Danish Cristmas Dessert – Risalamande


In Denmark it is customary to eat Risalamande for dessert on Christmas. Part of the tradition is to add a whole almond and whoever gets the almond gets a small gift.

Risalamande consists of rice pudding mixed with vanilla, whipped cream and chopped almonds and is often served with cherry sauce – hot or cold depending on your preference.


Rice pudding

170 gram Short grain white rice

1 l Whole milk, 3.5 % fat

1 tsp. Salt


100 gram Almonds, whole

1000 gram Rice pudding (the whole portion of the recipe)

40-50 gram Powdered sugar

1-2 tbsp. Sherry, medium or Amaretto - may be omitted

1 pcs. Vanilla pod

5 dl Heavy cream 38%

To serve

Cherry sauce


Cook the rice pudding

Prepare a portion of rice pudding following the method in the attached recipe.

Place the pudding in a bowl and leave to cool completely in the fridge. You can prepare the rice pudding the day before.

Blanch and peel the almonds

Add the almonds to a saucepan and cover with water.

Set the temperature to 102ºC and cook them for 5 minutes.

Cool the almonds with cold water so you don’t burn your fingers. Remove the skin of the almonds, by pressing each almond, and the skin should easily pop of.

Chop the almonds. Coarsely or finely, depending on your preference. Remember to save a whole almond!

Mix the Risalamande

Mix the cold rice pudding with the chopped almonds, powdered sugar and sherry or amaretto (if you want it).

Split the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Combine the vanilla seeds in a bowl with the heavy cream. Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks, be careful not to over whip it.

Stir a few spoonsful of the whipped cream into the rice pudding. Then add all the whipped cream and mix well. Stir in the whole almond and pour the rice pudding into a serving bowl.

Refrigerate until serving.

To Serve

Serve the Risalamande with hot or cold cherry sauce.


Sherry cuts the fattiness of the cream and gives an extra depth of flavour.

Amaretto adds a mild almond/marzipan flavour, which is delicious in the Risalamande.

You can, of course, keep the Risalamande completely simple and just use the vanilla, especially if the dessert is also served to children.