Notebook 14

Norwegian sandbakelse recipe

This recipe for sandbakkels had me turning to the web for more information. Alternately spelled sandbakelse, it translates as sand tarts. They are a Christmas time tradition for many, and are considered an “old country” favorite. The dough is pressed into small tins in the shapes of hearts, diamonds, and flowers. The taste is that of a sugar cookie. Depending on the type of tin used, they can be served as a plain cookie or as a tart, with fruit, whipped cream, etc.

During my research, I found this great website Outside Oslo which has a step by step on making sandbakkels. While the author says that the making is time consuming, I expect I will be trying these out sometime soon.


1 cup shortening (part butter)

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla or almond

2 1/2 cups flour

Mix. Press into tins. Bake 375 – 15 min. Cook and remove from tins.

6 thoughts on “Sandbakkels

  1. These I love! I’ll have to dig out my recipe and compare. I have the little tins if you need to borrow them. We would never dream of filling them with anything (but I bet it would be yummy) only because Grandma Bergliot never did. They’re very much like a shortbread cookie and you should bake them the same way–if they look brown, they’re overdone. Hard to not get the points of the flutes of the tins brown because they’re always thinner than the rest of the cookie. Of all the Norwegian treats we make at the holidays, these are the easiest–and you can bake a lot at a time unlike most things that need to be cooked/fried individually.


  2. My Norwegian grandma used to make sandbakkels, spritz, krumkaka, rosettes and the wreath shaped cookies (I can’t remember the name) every year at Christmas time. We miss that part of our family heritage now, even though we all make them on our own from time to time. Grandma’s were just better!
    As I make them now I realize almost all of the cookies have the same ingredients, they’re just prepared differently. Buttery, almond-y goodness with some kind of sugar sprinkled over them. But oh so memorable and addictive!


  3. My grandma’s recipe calls for the vanilla extract and 1 tsp of ground cardamom added to the dough. The 1 cup of butter in her recipe is replaced with 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup lard.

    My mom puts flour in the tin and dumps it out before pressing the dough in. My mother doesn’t wash her tins either. She stores them in the freezer. I wash mine instead.

    Nice to see the recipe here with the Dano-Norwegian name ‘sandbakkels’ rather than the modern Norwegian “sandkakke”.


    • There are many possible spellings for the name of this cookie, which pervades Scandinavia, just as there are quite a few variations on the precise ingredients. Depending on your heritage and affections, you may prefer one, where I prefer another. For instance, I will always add about a scant quarter tsp salt to any recipe calling for this amount of flour. And as a Norwegian, I’m prone to put cardamom into almost any baked goods, though in all my researches I’ve never found a sandbakkelse recipe that called for it.

      But when it comes to names, sandkakker, sandbakkels, sandbakkelse, sandbakelser (this last being very Swedish) are all entirely legitimate. Myself, I like the more Norwegian names. I’d say, pick your affection/loyalty, copy the recipe, and add to it whatever name (and Special Touches) you prefer. With a shortbread cookie like this, you’re unlikely to go wrong.


  4. I lost my mom @ 99 Jan.1 2016. We used to make lefse, rosettes, sandbakkels, etc. together. This is my first solo yr. @ 68 (a YOUNG 68 mind you!). My scribbled recipes that I got from her are sort of unclear sometimes as to amounts so I deferred to the ones I found on the Net. I do remember cardamom as an ingredient in sandbakkels though and it gave a special taste to them. Also notes from my aunts who were even older than my mom saying not to use just butter, but lard. I made my lefse yesterday alone for the first time in over 20 years. Of course they will never be as good as my moms! But I know she was looking over my shoulder cheering me on.


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