Havregrynskugler Recipe – Danish Sweet Oatmeal Balls

Havregrynskugler – a Danish dessert known as sweet oatmeal balls. It is a traditional Danish Christmas treat and relatively simple to make. What’s more, this sweet treat allows for different flavor combinations. While the traditional recipe calls for a mixture of cocoa with a coconut topping, other options are possible. For example, you can play with the toppings, or even add alcohol.
Unlike other traditional Danish desserts, you can enjoy havregrynskugler year-round. They’re available in stores and can even be found in bakeries. When eating this sweet, it’s best to have it with coffee. There are different pros that come with this Danish sweet. Other than being versatile, the sweet balls also store well. You can keep the sweet in the fridge for days and it’ll still be delicious.

History of the Havregrynskugler

The traditional dessert made its appearance during the second world war. Due to the rationing of ingredients, this dessert was one of many that features oats. It was in 1943 that the recipe got published in a book. At the time, it got the name Opfindsomhed I en Krisetid (Ingenuity in a Time of Crisis). In addition to the use of oats, the old recipe used to substitute cocoa and coffee ingredients.
More than this, the sweet was originally a birthday treat. Once the recipe developed to what it is today, it shifted to a Christmas treat.

Toppings Options

Traditionally, the dessert has coconut flakes for its topping. However, you can also experiment with other decorations. To increase the chocolate taste, you can add chopped or flake chocolate on top. For some extra texture and other flavors, you can add chopped nuts or dried fruits. Depending on what flavors you like, there is plenty you can try. Still, coconut flakes are what make the dessert what it is.



A traditional Danish oat chocolate ball with a coconut flake topping
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Danish
Servings 4


  • 175 g oatmeal
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa
  • 100 g of butter can possibly be replaced with whipping cream. The butter should very much like to be at room temperature.
  • Optionally 75 g coconut flour.


  • Mix oatmeal, icing sugar and cocoa together.
  • Add the butter or whipped cream and stir the dough until firm.
  • Then you shape the dough into small balls. You can optionally roll the oatmeal balls in coconut flour to decorate the balls as in the picture.
  • Let the oatmeal balls stand for 2-2½ hours in the fridge with the cover over to get cool and a little more firm in it.


If the butter is not at room temperature, then it may be an idea to use a mixer or blender to stir it all together, and yes it will be just as delicious that way – just a little more cumbersome and with a little more dishes.

Havregrynskugler Variations

As stated, there are variations of this dessert that you can try. If you are interested, you can try coffee instead of cocoa for a different kick. You can even add some rum to the coffee mix for an added taste. For something completely different, you can use vanilla mixed with icing sugar in place of the cocoa. Other than this and for a Christmas touch, you can add marzipan. Whatever you choose to do, there is plenty to try.

Other Danish Dessert Recipes

There are plenty of other Danish desserts you can explore if you are interested. Some treats you can check out here include our “Brunkager Recipe” and “Klejner Recipe.”


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