Scandinavian Rosettes

I’m not quite done with cookies yet, although I can’t really classify these as cookies. They’re light, airy and crisp, and taste like what I want elephant ears and other fried dough products to taste like at the Stampede, but never do.

Rosettes are made by frying batter quickly on the end of a rosette iron, which I imagine aren’t found in too many kitchens. But I’d like to rectify that. It’s the sort of thing one might ask Santa to tuck in one’s stocking – they’re inexpensive, and worth it for the batches of crisp rosettes you’ll undoubtedly crank out every Christmas. There’s something to be said for special recipes only made on special occasions, like cookie parties and Christmas. Especially when those things are rosettes, still warm and dusted with icing sugar. Waffle irons exclusively make waffles – so why not? You may even come across some nice vintage ones at garage sales or on etsy.

The batter is similar to that of a crepe, although the result is nothing of the sort. The mixture is easily whisked together in a minute or two. Then to make the rosettes, bring an inch or two of canola or other mild vegetable oil in a smallish pot. Dip the floral end of the metal iron in the oil to heat it up, then dip it in the batter, and back into the oil. Once golden, each rosette will pop right off with the tip of a fork.

Set the pile on a paper towel-lined plate and dust with icing sugar. Pass around immediately.



December 20, 2011

  • Makes: Makes lots.


2 large eggs

2 Tbsp sugar

1 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

canola oil, for cooking

icing sugar, for dusting


1In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. Add the flour and salt and whisk just until blended.

2Heat an inch or two of oil in a heavy medium saucepan until it's hot but not smoking (if you have a thermometer it should register about 375°F). Dip the metal end of the rosette iron into the oil for a minute to heat up, then take it out, letting the extra oil drip into the pot.

3Dip the rosette iron into the batter, without letting it come up over the top edge of the design, then submerge the iron in the oil and cook until golden, 35 to 40 seconds. Lift out iron, letting oil drip off, and pry the rosette off with a fork over a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining batter.

4Dust the rosettes with icing sugar and serve immediately.


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29 comments on “Scandinavian Rosettes

  1. Monica I.
    December 20, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    And I was just looking at these in Zenari’s yesterday wondering if I’d ever use them.
    Any substitute objects in the avg kitchen that could be used?

  2. Jean
    December 20, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Now you have me all nostalgic. My Norwegian grandma used to make these every Christmas, along with fattigman and sand tarts.

  3. Jennifer Jo
    December 21, 2011 at 3:59 am


  4. Buddiegirl
    December 21, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Those look so pretty.

    Growing up, my mom made these all the time, not just for Christmas. We also had a butterfly shaped iron which was our favourite.

  5. Angela
    December 21, 2011 at 9:07 am

    After 48 years my mother is leaving the house we grew up in so we’ve been busy cleaning things out and guess what I got? Yep. The Rosette set, but the recipe card was long gone. Thanks Julie. Hope to make this a new tradition around my house.
    Merry Christmas!

  6. Vivian
    December 21, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Ah, the “secret” of rosettes revealed! Thanks, Julie. I don’t have a rosette iron (yet) but as Monica I. mused…perhaps something else around the kitchen might do in a pinch. My first thought was the multi-pointed end of a metal meat tenderizer or to make little crispy bowls…the bottom of a soup ladle? Bizzare, I know, but they might work.

  7. Janet
    December 21, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Merry Christmas to you and your family, Julie. I just found a very nice rosette iron set at the thrift shop in Okotoks last week, and your post has inspired me to clean it up, and make rosettes for Christmas Eve!

  8. Anonymous
    December 21, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Vivian and Monica, I think the secret to having the rosette maker work is the open, lacy pattern of it. Kind of like the hole in a doughnut, you need to get that hot oil in between the batter, if that makes sense.
    So you might be disappointed with the ladle or meat tenderizer for that reason (nowhere for the oil to bubble through).
    But here’s another thought: what about funnel cakes using the same batter? As I remember funnel cakes, they use a loose batter and hot oil like this. You get a funnel and a ‘stopper’ to use inside it. The handle of a wooden spoon would work if it fit ok. Do a couple of practise tries just flowing the batter back into the bowl before you go into the oil with it, but here’s how:
    You just plug the tip of the spoon handle neatly into the funnel from the inside (looks weird, but it’s like a funnel-full-of-upside down-spoon.) Then you fill the rest of the funnel up with batter. You lift the spoon/plug up a bit with one hand, while deftly swirling the funnel in a quick circular motion as the batter flows out of it. Swiftly slip the spoon (alliteration!) back in to plug the funnel. When you’re happy with the process, go over to your pot of *hot* oil and do a swirly funnel cake. You have to flip these, they don’t seem to cook right through the way the rosettes do.
    But !before you do this! Maybe we should check with Julie to see if this batter is suitable? (BTW, you can still dust funnel cakes with icing sugar!)
    Carol S-B
    *still waving*

    • JulieVR
      December 22, 2011 at 10:15 am

      Hey, sorry for the slow reply about the funnel cakes! It’s true, I wouldn’t attempt these with a potato masher (or maybe I will, since I have both, and report back! it’s not a bad idea!) – I don’t see why it wouldn’t work as funnel cakes!

