Featured Post

Quick and Easy Pumpkin Bread Recipe

At the very last minute, my schedule changed and I could attend a friend’s tea party. Which also meant I had to scramble at the last minute to make a tasty and food allergy friendly sweet treat. I noticed a lonely package of last fall’s pumpkin puree in the freezer. I decided to give pumpkin bread a try. My quick and easy recipe is cheap to make and, more importantly, delicious!    Save this delicious recipe to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends! Let’s bake!

Easy Danish Christmas Eve Rice Porridge (Risengrød) Recipe

For Christmas Eve dinner, families in Denmark start the meal by giving everyone at the table a small bowl of warm porridge topped with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar and a pat of butter on top called Risengrød (pronounced risen-groo with a hint of a d sound at the end.) 

One lucky person at the table will find a whole almond in the bottom of their empty bowl and will win the almond gift – usually candy, marzipan, or other small treat.


Easy Christmas Eve gnome porridge recipe
Save this recipe to your Pinterest Boards for later! Share it with your friends!

You are also supposed to put a bowl of Risengrød outside or in your attic to thank the gnomes (Nisse in Danish, Tomte in other Scandinavian countries) to thank them for helping the farm prosper and for protecting the family from harm. 

Nissa Tomtesdottir the gnome
When I play Nissa Tomtesdottir the gnome at renaissance and Christmas fairs I spend most of my day reminding visitors to give rice porridge to the gnomes on Christmas eve. This post was inspired by a fellow performer asking me for my risengrød recipe.

If you don’t thank the gnomes for their service with porridge on Christmas Eve (which really isn’t too big an ask for all that they do for humans without our knowledge,) the nisser (plural for nisse) will get mad and play tricks on you. There is a fantastic book about a girl who didn’t believe in gnomes, didn’t give them a bowl of risengrød on Christmas eve and the adventure that follows when she has to correct the situation. You can learn more about the book Winterfrost here. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)

How to Make Danish Rice Porridge for the Gnomes


You will need the following ingredients to make Risengrød

1 cup of short grain rice (such as jasmine or pearl rice.) Do not use instant rice like Minute Rice. You can buy Scandinavian porridge rice here.

1 and 1/2 cups of water

1 Tablespoon of butter (or plant based butter if you cannot eat diary)

1/2 Teaspoon of salt

4 and 1/2 cups milk (I like to use almond milk because I cannot eat dairy)

A mixture of equal amounts of cinnamon and sugar (just like making the topping for cinnamon toast)

A small pat of butter (or plant based butter) for the top of each bowlthis is very important! A young girl played a trick on her nisse by putting the butter in the bottom of the bowl. The nisse got so mad about the missing butter that he killed the family's best cow.  Apparently murder is exhausting, because the nisse ate the porridge afterward and found the butter in the bottom of his bowl. He felt so bad that he stole and replaced the dead cow with an identical looking cow from a neighboring farm.

quick and easy Scandinavian rice porridge recipe
Rice porridge makes for a happy home, gnome, and tummy too!

Step by Step How to Make this Risengrød Recipe

1. Rinse the raw rice with water and allow the water to drain from the rice in a colander.

2. Mix to combine and bring to a boil in a pan on the stove the water and butter.

3. Pour the rice into the mixture and stir to combine the ingredients and to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan until it reaches a rolling boil.

4. Continue to stir the mixture after turning down the heat of the burner You can stop stirring after the boiling mixture is reduced to a simmer. Put a lid on the pot and until the rice mixture absorbs the water which generally takes 10 to 15 minutes. 

5. Remove the lid from the pot and stir the milk into the rice.

6. While stirring the rice and milk mixture, raise the heat of the burner until it reaches a rolling boil.

7. Again, just like in Step 4, continue to stir the mixture after turning down the heat of the burner You can stop stirring after the boiling mixture is reduced to a simmer (or less.) Put a lid on the pot and allow the porridge to simmer for 45 minutes.

Warning: At this stage of the process, it is easy for the porridge to scorch, so keep an eye on it.

To Serve:

1. Put a whole almond in the bottom of one of the dessert bowls, if desired.

2. Fill individual bowls with Risengrød.

3. Top the porridge with the cinnamon and sugar mixture and the all important pat of butter on top!

Save, cover, and refrigerate the leftover Risengrød. After a 24 hour marinade, we will use the leftover Risengrød to make the Christmas Day Danish Pudding Dessert Risalamande! (pronounced rees-sil-lā-mon-de)

Rather buy than DIY? Check out the Christmas gnome and rice porridge options – and more! – below!

Did you like this post? Get more like it by subscribing to the Lazy Budget Chef RSS feed