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How to Make Rosettes Cookies

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One of my family’s Christmas traditions when growing up in Ames, Iowa, was making the Scandinavian fried cookies known as Rosettes. I’m sharing my tips on how to make rosettes cookies in your own kitchen. They’re perfect for the holidays!

This post from December, 2012, was updated with new photos and text.

Rosettes lined up on a narrow white tray

Rosettes for a Holiday Cookie Exchange

I attend one or two cookie exchanges each Christmas, plus I make oodles of cookies and candies to package up for my friends and neighbors. But for each event, I like to try a new recipe which isn’t in my yearly repertoire of treats. This year, my friends will receive these Scandinavian rosette cookies!

Cookies like these perfect Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies are a given when it comes to my baking list, so I thought back to my childhood, and was reminded of these sweet, crispy rosettes. How to make rosettes is one of the many legacies my dear mother passed on to me. Scroll down for my tips for making perfect rosettes.

Two rosettes on a square white plate


My Mom’s Recipe for Rosettes

Each December, my mom and Mrs. Homer (who happened to be my best friend’s mom) would plan for an evening of deep frying rosettes in lard plus a lot of gabbing. After a few years, they stopped alternating homes and they’d just meet at our house.

Apparently, my mom had lower standards when it came to a house smelling like a greasy diner. So we’d gather in the kitchen watching, until we were shooed off to bed.

My mom stored her share of rosettes in our basement freezer, until she packaged them up during Christmas week to be delivered to all our dearest friends. I remember coming home from college and still accompanying my dad on these deliveries.

My sisters and I could not resist swiping a few out of the freezer to sample, but I’m sure the trail of powdered sugar gave us away.There are a lot of rosette irons available on Amazon, like my cast iron version. There is a link near the bottom of this post.

3 Rosettes stacked on a round plate

How to Make Rosettes Cookies

  • My mom always used lard to make these rosettes. The aroma permeated the house, and lingered for days. But these rosettes were treasured treats among the lucky friends and neighbors who were recipients, and frying these was a holiday tradition. For this batch, I used canola oil. The lard found in most grocery stores sits on the shelf, not in the refrigerator cases. It’s not the same quality as what my mom used, and an oil with a high smoke point is a good substitute.
  • A simple batter takes only seconds to prepare. Just whisk together all the ingredients.
  • The oil must be heated to and maintained around 375º. Use a candy thermometer unless you’re using a deep fryer with a temperature gauge. If you’re frying these on the stovetop, adjust your burner as needed to keep the temperature steady.
  • Use a heavy duty saucepan if you don’t use a deep fryer. You’ll want your oil to be approximately 3-inches deep.
  • The rosette iron must be heated in the hot lard or vegetable oil before being plunged into the batter and back into the hot oil to cook. Give the iron a good minute or two to reheat or the batter will not adhere properly.
  • Let the excess oil drip off the iron, then dip the iron into the batter about 7/8th of the way. You do not want any batter to flow over the top of the iron.
  • In less than a minute in the hot oil, the rosette turns golden brown and can be removed to paper toweling to drain. I like to detach the rosette from the iron, flip it over to make sure both sides get evenly browned before draining on paper towels.
  • Use a table knife to gently pry the rosette loose from the iron if it doesn’t slip off on its own. Just a few nudges are needed.
  • A dusting of powdered sugar is the finishing touch for these elegant, delicate and festive “cookies.” Wait until the rosettes are cool before sprinkling with powdered sugar.
  • Rosettes freeze beautifully. If you plan to freeze them, wait until they’re defrosted to garnish with the powdered sugar.

That’s all there is when it comes to how to make rosettes!

More Holiday Cookies You’ll Love:

Do you have a favorite cookie to take to a Cookie Exchange?


Love this recipe? Please consider rating it in the comments below. You can also follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

Two rosettes stacked on a square plate


A beautiful Christmas/holiday cookie!

  • Author: Liz Berg
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 36 1x
  • Category: Dessert, Cookies
  • Method: Deep frying
  • Cuisine: Scandinavian


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  • Canola oil (or lard) for deep frying


  1. Combine egg, sugar and salt and whisk to combine. Add remaining ingredients and beat till smooth.
  2. Heat oil in deep-fryer or deep, heavy saucepan to 375º. Heat rosette iron in oil for 2 minutes. Drain excess oil from iron and dip into batter, ⅞ up the sides of the iron (batter should not run over the top of iron), then immediately into hot oil.
  3. Fry until golden 30 seconds or so. Remove to paper towel lined rack to cool. Gently remove from iron with a the tip of a dinner knife if needed. Repeat by reheating iron in oil for about a minute, then dipping and frying till all batter is used. Dust with powdered sugar to serve.


Recipe courtesy of my mom.

These freeze well.

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60 comments on “How to Make Rosettes Cookies”

  1. I love really pretty cookies like this!! They look so very good!!

  2. What gorgeous cookies! They are like mini works of art. Well done!

  3. I can only aspire to make cookies as beautiful as yours! Love the memories this one has for you.

  4. Oh these are such lovely cookies, Liz! It’s great to keep those memories you love going. I wouldn’t leave a trail of powdered sugar though….because I’d devour every last one of them while hovering over the plate! Beautiful! : )

  5. Welcome to wordpress Liz. you’ll love it!
    the cookies look amazing! thanks for sharing

  6. Love these cookies Lizzy. They look like star waffles! Happy Holidays my friend and cookie exchange for Sunday Suppers sounds awesome!

