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Danish Christmas Day Rice Pudding with Cherry Sauce Recipe (Risalamande)

In Denmark, many Danes end Christmas Day dinner with an almond and rice pudding dessert with cherry sauce called Risalamande (pronounced rees-sil-lā-mon-de.)

Actually you can make and eat Risalamande any time of the year but it is often associated with Christmas because one of the ingredients in Risalamande is a rice porridge called Risengrød (pronounced risen-groo with a hint of a d sound at the end) which again, you can eat any time of the year.

It is a tradition to serve Risengrød as part of Christmas Eve dinner and put some outside for the gnomes (similar to bribing Santa Claus with cookies and milk.) If you don’t thank the gnomes (Nisse in Danish, Tomte in other Scandinavian countries) for protecting the family from harm with a bowl of porridge on Christmas Eve, the nisser (plural for nisse) will get mad and play tricks on you. 

But you don’t want to give all of the leftover porridge to the gnomes! By the time Christmas day rolls around, the nisser should be fat and happy after eating their Christmas Eve Risengrød and you’re good for the year. 

Now we can use the rice porridge to make the Christmas rice pudding desert that we humans can keep all to ourselves without consequence!

Easy Rice Pudding with Cherry Sauce Dessert Recipe (Risalamande)

Easy Danish Rice Pudding Ricipe

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You will need the following ingredients for the Risalamande pudding

2 cups of chilled Risengrød (You can read my easy Danish rice porridge recipe here)

christmas gnome porridge recipe
A gnome and Risengrød!

1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract – do yourself a favor and buy real vanilla extract like this kind and skip the artificial stuff. Your taste buds will thank you!

1/2 Cup of toasted and chopped almonds

1 Cup of whipped cream – I can’t eat dairy. I use almond milk whipped cream instead. You can learn more about Almond Milk Reddi Whip here.

1/4 Cup of white sugar

How to Make the Danish Rice Pudding Recipe

1. Add the rice porridge, chopped almonds, 1/4 cup sugar, and vanilla to a bowl and mix the ingredients together. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until it is time to serve.


 You will need the following ingredients for the Risalamande cherry sauce:

1 12 to 15 ounce can or jar of cherries and juice  - try to use dark cherries like this kind if you can find them.

1/2 Cup white sugar

2 Teaspoons of lemon juice

2 Teaspoons of corn starch

How to Make the Danish Christmas Cherry Sauce for Dessert

1. Stir to dissolve the sugar into a pan of cherries and their juice on the stove. 

2. In a separate small bowl, stir to dissolve the corn starch into the lemon juice.

3. Bring the cherry mixture to a boil and stir the lemon juice mixture to it until the sauce thickens. It is done and ready to serve warm or cold.


How to Serve Risalamande

You can enjoy your risalamande while the sauce is still warm or after it is chilled

Serve the cherry sauce warm or cold over a portion of of the chilled rice pudding.

Some  families serve risalamande topped with cherry sauce in individual dessert bowls. One lucky person at the table will find a whole almond in the bottom of their empty bowl which is harder because this recipe includes chopped almonds in the pudding.) That person wins the almond gift – usually candy, marzipan, or another small treat.

Quick and Easy Christmas Pudding Dessert Recipe


Other families, like mine, play the almond game the night before with the risengrød and serve the risalamande and cherry sauce in individual bowls on the table. The service it yourself options works better for us since we do a causal Christmas Day buffet.  (to make it easier on myself I make it after Christmas Eve dinner and keep it in the refrigerator until we eat on Christmas Day.

There isn’t right or wrong way to do it. You don’t even have to play the almond game at all.

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

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I love this and can't believe I've never made it for all of the years we've celebrated our Nisse night. Featuring when my party opens up tonight.
Rice pudding is a favorite of mine, the cherry sauce sounds delicious!