What holiday season would be complete without an incredible variety of cookies and baked goods. In Norway, these are referred to as julekaker.
In the 18th century, baked goods were not made in the home, but rather in bakeries and large farms that had access to large ovens. The concept of cookies and baked goods relating to Christmas did not exist at this time or before. In fact, little reference has been made to what was served during the holidays, but it would have included speciality goods served for other celebrations and high holidays throughout the year. Later, in the 19th century and after the introduction of the household oven, baking became widespread and Christmas cookies and baked goods started to become defined, especially following the Second World War.
The term syv slag småkaker (seven types of cookies) refers to an old tradition of having seven different kinds of cookies in the tin as the number 7 was thought to bring luck and is an important religious number. There are many ideas as to which cookies fall into the original list, but it is generally thought that sandkaker, fattigmann, goro, berlinerkranser, sirupsnipper, and krumkaker should be on there.
To help you find inspiration for bringing some holiday sweetness into your kitchen, I have compiled a list of all of the julekaker recipes you’ll find on my site. I’ll keep this list updated as more recipes are added. Happy baking!