May 13, 2010

Norwegian Flag Cookies for the 17th of May

The 17th of May is a pretty big deal in Norway.  Back in 1814 it was the day the constitution was signed thus declaring it an independent nation.  For  Americans it would be similar to our 4th of July.  I had the pleasure of witnessing all the celebrations firsthand  a few years ago when I was in Bergen attending the wedding of my dear friends E&L.    

Norway is a pretty sparsely populated country, just shy of five million, but  Norwegians are some of the most patriotic people I have ever met.  And they go all out for  the 17th.   Picture tons of people crowding the streets wearing bunad, the national costume, and waving their red, blue and white flags as parades and bands march by.  "Fantastisk!" as MG would say.

I first made these cookies about five years ago.  I thought it would be a sweet way to celebrate  the holiday.  They were such a hit with my Norwegian friends that it's become a tradition for me to send these treats to them every year.       

To all my Nordic friends:  Gratulerer med dagen!

Basic Vanilla Sugar Cookie 

1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla extract and combine until egg is completely incorporated.  Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix until no trace of dry ingredients remain. 

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4" thickness and cut out shapes using cookie cutters.

Bake for about 18 minutes or until golden brown.

Royal Icing

4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup meringue powder
gel food coloring

Mix powdered sugar and meringue powder in bowl of stand mixer until well combined.  Slowly add water and mix until you get the consistency you want*.  Add food coloring to achieve your desired color.

For outlining: consistency should be like glue paste
For flooding: add enough water so that the consistency is pretty runny

* Note: Royal Icing is extremely forgiving.  If you find you've added too much water and the icing is too runny, just add more powdered sugar.  Vice versa if your icing is too thick.


  1. Anonymous5/14/2010

    Oh, these are very cute! As a Norwegian, I approve.

    (It's spelled bunad, however, not bunard. XD)

  2. I just made Mexican Flag sugar cookies for Cinco de Mayo so I love these :)

  3. Anonymous5/14/2010

    Truc they taste delicious too! Gratulerer med dagen til deg også.

    Big hugs from MG, L & E

  4. Anonymous5/14/2010

    Great cookies! I'm a Norwegian spending a few years in New York, but I'm going home to Norway today to celebrate my first 17. mai in four years. Can't wait!

  5. Thanks for correcting my spelling! For some reason I always add the "r".

  6. Gratulerer med dagen Truc, håper det går bra med deg! Stor klem. x p.s. det smakte veldig godt!

  7. Anonymous5/18/2010

    Thanks for the amazing cookies. They were a big hit as usuall. AM

  8. These are very nicely done. look delicious too! i may start on some flag cookies now. thanx!

  9. LOVE these! I baked up a very traditional cake to celebrate, these cookies of yours are far cuter!

  10. Anonymous2/24/2012

    i used a different recipe but same idea!

  11. Anonymous4/23/2013

    And we have costume for our dogs too on the 17th of May :-) Look!

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  15. Anonymous2/02/2022

    Hello! I was wondering if I need to use white gel icing color to pipe my Norwegian flag cookies? Will the basic royal icing be white enough? Thanks! Liz

  16. Anonymous5/30/2023

    Thanks for sharing this informative information about Blue Flag Powder with us. It's very helpful. Keep it up!

  17. Anonymous6/08/2023

    Can these cookies be made ahead of a party and, or frozen?


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