The Letter K is for: Koldskål


Danish Koldskål

This is my version on an old fashioned Danish classic summer dessert that’s usually served with crispy biscuits (like biscotti biscuits) crumbled across the top. Some people add egg yolks, most Danes add Kærnemælken (a thin milk) but I’ve worked around that problem (no Kærnemælken in UK supermarkets) as best as I can, some add more buttermilk than others for an extra tangy edge, some add fresh lemon juice, some don’t, some more sugar, and some less. There’s no end to the ways you can make this or when you choose to serve it. It also works well for breakfast, this version being a close knock-off of ymer (except that this is flavoured with vanilla and sweetened).

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If you add egg yolks, I’d suggest creaming them into the sugar (or sweetener), and then adding all the dairy products in a slow stream.

Tonight, I’m going to surprise Peder with this for afters, and I’ve sliced up fresh strawberries to go on top. Shhhh – he doesn’t know.

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Koldskål ("Cold Bowl")


1 cup single cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup unflavoured live yoghurt (non-fat is okay)
1-2 tablespoon sugar (or 1 teaspoon sweetener)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Crunchy biscuits for crumbling on top of the koldskål


Roll the lemon back and forth across the work surface to soften the flesh. This allows more juice to be extracted from the lemon. Sticking it in the microwave for 3-5 seconds helps also. Now juice the lemon into a small bowl and set aside. Remove pips. Duh! In a large bowl, mix together the cream and sugar, stirring until there’s no crunchy sugar at the bottom of the bowl. Now add the buttermilk and yoghurt, stir thoroughly. Add the vanilla (more to taste if you want), stir, and then add 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice. Taste. If you want a more tangy flavour, add the remaining lemon juice, and stir.

There are two schools of thought at this point. 1) Put the bowl in the fridge. 2) Place the bowl in a corner at room temperature away from sunlight. I do both. For a few hours, I let the acids and the fat work together as a natural thickener, and then I put it in the fridge to cool. Koldskål should be served icy cold, which is why it’s often a summer dessert.

Crumble crisp biscuits across the top just before serving.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Joanna says:

    I would love to slurp a bowlful of Koldskal with a few Samso strawberries, but I would have to come to your house to do it 😉 What a lovely dessert!

  2. Misk Cooks says:

    You are always welcome.:)

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