Rice Pudding with Cherry Sauce

Rice pudding with cherry sauce (risalamande)

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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This Scandinavian recipe results in a classic Christmas dessert that’s enjoyed throughout Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The best part? If you’ve already made the rice porridge (another recipe you can check out) then you’re already halfway there!


For the pudding:

  • Leftover of pre-prepared rice porridge (risengrød or risgrynsgröt)
  • 500ml of whipping cream
  • 130g of icing sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla powder (or 2 tsp of vanilla extract)
  • 200g of peeled and chopped almonds
  • 1 whole almond

For the cherry sauce:

  • 350g of frozen cherries
  • 80g of caster sugar (or less if you want it to be less sweet)
  • 400ml of water
  • 1 tbsp of cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp of water


For the pudding:

  1. In Scandinavia, this is commonly made from the leftovers of the rice porridge from the day before — if you haven’t already, check out the recipe for this here.
  2. Peel and chop the almonds.
  3. Whip the cream, gradually adding the icing sugar and vanilla powder as you go.
  4. Mix the rice porridge (it should be cold) with the whipped cream.
  5. Throw in the almonds and stir, mixing it all together.
  6. If you’re partaking in this particular Scandinavian tradition — add one whole almond to the mix (with the game of seeing who finds it in their bowl).

For the cherry sauce:

  1. Mix the cherries, sugar and water in a pan and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for a few minutes.
  2. Mix together the cornstarch with water in a bowl, then add to the cherry mixture, stirring while it thickens. If it doesn’t thicken to your desired consistency, add more cornstarch.
  3. Take it off the heat and pour the warm cherry sauce over the rice pudding.
  4. Don’t forget to warn your guests that there is a whole almond inside one of their bowls!

Background: Rice pudding with cherry sauce (risalamande)

In Denmark it’s known as ‘risalamande’, which stems from the French name, ‘riz à l’amande’, which in turn directly translates to “rice with almonds.” But of course, the other Scandinavian countries have put their own spin on the pudding — in Norway they call it ‘riskrem’ and in Sweden they call it ‘ris a la malta’.

In some recipes, they substitute the cherry sauce for a raspberry sauce or candied orange peel. Which is a good excuse to keep making this delicious dish so you can decide on the best topping!

As far as desserts go, they can’t get more festive than this. Risalamande is traditionally eaten after dinner on Christmas Eve, typically using the leftovers from the rice porridge that is cooked the day before. For many households, it’s not a true Christmas meal without the rice pudding and cherry sauce.

As for the hiding of the whole almond, this is an old custom that is still practiced by many households. According to tradition, whoever found the almond would win a prize or be married before the next Christmas.

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