Norwegian Riskrem Rice Pudding; Christmas Dessert Recipe

Norwegian rice pudding, Christmas

Riskrem (Rice Pudding) is a traditional Norwegian Christmas dessert, made from leftover rice porridge (recipe in this link) and whipped cream, with some sugar and vanilla added. Topped with a red berry- or fruit sauce, it is fluffy and creamy, with a little tang added from the sauce. This dessert should not be confused with the rice pudding often found in grocery stores in the U.S., which tends to be overly sweet, the rice not as tender, and with cinnamon added. Cinnamon has no place in Norwegian riskrem. My recipe delivers fluffy, creamy, and pleasantly sweet, vanilla flavored riskrem, the rice kernels cooked until completely tender.


The first part in making this delicious dessert is to mix together a little bit of whole milk and 4 cups of leftover rice porridge, which should be stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Dilute with 1/2 cup whole milk, as rice porridge thickens as it sits. A rubber spatula makes it easier to mix together.


Next, prepare the whipped cream. Well chilled heavy whipping cream is used, 2 cups in all, with 6 Tbsp sugar and 1 Tbsp vanilla-sugar added.

Whipping cream Kitchen Aid

You may be able to find vanilla sugar at certain super markets or specialty stores, perhaps in international sections. Otherwise, Amazon carries it as well: Just click this link to find it. If you are unable to find any, you may also use vanilla extract; however, your rice pudding might be slightly discolored. Using vanilla sugar will ensure a bright, white rice pudding. This picture was taken at an international store where I found some:

Vanilla sugar

Using the wire attachment, if your mixer comes with one, whip the cream until very fluffy, and stiff peaks form. Be careful not to beat it to butter! There’s a fine line here.

Whipped cream stand mixer

Add the whipped cream, and gently fold it in until blended together. Don’t over mix it; you’ll want the pudding to stay nice and fluffy. As you can see, the whipped cream is rather stiff, which makes for a thicker, but fluffier pudding in the end.

Rice pudding, whipped cream

The pudding is now mixed together, and very creamy, soft, and fluffy. Immediately place in the refrigerator until ready to serve, and store leftovers in the refrigerator. Our large bowl of leftovers typically last 5-6 days, unless we finish it before that (which we do, now that our kids are older.) The sauce will last at least that long.

Rice pudding, Norwegian riskrem


Red Topping Sauce

The Norwegian tradition is to top the rice pudding with a red fruit- or berry sauce, served on the side. I typically make the topping sauce before the pudding itself, as the sauce needs to chill for several hours, while the pudding is very quick to put together.

The sauce consists of red juice and corn starch only, so it is quite simple to make. Since the sauce will be added to the top of the rice pudding, the color is important. For the prettiest result, I try to look for a red juice that leans toward pinks, rather than the ones that have a slight brown tint to them. When you see the sauce against the white pudding, those differences do come through, even if the juices look similar on the shelf at the store. I went hunting the other day, to find something I can recommend:

Of concentrates (Old Orchard brand), which are nice to use as you can decide how strong to make the juice, these are the ones I tried:

The middle one, Apple Raspberry (which I thought would be the winner), surprised me by having a bit of that brown tint that I don’t like. Cherry Pomegranate to the left, and Cranberry Blend to the right, however, looked much better. I ended up preferring Cranberry Blend, as I can’t quite accept cherry flavored sauce on my rice pudding. It just doesn’t do for the Norwegian in me (and since I’m all Norwegian, that’s a pretty big part!) The only thing about the cranberry blend was that it was a bit tart, so I added 1/3 c sugar to it when making the sauce. 1 can plus 2 c water was just right to get the right blend otherwise.

Of already mixed juices, these are the ones I chose to bring home to compare to the rest:

The true Berry Punch color does not come through very well on this picture, unfortunately. It looks pretty close to the color around the name “Berry Punch”, a pretty plum pink. This color works well in my opinion, to the contrary of Welch’s juice, which looks more orange.


Once you have selected the juice you prefer, here’s how to make the sauce:

Mix together juice concentrate and water to a somewhat strong tasting juice for best flavor, or use regular pre-mixed juice. Measure up 3 cups, pour into a pot, and add 10 tsp corn starch (or potato starch). Mix well with a wire whisk until no lumps remain. Also add a little sugar if the juice is tart, like cranberry blends can be. Just taste it and see what you think.

