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Twelve Days of Scandinavian Baking

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! December brings the Twelve Days of Scandinavian Baking for a month full of holiday joy.

Decorated Swedish Buttermilk Cookies on holiday plate

Baking for the holidays is something I can’t remember NOT doing. From the time I could hold a wooden spoon I have been helping or orchestrating a kitchen full of holiday treats to share with family and friends. Out of this tradition, the Twelve Days of Scandinavian Baking was born. Although I try to add 1 or 2 new items into the mix, my beloved family favorite recipes have followers that look forward to them year after year. I hope you will find a new favorite from the collection below and add a bit of Scandinavian flare to your own holiday baking!

White Chocolate Cranberry Saffron Treasures

I usually kick off the Twelve Days of Scandinavian Baking with these beloved cookies. I have been making this recipe since my college days and they have the most enticing combination of flavors, with the creamy white chocolate, tart cranberry, zesty orange, and golden saffron.

White Chocolate Cranberry Saffron Treasures on holiday plate

Linzer Cookies + Stockholm 75

Linzer cookies are the jewels of all holiday cookies! Jam-filled sandwiches that glitter on a holiday table. A lingonberry filling pairs perfectly with a fizzy Stockholm 75 cocktail! A most festive pairing for your next holiday soiree.

Stockholm 75 cocktail with lingonberry linzer cookie

Cardamom Men

Chubby little almond flour cookies full of warm spices and topped with a shiny vanilla cardamom glaze. Gluten and dairy-free!

cardamom men cookies on holiday plate

Soft Ginger Cookies

Also gluten and dairy-free, these soft ginger cookies are one of my favorites and are perfect in a tin for gift-giving or a holiday Fika. They are sweetened with molasses and honey and have just the right amount of spice.

soft ginger cookies in holiday tin

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Oat Bars

My daughter would never forgive me if I left these bars out of the Twelve Days of Scandinavian Baking! So decadent with a chewy oat and cardamom cookie crust, fudgy dark chocolate hazelnut center, and more crunchy cookie swirls on top.

dark chocolate hazelnut oat bars

Cinnamon Date Pinwheels

These icebox cookies come from my Great Grandma Agnes Helgemo’s hand-written recipes. Brown sugar shortbread studded with walnuts and a sticky date filling. A true holiday classic!

cinnamon date pinwheels on plate on holiday table


Mochas are the most unique little cakes and probably the best-loved recipe in our family! Vanilla sponge squares soaked in icing and rolled in crushed peanuts. These have been made and handed down for so many generations and are always found in our home during the holidays.

mochas on holiday platter

Spiced Hazelnut and Lingonberry Bundt Cake

I love this Fika cake for holiday gatherings. The crunchy cinnamon and cardamom nut filling contrasts the tart lingonberry jam swirls inside and it is super moist and just gorgeous to feast your eyes on! This recipe is gluten-free and lovely for gift-giving, too.

Spiced hazelnut and lingonberry bundt cake on platter with confectioner's sugar

Almond Thumbprint Cookies

Called “Rosenmunnar” in Swedish, these thumbprints are a tribute to my Grandma Verle Helgemo, who loved to fill them with her homemade Michigan raspberry jam. The soft almond flour base is just right for any of your favorite toppings!

Almond thumbprint cookies on platter

Pecan Tassies

Pecan Tassies are like pecan pie but more adorable. These have a flaky cream cheese crust and a creamy crunchy brown sugar and pecan filling with a kiss of coffee liqueur. My great cousin Linnea Bagley made so many of these during the holidays that she supplied nearly the whole town of Iron River, Michigan! Always a crowd pleaser and wonderful addition to a cookie platter.

Pecan tastes on holiday platter

Swedish Buttermilk Cookies

These gorgeous cutout cookies were passed down from my Great Grandma Jenny Rosenquist. Some of my favorite holiday memories are of sitting for hours at our dining room table creating elaborate icing designs with my brother for these soft nutmeg-scented treats. This recipe makes a generous batch for all of your favorite holiday cut-out shapes.

Swedish buttermilk cookies on platter

St. Lucia Buns

My Twelve Days of Scandinavian Baking always concludes with baking golden saffron St. Lucia Buns for December 13th–St. Lucia Day. This celebration of love and light is traditionally marked with processions of girls in white dresses carrying platters of plump “Lussekatter” to share with friends and family. Truly worth trying this holiday season!

St. Lucia buns on Swedish platter

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