  9. Vivian
    December 21, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    Thanks Carol S-B…always wondered just what a “funnel cake” was! I get your point about the hot oil needing to move around and over and through the lacely rosette to crisp up uniformly. I guess my meat tenderizer and ladle are safe for now!

  10. Jan @ Family Bites
    December 21, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Those are beautiful!

  11. Laurelie
    December 22, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    I love these and I love the memories of my childhood that they bring back when I make them in my own house. And the added bonus is that they make your house smell like the carnival for a few hours!

  12. KathyG
    December 23, 2011 at 6:13 am

    My grandmother started making these in her later years. (She must have tried them at someone’s house, as there isn’t a drop of Scandinavian blood in our family.) They sure were fun to make, way more fun than trying to crank the cookie press to make the other Xmas specialty: bright green wreath cookies.

    The rosettes tasted way better than the green cookies too.

  13. Nancy M
    December 23, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Right now, my house does smell like a circus from the hot oil I was using to make rosettes. My husband just came in from outside & started opening windows! I’m just a bit frustrated that my rosettes haven’t crisped up like I want them to…several are kind of “soggy”. I didn’t use a thermometer, so maybe that was the problem. Also, I’ve read that using canola oil isn’t a good idea because it smokes badly before it gets hot enough for the rosettes, so I just use basic vegetable oil. Anyone have any suggestions for next year??

  14. CascoBoy8
    December 25, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Monica: I have used GrapeSeed oil which works well for Rosettes and has a High Smoke Temp so you get less smoking at 375 degrees F. Good Luck! and thanks for the Recipe.

  15. Jenne
    December 29, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Those look gorgeous and delicious!

  16. Ashley
    January 2, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Mmm you’ve convinced me I need a rosette iron!

  17. Nita
    March 30, 2012 at 5:17 am

    I’m from Cape Town, South Africa and spent the whole morning looking for the recipe, as my ouma (grandmother) gave me her little iron. I remember growing up and having these when we visited ouma. I’ve been trying exactly what you said for two hours now, and my thinge-majiggies keep on sticking to the iron. What am I doing wrong? I so want to surprise hubby and daughter when they come home this afternoon.

  18. JulieVR
    March 30, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Nita – hmm…. I didn’t have that problem – try holding the bare iron in the hot oil for a few seconds to heat it up, then dip in the batter, then back in the oil – let me know how it works!

  19. Viv
    September 30, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    I made these and they were crispy and delicous but the next day they were soft & stale tasting. How should I store them?

    • Julie
      September 30, 2013 at 12:26 pm

      Yes, fragile fried things like this don’t keep very well. I’d make sure they’re in an airtight container – and don’t store them with soft cookies!

  20. Judy
    November 3, 2013 at 8:35 am

    I want to buy one of these rosette irons in Australia when I visit in December.. Where canI find one please. I will be in canberra.

  21. brenda
    November 25, 2013 at 11:07 am

    I always got a box of these as a Christmas treat from my uncle. My grandmother hid them so I wouldn’t eat the whole box in one sitting! she stored them in a cardboard shirt box….NOT airtight and they kept well. Mine are dipped in granulated sugar, not powdered sugar. I’d avoid powdered sugar until serving time. Also, soggy can be a result of oil that is too hot OR not hot enough OR not cooking long enough. Also suggest cooling with the bottom side up to allow the best drainage of oil as they cool. The iron should be heated in the oil for more than a few seconds to help avoid sticking to the iron. They are tricky little things to make, but worth the effort. I’ve also found that WHOLE milk is important for success when using any of my grandmother’s recipies as she wouldn’t have even heard of skim or lower fat options….

  22. Toni
    May 22, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    YUM!!!!! I’ve always wanted to try to make these…but never, EVER, could I find a Rosette Iron. Not even at Bed Bath and Beyond, or Home Outfitters.(BTW, I’m from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)

    I finally found one, boxed up neatly and apparently unused at a local thrift store. Made my first batch right after dinner.

    I have a bit of a ways to go with technique, but I’ll figure it out…..they were huge fun to make.

    So glad I found this.


  23. Kelly
    December 19, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    EBay has a lot of rosette irons for sale. I have a vintage set that was my mother’s. We made these every Christmas until the handle broke. I have many shapes and finally found a replacement handle at a thrift store. This will be the first time I am making these since she died. I hope they come out like I remember.

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  26. Lee wei
    May 21, 2016 at 4:08 am

    Hi, can i use rosettes iron to be a branding iron to stamp on cheesecake and bread?

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