Looking for something sweet? Iceland gastronomy is not only about fish, hot dogs and soups. The sweet part of it, is delicious. Most of the time spiced with cinnamon or cardamom and made with ancient recipes passed from one generation to another. We will talk about different desserts but also sweet treats for tea time or just to have them as snacks any time of the day. Some of these great treats can be found at cafés and restaurants, be sure to look for them!
Rugbraud is a traditional Icelandic dessert. It is a frozen cake, made with dark bread and it was usually made at home, but nowadays it can be found in many cafes.
Brynhildur Pálsdóttir had an amazing idea back in 2005: make chocolates with Icelandic mountain forms. Now this dream has come true, and you can find 4 types of chocolates: jökull, stapi, drangar and eldborg. Each of them represents a rock formation typical in the country and is made with different ingredients: almond, caramel, chocolate, macadamias, tonka bean, pistachios, etc. They come wrapped in a beautiful packaging that provides information about the real mountains. Make sure you get them while in Iceland, as they are not sold anywhere else!
Grjónagrautur is not a proper dessert itself, as Icelandic people consume it as an afternoon snack usually. It is a warm meal typical in winter made with rice and milk. Some other optional ingredients are salt, cinnamon, almonds and raisins.
Another typical winter treat is the kakósúpa or hot cocoa soup. You can have it as a dessert but also during the day, as a hot drink to warm you up. It is much more healthy than the ones that come ready to drink, as it is only made with cocoa, milk, sugar, cinnamon and potato flour.
Pönnukökur are the original Icelandic pancakes. They are like American or French crepes and usually served with granulated sugar and folded in a triangle. There is a traditional Icelandic Pancake pan: a round pan with a thick bottom which is essential to make perfect Icelandic pancakes!
Kleinur recipe is passed from generation to generation and this sweet is the perfect mate for a coffee. In some other Scandinavian countries as Sweden or Denmark for example they are only available in Christmas. Nowadays in Iceland, Kleinur is sold all year round. We could say this is the Icelandic version for the worldwide known doughnut. It is made with a tasty dough, cardamom and nutmeg. Even if you can find them in many supermarkets already packed, I strongly recommend trying the home made version.
The Icelandic granola bar, called Hafraklattar, is not a proper dessert, but a really good way to charge batteries during the day. It could be day snack or a light breakfast made with oats, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, apple sauce, butter and sugar. There are made brands that make them organic.
As we have seen already, there are some Icelandic recipes similar to others around the world and Skúffukaka is a proof of it. Any version of brownie has to be good, but the Icelandic version is delicious! Each Icelandic family has in fact its own version of Skúffukaka with a special ingredient or way of doing it. It is usually topped with ground coconut and it also has cinnamon.
Happy marriage cake or Hjónabandssaela is a delicious rhubarb baked cake. The recipe is simple but brilliant: a buttery oat crust filled with rhubarb jam. It is also sprinkled with spices as cardamom.
Famous Icelandic Desserts – Sugar, Butter And Flour!
Jólakaka is a traditional Christmas sponge cake but it is so good and tasty that nowadays it is prepared all year round. Made with butter, sugar, milk, flour eggs and raisins. Another traditional Christmas dessert is the Vinarterta, a layer cake filled with raisins as well.
Slöngukaka or snake cake is a light chocolate sponge that tastes delicious! made with eggs, sugar, flour and cocoa of course!
When you look to have the traditional “Kaffi og Kaka” or the sweet combination of coffee and cake, mondlukaka will be for sure between the choices in many cafes. It is the traditional Icelandic almond cake, made of course with almonds but also with strawberry jam.