rice

Short-grain rice. Creamy with high starch content

Put the rice in a big pot and add the water. You want this to boil for about 10 minutes. Stir now and then.

Rice porridge

Add milk gradually while stirring. I highly recommend whole milk with a fat percentage higher than 3%. This will give a much richer and tastier dessert. You might want to save some of the milk, and add it towards the end if needed. You want the porridge not be too liquid, but also not too “dry”. Add salt and sugar.

Riskrem grøt-12.jpg


Riskrem grøt-13.jpg

Let the porridge simmer with a lid for about 45-50 minutes. Stir now and then, and make sure it does not burn! Just a small burn will give the porridge a burnt taste… I speak from experience 😛

Norwegian porridge

The porridge starts to thicken

Meanwhile the porridge is cooking, boil up some water. Add almonds to the hot water, and let the almonds sit for fifteen minutes, and then you can easily peel off their skin. Let the almonds dry while the porridge is cooling off. Then chop them up into small pieces. Remember to save a whole almond, which you will hide in the rice cream later on.

Note: Some rice cream recipes does not have chopped almonds. Many Norwegians make it that way, but in my family we always had them, and I think they give a better texture to the rice cream. You could always replace the chopped almonds with some almond extract which you put into the porridge while cooking.

Peeled almonds

After the porridge is cooked, you’ll have to let it cool off. If it’s a bit liquid that is OK, it will thicken while it’s cooling. If you think it’s too dry towards the end of the cooking you can add some more milk.

The porridge after it has cooled off

Next day, or when the porridge has cooled off: Make the whipped cream. It should be fairly thick and also you should add some sugar to make it as sweet as you’d like. 2-3 tablespoons is usually enough for this recipe.

Stir together chopped almonds, rice porridge and whipped cream in a big bowl.

Voilá! The rice cream is ready. I would make sure it gets some hours in the fridge before you serve it. It’s best when it’s cold.

Riskrem grøt-29.jpg

Riskrem grøt-31.jpg

How to serve the riskrem + (a hidden almond)

Serve the rice cream with a red fruit sauce. This is the tradition, and the white together with the red color of the sauce makes it look very Julete (Christmassy). You can use cherries, raspberries, strawberries or any other red fruit to make it.

Norwegian Riskrem

Now is also the time to hide the whole almond in the porridge. Usually there will be fierce competition to be the winner, and as long as the almond is not found, you can expect your guests to help themselves to more rice cream over and over again…

A fun trick that I used to do on my brother (and that he did on me), was to hide the almond in my mouth when I got it. Then I would sit there and watch my brother eat heaps of rice cream, but to no good except for getting a stomach ache. When he was absolutely full I would take the almond out, and we’d all have a good laugh about it. Btw. we still do this today 🙂

Riskrem grøt-36.jpg

Riskrem grøt-37.jpg

Also, you might want to put out a bowl of rice cream out to the Nisse. It’s his favorite dish, and it’ll make sure he won’t play any tricks on you during Christmas, and he’ll be good to you the rest of the year 😉

Enjoy the dessert, and please share this recipe with your friends and family. Thanks for reading!

You might also like to read: Nisse – A Norwegian Santa?


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!


  1. Kristin Sumrall on January 3, 2022 at 1:07 am

    Looks yummy! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Susan Mulligan on January 3, 2022 at 1:48 am

    In our U.S. (Minnesota Norwegian roots here) version of "Rice Pudding," we continue to keep with as many Norwegian traditions as possible. We serve this pudding on Christmas Eve at a smorgasbord of traditional fare…Herring on a cracker anyone? Rather than a red fruit of any kind though, before Christmas we always head to our local Scandinavian Shop or to IKEA who sell jarred lovely & delicious tart Lingonberries…sold especially for Norwegian Rice Pudding I’m quite sure. I’m going to check my recipe card for Rice Pudding now and see how true it is to the "real" Rice Cream you’ve given us. Thank you!

    I’m hoping my husband and I can head to Norway this fall. I can’t wait!!! I love your blog and learning about Norway from you Pål. Thank you!!!

