Norwegian sandbakkels are a traditional Christmas cookie that are made in sandbakkel tins, are lightly seasoned, and have a slightly crumbly texture.

Norwegian sandbakkels recipe: Traditional Norwegian cookies that can be eaten plain or with a filling.

Sandbakkelse take me right back to my grandma’s kitchen, circa 1988.

My grandma used to make the same Christmas treats every year: White sour cream fudge, chocolate fudge, krumkake, and sandbakkelse. Each were tucked into a decorative tin. Each recipe was perfected over the years. And each was made with love.

Do traditional Norwegian recipes take you back to your happy place? If they do, then we have something special in common!

Today, I’m sharing a very special recipe for traditional almond-flavored Norwegian sugar cookie called sandbakkelse (also spelled sandbakkels) (translation: sand tarts) or sandkaker (translation: sand cakes). 

How to make Norwegian sandbakkels: Learn how to make this traditional Norwegian cookie!


What Are Sandbakkelse?

I bought a vintage box of sandbakkelse tins from Gladd Co at a garage sale in St. Paul last summer.

The original recipe and pamphlet were included in the box, and this is how it described sandbakkelse:

Sandbakkelse are sugar cookies that are baked in tins of various sizes and shapes. These cookies are traditionally served as a shell tipped upside down on your prettiest blue plate. Mouth watering when they are filled, too, with fresh fruit, whipped cream mixed with crushed peppermint candy and so on.

Recipe Tips: Sandbakkels

The trick to making great sandbakkelse is to make sure the dough is pressed down thinly and evenly into the individual tins. This will ensure even baking and thickness.

Although we have always eaten them plain/unfilled, you can certainly add filling like whipped cream and fruit. 

How do you fill sandbakkelse (sand tarts)? I’d love to hear your family’s preferred method. Please comment below!

Norwegian sandbakkels, filled with cream and berries. Click through for this traditional Norwegian recipe!

Where To Find Sandbakkelse Tins

If you’re here for the Norwegian recipes, I’m going to guess that you already have a set of sandbakkels tins. Or maybe your mom, aunt or grandmother does.

If you’re lucky (and from the Upper Midwest) you can maybe find a set of sandbakkelse tins at a thrift shop, antique shop or garage sale (that’s where I found mine).

If you don’t have your own set, you can buy them on Amazon. Here are 2 options:

Sandbakkelse Tins from Bethany Housewares

Bakerdream Mini Tart Tins (6 pcs)

Norwegian sandbakkels: A traditional cookie that can be eaten plain or with a filling. Delicious either way!

More Norwegian Recipes

Do you love exploring your Scandinavian roots through traditional recipes? Me too! Here are some other recipes to try:

Sandbakkels recipe: Traditional Norwegian cookies made in sandbakkelse tins. Click through for recipe!

Sandbakkels recipe: Traditional Norwegian cookies made in sandbakkelse tins. Click through for recipe!

Sandbakkelse Recipe

Yield: 16 cookies
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 22 minutes

These Norwegian sugar cookies are delicious in their simplicity. Eat them with or without filling, with a cup of coffee.


  • 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 small egg, unbeaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour


  1. Cream butter. Add sugar and beat well. Add egg and almond extract. Stir in flour.
  2. Place dough, covered, in the refrigerator at least 3 hours - or overnight.
  3. Take dough out of refrigerator and get ready to assemble cookies. The dough may be easier to handle after it has sat at room temperature for a few minutes.
  4. Turn on oven to 375F. Take a small ball of dough and press it into a sandbakkel tin. The dough should be about 1/16th of an inch thick. Repeat with remaining dough.
  5. Place filled tins on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, until golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven, tip upside down, and allow to cool slightly until comfortable to touch. Gently pinch the sides of the tin to remove the cookie.

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