Norwegian biscuits (Fattigman Bakkels)

    40 min

    This Norwegian biscuit recipe dates back more than a 100 years and the name actually means 'poor man's cakes'. Cardamom-spiced dough diamonds are deep-fried, then 'bejewelled' by rolling in caster sugar. Works well for two people making together, with one rolling and cutting dough, one deep frying. Lovely for mum-and-daughter baking time!

    16 people made this

    Serves: 48 

    • 1 egg
    • 3 egg yolks
    • 4 tablespoons double cream
    • 4 teaspoons caster sugar
    • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
    • 190g plain flour
    • 900g lard, for frying

    Prep:25min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Ready in:40min 

    1. In a large bowl, beat egg and yolks together. Stir in the cream, sugar, melted butter and cardamom. Mix in enough of the flour to make a soft but manageable dough. Handle the dough as little as possible or biscuits will be tough.
    2. Heat lard in deep frying pan to 190 C. On a floured cloth, roll the dough out to a thickness of 3mm. Cut into 5x5cm diamond shapes.
    3. Fry in hot lard until lightly browned. Drain on kitchen paper and dust with icing sugar when cool. The biscuits should be uniform in size and thickness and shouldn't be fried too dark or too light.


    For the truly traditional version of this recipe, stir 1 tablespoon of brandy or whisky into eggs with the cream, sugar, butter and cardamom.

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    Reviews in English (13)


    The recipe needs 2 emandations. First, the cookies are eased into a pot of melted lard for deep fat cooking. Do NOT splash, you will hurt! Cook untill the cookie returns to the surface and turn over to finish cooking. The cookie should not be brown! Second, a pastry wheel will cut the cookies and allow you to create a diagonal line across the middle and flip one end of the cookie through the hole to create a cookie which looks like a belt buckle and the shape will provide a hole to hook with a fork when you lift it out of the lard. Swallow to dry your mouth and blow the excess lard off the cookie before placing it on a flat piece of a brown paper bag to finish draining and to cool. The cardamum will taste better if you store the cookies in a paper lined sealed container for at least a week. The cookies will maintain their texture there also.  -  03 Dec 2004  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    This recipe is good, but as another reviewer suggested, the Fattigmand should be cut in a diamond shape with a wheel on a handle. My mother had a special wheel for this. Also if you add a tablespoon of whisky or other alcohol, they will not absorb the oil as they cook. My mother always used vegetable oil and never lard. My mother's recipe used more eggs and the amount it made was dependent on the number of eggs used. The reason that they are called Fattigmand Bakkles (poor man's cookies) is that they contain ingredients that everyone could afford.  -  11 Nov 2007  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    my grandmother taught me how to make this cookie 3 years ago, before her passing. her grandmother taught her how to make it. Our family came to america over 100 years ago, and have made the cookie at christmas time ever since their arrival. This cookie is truly special to my entire extended family. I am carrying on the tradition now. happy baking!  -  22 Sep 2003  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)