Norwegian fattigmand are simple, not-too-sweet fried cookies that are dusted with powdered sugar.

Norwegian fattigmand cookies: A beautifully shaped, fried cookie dusted with powdered sugar.

Fattigmand translates to “poor man” in English. Perhaps these cookies are named this way because of the simple, unassuming ingredients. 

As in most of the traditional Norwegian recipes I post, these cookies have a very simple ingredient list:

  • Egg yolks
  • Cream
  • Sugar
  • Butter
  • Flour

Norwegian fattigmand cookies: Learn how to make this traditional Norwegian cookie!

Do I Need A Fattigmand Roller To Make These Cookies?

While a fattigmand roller will help you make uniform, perfectly cut cookies with scalloped edges, it is not absolutely necessary to use one to make fattigmand cookies.

If you inherited a fattigmand roller from your grandma – or if you can purchase one nearby – certainly use it!

If you don’t have a fattigmand roller, simply cut cookies in diamond shapes, about 2 inches high and 1 inch wide. Cut a short vertical slit down the middle, and fold in the left and right edges.

Twin Cities readers: I purchased a brand new fattigmand roller at Ingebretsen’s Scandinavian Foods & Gifts in Minneapolis. 

Here’s a link to buy it on Amazon:


Norwegian fattigmand cookies: Learn how to make this traditional Christmas cookie at home!

Fattigmand are deep fried. I used about 2 inches of canola oil in a big heavy pot. Once the oil was hot enough, the cookies fried to a golden brown in less than one minute.

Watch carefully to make sure your cookies don’t burn!

More Traditional Norwegian Recipes

Join me in making a variety of traditional Norwegian sweets and eats – my absolute favorite way of exploring my Scandinavian heritage!

Norwegian fattigmand cookies: Learn how to make this traditional Norwegian cookie!

Norwegian Fattigmand Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

These unique cookies are fried, not baked, and dusted with powdered sugar.


  • 6 egg yolks
  • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups all purpose flour
  • Cooking oil, to fry (canola, vegetable or peanut oil work well)
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting


  1. Beat egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Beat in sugar. Mix in remaining ingredients, using enough flour to make a soft dough. Don't overmix or overwork dough.
  2. On a floured surface, roll out dough into 1/2-inch thick. Use fattigmand cookie cutter to cut out cookie shapes.
  3. Carefully lift each cookie dough portion, and fold the sides of the dough into the slit in the center.
  4. Heat 2 inches of cooking oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot until it reaches 370 degrees F. If you don't have a food thermometer, you can test to see if the oil is hot enough when you dip the edge of a cookie in the oil and it sizzles.
  5. Fry cookies until golden brown, using a slotted metal spoon to remove the cookies from the oil. The cookies fry pretty quickly - less than 1 minute, in my experience.
  6. Place fried cookies on a paper towel-lined pan to drain excess oil. Repeat with remaining dough.
  7. Dust cookies with powdered sugar when they are cool.

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