The whisk style below, commonly used in Norway, is my absolute favorite! I just love how easy this whisk makes mixing together (oh my, try to say that one fast!!) batters, sauces and such; it just works so much better for me than the more commonly used whisks. Here’s a direct link to where you can find it on Amazon; just click on the picture and it will bring you right to it.


Bring to a boil while stirring occasionally. The juice will look cloudy when the corn starch is added, but will become transparent again once it comes to a boil. The sauce will seem very thin at this point.

Chill while covered, to prevent a membrane from forming. It is best to chill in the refrigerator, as the sauce won’t thicken completely until cold. When the sauce is completely chilled, whisk well to achieve a uniform texture, otherwise it will seem gel-like and lumpy.

If you’re in a rush to get the sauce made and there is no time to leave it in the refrigerator, you can cool it down by placing the pot in cold water. If you think the sauce ends up too thick, just thin it with more juice. If it’s too thin, this is more difficult; you’ll need to add more cornstarch and bring it to a boil again, then cool down completely. The sauce can also be served while still lukewarm if enough corn starch has been added, but it will then be necessary to thin the leftover sauce later, as it continues to thicken.

Game time!

A fun Norwegian tradition when eating this delicious rice pudding, is to play a little almond game: One single almond is first blanched to remove the brown “skin”. The now creamy-white almond is then secretly mixed into the pudding serving bowl; it stays hidden as it blends in well. When serving and eating the pudding, the person who ends up finding it in a mouthful, wins a prize. Traditionally, the prize is a chocolate covered marzipan pig.


This wonderful dessert is one that Norwegians only serve for Christmas, and one that my family always look greatly forward to. For us, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without it!


Norwegian rice pudding, Christmas


4.7 from 3 reviews
Norwegian Rice Pudding
Traditional Norwegian Christmas Dessert, using leftover rice porridge and fluffy whipped cream, sugar, and vanilla.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Norwegian
Serves: 10
  • Topping sauce:
  • Juice concentrate and water to make 3 cups somewhat strong tasting juice
  • 10 tsp corn starch (3 Tbsp + 1 tsp)
  • Rice Pudding:
  • 4 c rice porridge leftovers
  • ½ c whole milk
  • 2 half-pint cartons (or 2 cups altogether) heavy whipping cream
  • 6 Tbsp sugar (white)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla sugar (or extract, but vanilla sugar strongly preferred)
  1. Prepare the topping sauce by whisking together juice and cornstarch until smooth and no lumps remain.
  2. Bring to a boil while stirring, until thickened.
  3. Cool while covered, until well chilled.
  4. Beat again with a wire whisk if needed, until smooth.
  5. Rice Pudding:
  6. Mix together cold rice porridge leftovers and milk. Set aside.
  7. Beat heavy whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla sugar until stiff peaks form.
  8. Gently fold whipped cream into porridge until blended together, careful not to beat air out of the whipped cream.
  9. Serve with the topping sauce on the side.

About Terese

20 Responses to “Norwegian Riskrem Rice Pudding; Christmas Dessert Recipe”

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  1. Marcia says:

    This looks delicious! I might have to make this for the holidays…after all Dave is Norweigian!! How do I get rice porridge?

  2. Dave says:

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I lived for a few years in Norway, and absolutely LOVE Christmas there. This recipe along with your risgrøt recipe have made my Christmas feel a little more complete! Awesome job, and thanks again! God jul!

    • Terese says:

      Thank you so much, what a fun comment to receive! I’m glad to hear you found my post helpful and that you enjoyed these recipes! My kids always look forward to these foods during Christmas; we eat risgrøt for lunch Christmas Eve, then riskrem for dessert from the leftovers for however long they last. Now that my kids are getting older and eating more, I usually have to repeat the process a few days after Christmas since we finish everything too soon (even though I double the risgrøt recipe), before we’ve had out fill. Nobody complains when I make more!

  3. Sam says:

    Thank you so much! This was a very delicious and well described recipe. It turned out almost as good as I remembered from my two years in Norway. Brought back such wonderful memories.

    I used a Bacardi berry concentrate, and the color and flavor were wonderful. I added the 5 tsp of cornstarch, but even after chillimg it overnight, it was very runny. I have some left, so i will try to bring it to a boil again and add some more starch.

    • Terese says:

      Wow, can’t believe I missed your comment earlier, sorry about that! Thank you for your comment and for sharing your experience with the sauce. I agree that it can be a bit runny, so I’ve changed the recipe to use 10 tsp instead of 5. That seems to work better.