  3. Joe Brooks on January 3, 2022 at 2:20 am

    Hey Pål, hope you had a nice Christmas. It was 70 degrees here in the NC mountains. But, back to normal tomorrow with 39 degrees high and 25 low. No wonder we aren’t all dead with colds. I will definitely try this. The old Southern rice pudding my mother made was one of my favorites. It uses an egg instead of whipped cream and brown sugar/ vanilla with raisins. When I try this, will try to find some lingonberries.

  4. Sharon Neely Halm on January 3, 2022 at 3:43 am

    Hey Pal, God Yul. Just wanted to share with you that I too was raised on rice cream on Christmas Eve. We used raspberry juice thickened to top our pudding with. I will make some next week to share with my family as I haven’t made it in so long. Thanks for sharing your recipe with us.
    Sharon Neely Halm

  5. Georgia Hill on January 3, 2022 at 6:08 am

    Mr. Pal–

    What a great recipe! BTW, what the heck are you doing in Canada when you could have come to California!! Ah yes, you have family there.

    Happy New Year.

    All my best,

    • Norway with Pål on January 3, 2022 at 3:07 pm

      I’ve been asking myself that question..hehe..

      Happy New Year Georgia!

    • Norway with Pål on January 3, 2022 at 3:09 pm

      Hei Sharon, God jul! We usually use raspberry as well in my family. Enjoy the riskrem 🙂

    • Norway with Pål on January 3, 2022 at 3:10 pm

      Hei Joe, Happy New Year, Godt nyttår! The Southern rice pudding sounds delicious. Feel free to let me know how the rice cream turned out 🙂
      All the best, Pål

    • Norway with Pål on January 3, 2022 at 3:15 pm

      Hei Susan, thanks for your nice comment! I hope this rice cream will be as good as the one you are used to. I’ve never tried it with lingonberries, but I’ve heard this from several people from the US. It seems to be a North American thing, but there are no rules, and it’s red so why not 🙂

      I hope you’ll make it over here in the fall. Thanks for following my posts. Wishing you all the best for 2022, Pål.

    • Norway with Pål on January 3, 2022 at 3:15 pm

      You welcome 🙂

  6. Judy on January 4, 2022 at 2:59 am

    Can you confirm the amount of water to use? I’m seeing 1,2 cups water. Is this one half cup? From the image I think there is more than 1/2 cups of water in the pan. Thanks! I can’t wait to try it.

    Rice pudding on my Norwegian side was a standard Christmas Eve dish. It was a quite different recipe, but I’ll enjoy trying this one. Thanks.

    • Mark on January 4, 2022 at 4:54 am

      Norway, like many countries in Europe, uses a decimal comma instead of a decimal point (like is used in the U.S. and Britain). So, this is 1 and 1/5 cups.

      • Norway with Pål on January 4, 2022 at 3:52 pm

        Hei Mark thanks for your input here! Cups, quarts and ounces is like "greek" to a Norwegian, so it can be challenging to make the right conversions, and even more challenging to make them understandable. I’ve made a small adjustment to the recipe. Basically it’s twice as much water as there is rice.

    • Norway with Pål on January 4, 2022 at 3:51 pm

      Hei Judy, I’ve made some small changes to the recipe to make it easier. Converting from deciliters to cups can be quite a challenge to Europeans. Basically there is twice as much water as there is rice. so 1 cup rice and 2 cups water. Then about 4 and a half cup of milk. I think this should work well! Let me know 🙂

  7. Edwin Burke on January 4, 2022 at 8:28 pm

    My mom would make it for special occasions during the year. The finished product was better than ice cream! Mom a 1st generation Norwegian (Holmestrand). Raised in New York City not Minneapolis

    • Norway with Pål on January 4, 2022 at 11:48 pm

      I agree to that! Better than ice cream 😛 Glad you’ve had the chance to enjoy this delicious dessert

  8. Sally Palmer on January 5, 2022 at 11:03 pm

    My mother, who was not the Norwegian, (my Dad was) used to make this on the farm all the time. It was just a little different. She stewed rhubarb, sweetened it and added it to the rice and whipped cream! Delicious!

