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 rosette cookies in your own kitchen. They’re perfect for the holidays!

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 that 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 adeep 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 when learning how to make rosettes!

More Holiday Cookies You’ll Love:

Do you have a favorite cookie to take to a Cookie Exchange? Let me know in the comments. I always need new ideas.

This post was first shared in December 2012 and was updated with new photos and text in 2018.

Two rosettes stacked on a square plate


Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Yield 36

A beautiful Christmas/holiday cookie!


  • 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.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 35Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 22mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 4gProtein: 1g

Calories do not include the oil absorbed during the cooking process.


Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Note: This post may contain affiliate links; view my Disclosure Policy for details.