Danish Risengrød Recipe – How to Make Danish Rice Pudding

danish rice pudding

Risengrød definition and tradition

Risengrød is a Danish traditional Christmas dish, that despite the sweet cinnamon-sugar topping, is usually eaten for dinner. It is made out of rice, water, salt, and whole milk and is topped with butter and sprinkled with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Risengrød is nowadays cheap to make and is a very filling dish but hasn’t always been cheap to make. Actually, rice pudding used to be a luxury dish that only the rich could afford since rice was a difficult and expensive product to import.

Around the year 1900, rice became more common to buy for the average Danish family since rice prices lowered. Risengrød was, therefore, a great way to celebrate Christmas and not too expensive anymore. On my dad’s side of the family, they have a tradition of eating rice pudding as a starter on Christmas Eve and is still doing it the day today. When my dad and his brothers were children rice pudding was a way of eating something filling before the actual Christmas dinner. In that way, they could save money on the meat and potatoes that they ate for Christmas.

Risengrød pronunciation

Wanna know how to pronounce Risengrød? Listen to a Danish man pronouncing Risengrød here: Risengrød pronunciation.


Risengrød was later developed into Risalamande “Ris a la mande” where almonds and whipped cream were added and made into a delicious dessert.

Read more about risalamande here, where you will also find a recipe. 

Danish Rice Pudding Recipe (Risengrød)

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Danish
Servings 4 people


  • 2 ½ cups (6 deciliters) water
  • 2 cups (4.5 deciliters) short-grained white rice for pudding
  • 8 ½ cups (2 liters) whole milk
  • ½ teasoon salt


  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon butter (on each portion)


  • In a large pot, add water and rice and bring to a boil. Let cook for about 2 minutes while stirring.
  • Pour in the whole milk and bring to a boil while stirring. Put on a lid and let cook for about 30-35 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, mix ground cinnamon and sugar.
  • Add salt to the rice pudding and serve with cinnamon-sugar and a teaspoon of butter on top of each portion.
Keyword christmas, Rice, Rice pudding, winter


  1. Pingback: Risalamande Served with Cherry Sauce (Danish Rice Pudding Dessert) - Nordic Forest Foods

  2. Fun blog BTW, I’m an American married to a Finn and our family lives in Finland. This dish sounds just like the rice porridge they serve for school lunches and on Boxing day (with a hidden almond). I make mine in the oven (@180C), with 2 dl rice and a liter of milk, plus 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt. I stir it every 20 min and it takes about 1h20m to make. So yummy and so easy. My husband likes it with butter; my sons like it with berry soup (kiisseli in Finnish);and I like the sugar and cinnamon.

    • helena Reply

      Hi Melissa! Thank you for your comment! We also eat the rice porridge with a hidden almond, but only on Christmas Eve! Happy to hear that you like the Scandinavian traditions.

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