    • Norway with Pål on January 6, 2022 at 5:05 pm

      mmm that sounds really good as well! Would like to try that some day

  9. Gini Walsh on January 6, 2022 at 1:37 am

    Hei Pal, Thanks. you’ve inspired me to try making Riskrem!!! I went out and bought the ingredients and will try tomorrow I think. I will definitely share it. Loved the anecdote about you fooling your brother. ha ha

    • Norway with Pål on January 6, 2022 at 5:07 pm

      haha, and despite both of us now being adults we still do it every Christmas 😀

  10. Gini Walsh on January 6, 2022 at 1:40 am

    I wonder if you could simmer the porridge in a slow cooker instead of in a pot on the stove?

    • Norway with Pål on January 6, 2022 at 5:06 pm

      hmm, I do not know as I’ve never tried that before… But if you try feel free to let me know how it went 🙂

      • Gini Walsh on January 7, 2022 at 3:31 am

        would you be able to add a Print option for your recipes? I can copy and paste what is here on your blog but it would be great if I could click to a printable version. Just a thought. Going to try making the Riskrem now.

        • Norway with Pål on January 8, 2022 at 1:21 am

          I will look into that!

  11. Gini Walsh on January 7, 2022 at 11:33 pm

    So today I am going to add the whipped cream to the rice porridge. But I am confused. In your list of ingredients there is 1/2 cup of sugar. Was that supposed to go into the cooking porridge? I thought it was for the whipped cream but now I see that your directions say to only put 2-3 Tablespoons of sugar in the whipping cream.

    • Norway with Pål on January 8, 2022 at 1:20 am

      Hei Gini, yes the 1/2 cup of sugar goes into the porridge. Sorry if that was not clear enough. But as I wrote it is also optional. What I’d do is to just make the whipped cream a bit sweeter, and the dessert will be sweet enough in the end 🙂

      • Gini Walsh on January 8, 2022 at 1:50 am

        I found that I didn’t need to add more sugar to the whipped cream – it is sweet enough really. So I added the whipped cream to the porridge. I didn’t do the almonds – maybe next time but I did add a little bit of almond extract to the porridge. It tastes good. Tonight we will have some with some raspberry sauce (made from frozen raspberries & a bit of sugar). By the way, I started the porridge in a saucepan with the water and followed your directions, adding the milk a bit at a time. Then, when I had to let it simmer for the long period I decided to put it into a small crockpot/slow cooker that I have. I left it in the slow cooker for an hour or more and it cooked up just fine and didn’t burn. When it was done I let it cool down and then put it in the fridge overnight. And today I added the whipped cream etc. It makes rather a lot – a huge bowl!!! Too much for Peter and I – and with the rich milk and whip cream it is probably a little too rich for us. Next time I think I will make a half amount. I think I will give at least half of this batch to our local volunteer Fire Fighters & road maintenance guys who have been doing a terrific job maintaining the roads during our recent snow storm. 🙂

        • Norway with Pål on January 10, 2022 at 10:50 am

          Great! I’m really glad you made it, and liked it 🙂 I’m sure the fire fighters will be very happy. They need a rich dessert after all the hard work they do. Thanks for the feedback about your cooking method. I’ll have to try out a slow cooker next time . Pål

  12. Gini Walsh on January 8, 2022 at 4:27 am

    Well I served up the Riskrem with raspberry sauce to Peter tonight and he loved it!!! Me too. Very delicious. Thanks again.

    • Norway with Pål on January 10, 2022 at 10:50 am

      You welcome! Bare hyggelig 🙂

  13. Joycelle on December 24, 2023 at 8:02 pm

    This has been a family tradition of ours here in the states since my great grandma was a child, passed down from our earlier relatives from Oslo. We never knew anything else about it, until I found your post today. What fun to find out more about it this way, thank you for sharing!

    • norwaywithpal on December 28, 2023 at 3:26 pm

      Hi Joycelle! How nice that your family has passed down this tradition during throughout the generations. A very tasty tradition for sure 😉

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