  7. these look gorgeous! of course they’re delicious–they’re fried! 😉

  8. What a beautiful cookie and a wonderful story and memory!

  9. I love rosettes, but I’ve never made them. These are so pretty. I’m inspired to give it a try!

  10. These are so delicate and beautiful! What a great addition to a holiday plate. And congrats on the big WordPress transfer!!

  11. Gorgeous! I am impressed!

  12. These look so delicate and delicious. They’re so pretty!

  13. Oh my goodness – these are absolutely, 100% BEAUTIFUL!

  14. How gorgeous! And with powdered sugar!

  15. These are so pretty and delicate Lizzy. I’ll bet you can eat a ton of these!

  16. These are deliciously beautiful! Great work Liz!

  17. So simple but absolutely beautiful Liz!

  18. My dear Mother used to make these, so tasty. She would serve them with whipped cream.

  19. Lizzy,
    Your rosettes look delicious. I haven’t made rosettes since I was a teenager. I need to find what happened to my Mom’s rosette irons.

  20. Lizzy, these rosettes are so cute!!!
    Have a nice day

  21. These cookies are look *almost* to pretty to eat!

  22. These are beautiful! Almost too pretty to eat!

  23. Absolutely beautiful Liz…almost too good to eat. almost. 😉

  24. Your rosettes are beautiful! I’ve never made them before nor do I have an iron. I may have to start a new tradition….

  25. Your rosettes look beautiful Liz! My Grandma used to make those and they were always my favorite cookies of hers! Hope you are having a wonderful Holiday season :)!

  26. I love these cookies!! My mom makes them. I have so much trouble making them….I think I don’t let the iron get hot enough so my batter doesn’t come off easily. Yours look gorgeous!

  27. They look so beautiful and I bet they taste amazing!

  28. I had the most horrible day of my life today, and then I read your post. Thank you!!!!!! I grew up with these and still have the iron, with differently shaped rosettes, but I lost the recipe many years ago. This post made my day better, and I am making these this weekend. We used to eat it with cinnamon sugar

    • Oh, I’m so glad, Susan! I had not made these in years and took a few sacrificed rosettes to get in the swing! Topping with cinnamon sugar sounds fabulous. Happy holidays/Merry Christmas!!

  29. I’ve always been intrigued by these beautiful cookies! Haven’t tried to make them (yet) though… A perfect gift:@)

  30. How fascinating Liz! I’ve never had these but they are very pretty. I love food memories and can recall swiping goodies that were meant for gifts from time to time. Especially bourbon balls which were doubly bad!

  31. I’ve never made–or heard of–rosettes cookies before but they’re gorgeous!  I need to add them to my ever-growing holiday baking list.  Happy almost Friday, Liz!

  32. I love old family traditions! These are great!

  33. Beautiful recipe dear Lizzy , hugs!!

  34. Definitely a favorite at our cookie exchange!

  35. They look so beautiful and I’ll bet they taste great. I’d probably break them all if I tried to make them

  36. Thank you for sharing this treasured recipe they are delicious!

  37. I remember making these with my mom when I was young, and don’t have her recipe. Thank you for reuniting me with this beautiful recipe!

  38. Wow, these are beautiful! I’m going to try making them this weekend! 

  39. Liz! These delicious cookies are a must try! I can just imagine how crisp they are and eating them hot… oh my so delicious.

  40. I have never seen these cookies before but they are so pretty! Looking forward to trying these. Happy Holidays!

  41. These rosettes are stunning, Liz! Such a perfect holiday cookie!

  42. I love these!! So beautiful and taste so good!!

  43. These are such a classic Mid Western holiday cookie and I love them!

  44. Stunning Liz, as always, and I love the fun story behind these.  I’ve had them on my list to try, I even have the wand sitting here next to me, this post has inspired me!

  45. Such an excellent tutorial on these pretty rosettes! Thanks for all the great tips!

  46. Love the story behind the Rosettes almost as much as the beauty of the dessert. How wonderful to have such lovely Christmas memories tied to your mom…and sister! Always nice to have an accomplice when sneaking into the basement =)

  47. These are absolutely gorgeous Liz! Such fun memories tied to these! Thanks for sharing!

  48. Beautiful! But now I need a rosette iron! Can I fit another kitchen tool in my kitchen? Of course!!

  49. Just when I thought I had all the kitchen tools I need, now I need one more! These are beautiful!

  50. I can’t wait to try these! Look so fun!

  51. My 100% Norwegian husband can’t cook..he burns water! But….he can whip out 800 rosettes without one failure…and he’s 93 years old!

  52. omg these sound incredible! I’ve never had rosettes before but I need to!

  53. Dad said this recipe was the best rosettes he has ever had! Thank you!

  54. Pingback: Amaretto Almond Biscotti for Holiday Cookie Exchange #SundaySupper

  55. Pingback: Pepperoni and Mozzarella Pull Apart by Noshing With The Nolands inspired by In the Kitchen with KP #SundaySupper

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