Brunede kartofler – Danish Brown and Caramelized Potatoes

Brunede kartofler is a Danish side dish specialty. It is served mostly in holidays around traditional celebrations like Easter, Christmas, Evening of St Martin, and other local festivities. Brunede kartofler are brown and caramelized potatoes. Well, the potatoes become brown because of their caramelization process. They are seen as a luxury version of normal potatoes, and often they are served next to normal white potatoes, and here you are expected to also take some of the white potatoes as they are less costly.

Brunede kartofler is often served with roast pork, roast pork, boiled ham, and similar dishes.

brunede kartofler danish caramelized potatoes

Brunede kartofler recipe – Danish Caramelized Potatoes

Total Time 1 hour
Cuisine Danish
Servings 4 people


  • 1 kg small potatoes with peel
  • 100 gr sugar
  • 40 gr butter or frying margarine
  • Salt


  • Boil the potatoes with the peel in lightly salted water until tender – they must not boil out.
  • Allow the potatoes to cool slightly so you can touch them, then peel them. You can possibly manage these two instructions the day before you want to serve brunede kartofler if you want to save time on the day itself.
  • Put the sugar in a pan, turn up the heat and let the sugar melt over even heat. If necessary, shake the pan a little along the way.
  • Put the butter on the pan when the sugar has melted, and also let the butter melt.
  • Meanwhile, rinse the potatoes in cold water. They should not drip off. It is important that a little water sticks when they are poured into the caramel mass.
  • Pour the potatoes into the caramel mass and brown them over even heat for 10-15 minutes, shaking the pan regularly.
  • Sprinkle with more salt if necessary.


Then the browned potatoes are ready to be served with brown sauce and all.

There is one very tricky thing when making caramelised potatoes. And that is not getting the caramelization to get burnt. So here it comes to how to avoid that!

My tip for the perfect brunede kartofler: Avoid burning the caramel

One of the problems that many people encounter when making caramelized potatoes is that the caramel burns on, and then it becomes a mess. If you want the perfect brunede kartofler, here are some tips to help you avoid the caramel getting burnt:

  • Most Danes have tried to turn up the heat way too high when they melt the butter! I do understand that people want the food to be finished faster, but unfortunately it does not work when you have to make the perfect brunede kartofler and perfect caramelized potatoes. Even Danish Master Chefs fail when they try to do it too fast. There is only one solution: Stable heat. On a regular hot plate between 1 to 6 as my own, I set it to 4, and on a regular 1 to 9 I will set it to 6 or 7. Let the heat be stable and do not stir the sugar more than necessary. If necessary, briefly remove the pan from the hot plate and swing it so that the melted sugar itself is distributed around the plate!
  • Keep an eye on the sugar! Nothing about cutting some vegetables while or filling the dishwasher. It will go wrong – keep your focus on the caramlization proces. When the sugar is completely melted, add the butter and let it melt and mix with the sugar.
  • If it happens that the sugar burns on. Then do not try to save it – just start over again!

See more recipes from the Danish kitchen here.

brunede kartofler danish caramelized potatoes

2 Responses

  1. Made them they are absolutely delicious will be making them this Christmas day

    1. Danes eat them for Christmas eve and many also serve them for “Christmas Lunch” (julefrokost) – Which despite its name can also be at night time – Christmas day is a very traditional day to have them 🙂

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