  4. ellen says:

    i know this is an old post, but we love your recipe! my hubby is from norway and we always make your recipes ! thank you so much for posting them all! :)

    • Terese says:

      That’s wonderful to hear! Thanks for letting me know! My kids can’t wait for Christmas season and riskrem, but they have this odd way of mixing the red sauce into the riskrem so it turns pink, and that’s just not how it’s done! It really disturbs me, but that’s how they like it. Haha! In Norway it always stays on top and you grab a little of both on each spoonful. THAT’S how a good Norwegian does it. :)

  5. Sue says:

    I make the sauce with defrosted frozen raspberries mashed thru a strainer plus cornstarch, sugar brought to a simmer. Thin with water if desired.

  6. Erika says:

    Hei! I haven’t made risengrot or riskrem for my family in a while and they’ve asked for both, so it looks like I’ll be heading to IKEA this week for some ingredients. I don’t want the red sauce to be too sweet, and I wondered if you’ve every made the sauce from the IKEA lignon saft? I’ll try the cranberry juice concentrate as well.

    One more question: Have you ever used a pressure cooker to make the risengrot? I was going to try that and treat it like risotto. Any thoughts on that?

    I’m so happy to have found your blog. I’m always looking for good recipes and I like to bring some Norwegian foods and traditions into our family. (I lived and studied in Norway years ago.)

    Mange takk!

    • Terese says:

      Værsågod! Kjekt at du likte bloggen min! :)
      I would think that the juice concentrates from IKEA would be excellent to use, just make sure it’s blended to be a little bit stronger than how you would drink it from a glass. If you have access to that, I don’t see why you should even try the cranberry concentrate, unless the IKEA juice is too sweet for you.
      I have never cooked rice in a pressure cooker, so I have no idea how it would work for this recipe. Just keep in mind that milk tends to burn if the parts of the pot that is in direct contact with the heat source, is too thin. If you do try it, I would love to hear how it goes and what you think.
      There will be more Norwegian recipes coming, so I hope you check back in again! :) Thanks for commenting!

  7. Aline says:

    My mouth is watering!

    We have riskrem also at other times in my family – I grew up with “grøt på lørdag, riskrem på søndag”, and cannot see why you reserve this yumminess only for Christmas! ;p

    We make the sauce from raspberries, too – frozen or fresh. It doesn’t blend with the cream at all! We use potato flour for thickener – maybe that’s why? – 1tbsp dissolved in 2 tbsp cold water that is added slowly to the sauce made from 2dl water, 300g frozen berries, and 150g sugar (pressed through a sieve before adding thickener – scrape the outside of the sieve well). Bring to a boil again and boil until it thickens, and cool.

    Yes, this sounds like way too little sauce, but there’s only the two of us, usually. You can double and triple the recipe as needed.

    I have never tried adding vanilla sugar – that’s a great tips I surely will try some time! We add some finely chopped almonds instead.

    • Terese says:

      Yeah, why wait until Christmas for something so yummy! I’ve never seen it served other times than during Christmas, and it does make Christmas extra special for us, so that’s why I refuse to make it other times of the year. :) My kids can’t wait!!
      Your raspberry sauce sounds heavenly!! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Ericka says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! My family just got back from Disney World, and one of the many highlights was having this dessert at Akershus (don’t know if I spelled that right), in Norway at the World Showcase in Epcot. Our waiter (who was Norwegian) told us more about it and encouraged us to try making it. That night was my favorite dinner. I can’t wait for Christmas to have this again!

    • Terese says:

      How fun!! I’ve been there as well. :) And you are correct on the spelling of Akershus. You should know about the showcase in Epcot, that some of the foods there are “Americanized”, meaning bigger and sweeter etc. The food is not necessarily fully authentic. But my recipe is. 😉 It just won’t necessarily taste exactly like Epcot’s. 😉

  9. Trang Huynh says:

    Thanks for this recipe, I was born in Norway, and was 8 before I came to Australia, I alway have miss this riskem as serve in Norway, am constantly looking for in supermarket, only to be disappointed everytime. Was so happy when I found this, I will try it out this Christmas. God jul. Tak

    • Terese says:

      Værsågod! I’m glad you found my blog and riskrem recipe! I hope you’ll love making your own. My daughter and I just made a pot of risengrøt yesterday, which we enjoy now and again throughout the year. Riskrem, however, won’t be on the menu until Christmas. God Jul to you as well, and god appetitt!


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