Norwegian Sandnøtter Christmas Cookies With Lemon


Norwegians traditionally make seven types of cookies for Christmas, and each family usually has their own favorites they include in their seven. My Norwegian grandmother had her favorites, and then my mom and my aunt have there favorites, some of which they’ve passed on to me, while others of which I’ve… passed on. My seven Norwegian Christmas cookies change a bit each year, but one cookie that I always include is Norwegian sandnøtter cookies.

sandnøtter Norwegian Christmas cookies

You can find all of my Scandinavian Christmas recipes here.

Norway has so many delicious Christmas cookies, many of which are made from quite complicated recipes. I’m looking at you Sarah Bernhardt. But sandnøtter are so simple to make. They’re the perfect easy Norwegian sugar cookies. And personally I think they’re even better than some of the more elaborate cookies that take hours to make, though I do love those as well.

Sandnøtter are a light shortbread cookie. A lot of Norwegians make vanilla sandnøtter, but my family always makes a lemon version of sand cookies, which I personally think is so much better. Perhaps lemon doesn’t sound particularly Christmasy, but the little hint of citrus is so refreshing amongst all the warm spices in our other cookies. And my Norwegian friends agree – everyone who tried my lemon sandnøtter this year commented on how delicious sandnøtter with lemon are.

making Norwegian sandnøtter with lemon

These sandnøtter are made with potato starch instead of flour, which gives them a wonderful crumbly, sand-like texture. Okay maybe eating sand doesn’t sound appealing, but in this case it really is so good. They melt in your mouth.

grating a lemon for sandnøtter

These lemon sand cookies don’t spread out much when baking, so the size and shape you put in the over will stay about the same. I like to keep the cookies smooth, so I just flatten them a bit with my hands, but if you want textured sandnøtter you can flatten them with a fork.

baking Norwegian sandnøtter cookies

I bake lemon sandnøtter every Christmas, and every Christmas I wonder why I don’t make these all year round – they’re so simple, and so delicious. They also make an excellent gift because everyone likes them, and they’re quite sturdy as far as Christmas cookies go.

sandnøtter Norwegian Christmas cookies

You can switch the recipe from US measurements to metric by clicking from “US Customary” to “Metric” under Ingredients.

sandnøtter Norwegian Christmas cookies

Norwegian Sandnøtter Christmas Cookies With Lemon

Sandnøtter are a simple but delicious shortbread cookie with a hint of lemon that are popular as Christmas cookies in Norway.
4.86 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Norwegian
Keyword: Christmas, cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 60 cookies
Author: Silvia


  • 2/3 cups butter
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups potato starch
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 large lemon


  • Preheat oven to 355°F (180°C)
  • Stir the butter and sugar until fluffy. In a separate bowl mix together the potato starch, baking powder, and grated lemon peel. Then alternate adding the egg and potato starch mixture to the butter and sugar.
  • Roll out small balls and place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Flatten the cookies a bit with your hand for smooth cookies, or with the back of a fork for textured cookies. Leave some space between each ball.
  • Bake the cookies in the middle of the oven for approximately 10 minutes until they are golden and crispy. Cool the cakes on a wire rack and store them in an airtight container.



  • Chris

    December 22, 2022 at 2:49 am

    5 stars
    These look delicious! Excited for your new blog, even though I’m a terrible cook, I like reading about food from other countries.

  • Natalie

    December 24, 2022 at 1:09 am

    5 stars
    These might be my new favorite cookie. They are SO good!!

    1. Silvia

      January 3, 2023 at 9:51 pm

      I’m glad you think so too!

  • The Seven Best Norwegian Christmas Cookies (+ Recipes) – Heart My Backpack

    June 23, 2023 at 7:01 pm

    […] You can also find the recipe, including a video, on my Norwegian food blog here. […]

  • Fran

    December 9, 2023 at 10:37 pm

    Sounds yummy! Can I substitute cornstarch for the potato starch?

    1. Silvia

      December 13, 2023 at 5:39 pm

      Hm, I think that would be risky – you should really use potato starch for these.

    2. Lo

      June 3, 2024 at 10:00 pm

      5 stars
      I had to substitute cornstarch. Now, they didn’t end up looking like cookies and kind of melted together to make a giant cornbread looking thing, but the taste is 👌🏻

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