One word that comes to mind when you think of Iceland, is drama. The dramatic landscape, Viking history rich with drama, and of course, dramatic desserts! No one could survive the cool climate in Iceland without something sweet to cheer them up. Experience the sweet side of Nordic life with these inviting Icelandic desserts in Iceland.
What Is Special About Desserts In Iceland
Iceland can seem tough to outsiders, but the secret hidden behind the harsh landscape is the warmth of the people, the culture, and the cuisine of Iceland. The perfect meal to encapsulate the Icelandic spirit is dessert. Traditional Icelandic desserts have a sense of simplicity and whimsy that will enchant you.
Icelandic desserts bring the very best of all the flavors; sweet, sour, and salt are in perfect balance in these local desserts. Many Icelanders love local dairy in their desserts and notes of surprising spices like licorice and cardamom.
The sensational desserts in Iceland can be a perfect ending to a meal of traditional iceland food. They will stick in your mind like a song and have you craving another bite of sweet Icelandic desserts!
Most Famous Icelandic Dessert
Ìs (Ice Cream)
Icelanders absolutely love ice cream! You can find great ice cream shops everywhere in Iceland. Ìsland is how locals spell Iceland, and it also translates to mean “ice cream land,” so locals take this Icelandic dessert pretty seriously!
Most ìs in Iceland is made from cow’s milk into a lovely soft-serve treat. Some varieties of this sweet delicacy are made with beautiful local Skyr.
Flavors of ice cream range as broadly as you can imagine, but some local favorites include fresh Icelandic berries, candy, and rye-raisin. You will want to try every decadent flavor of these rich Icelandic desserts!
Traditional Desserts In Iceland
Nammi (Pick n’ Mix)
In English, nammi means candy, and it is a wonderful Icelandic dessert tradition. On Saturdays, Icelanders love to run out for a mixed bag of candy to help them enjoy their weekend.
Beautiful candies in Iceland come in many varieties, but the traditional way to enjoy them is in a large assortment. Candies here feature licorice, marshmallows, and jellies. Pick your favorites and dig into this festive dessert in Iceland!
These are also great for carrying around as you explore the famous landmarks in Iceland.
Lakkrís Toppar (Licorice Meringue Cookie)
These melty and sweet treats are a local favorite. Lakkrís toppar are beautiful Icelandic treats made from wonderfully airy meringue.
Icelandic chocolate-covered licorice is folded into the meringue before they’re baked for an exceptionally sweet surprise. These fluffy delights are perfect to pair with a coffee or hot chocolate.
Ábrystir (Cream Pudding)
Decadent and dreamy ábrystir is an Icelandic dessert favorite! This pudding-like treat is made from the cow’s first milk (after calving) and it has a thick and creamy texture similar to flan.
This sweet dish has an amazingly decadent and sweet creamy flavor. It is beautiful when paired with local Icelandic blueberries or a touch of caramel.
Kakósúpa (Chocolate Soup)
You won’t be able to stop craving tasty kakósúpa or cocoa soup. This local treat is a sweet favorite for Icelanders to make at home, but you may be able to find it at select restaurants.
Chocolatey kakósúpa is made with milk, dark chocolate, cinnamon, and potato scratch for thickening. It is a pretty thin soup and is excellent when served warm.
Some like this Icelandic dessert garnished with toasted oats or a touch of cream. It’s a rich warm-up from the Icelandic weather.
Desserts In Iceland: Icelandic Cakes
Skyr Cheesecake (Iceland Cheesecake)
Skyr is an amazing local flavor and it brings so much to this amazing Icelandic cake! The delicious Skyr cheesecake is a luxurious spin on wonderfully rich cheesecake.
This dessert uses beautifully light skyr instead of other dairies in the cake for a tangy and authentically Icelandic flavor. Versions of this creamy treat may have digestive biscuits or almond cookies for the crust and are often served with fruit.
Skúffukaka (Chocolate Cake)
Rich and coconutty skúffukaka is a traditional cake in Iceland. It’s an amazing sheet cake-style dessert with tons of luxurious chocolate flavor.
What makes this cake so special is the sour milk used in the batter. It adds a layer of interest and tang to chocolate that makes this moist cake simply irresistible.
Skúffukaka is served in a single layer and topped with amazing toasted coconut frosting that compliments the bittersweet cocoa divinely.
Vínarterta (Almond Layer Cake)
Amazingly layered vínarterta is a traditional Icelandic cake. It is an extravagant treat classically associated with weddings and holiday celebrations.
This beautiful treat is made of many thin layers of almond cake and tart prune or plum jam. It is presented simply unfrosted and lightly dusted with confectioners sugar for a look of simple elegance.
Icelandic desserts use simple but delicious flavors, and this wonderful cake is a testament to that tradition.
Jólakaka (Christmas Cake)
Winter holiday time in Iceland is truly magical and no holiday in Iceland is complete without jólakaka. It is a beautiful traditional Icelandic dessert that brightens up the wintertime with its warmly spiced flavor.
This wonderful holiday treat is a cardamom-spiced cake that is studded with dried fruits like currants and raisins. It has a dense texture like a poundcake and is perfect for enjoying near a warm fire with coffee or hot cocoa.
Slöngukaka (Snake Cake)
Although the name “snake cake” may not get everyone’s appetite fired up, this sweet Icelandic treat is a true delight. It gets its unique name from its shape, this is a rolled cake, like a jelly roll.
This tasty cake uses potato starch in addition to flour for a great pliable texture and it’s filled with sweet coffee buttercream. It’s a fun whimsical cake that will inspire nostalgia with every sweet bite!
READ MORE: 5 POPULAR ICELANDIC BREAKFAST FOODS IN ICELAND
Discovering Traditional Desserts in Iceland
Iceland is such a majestic island, full of rich Nordic traditions, and none of those traditions are as sweet as delicious Icelandic desserts. Warm up in this winter wonderland with the comforting and sweet flavors of amazing local Icelandic desserts.
Pack your appetite for wonder and amazing treats, because dessert in Iceland is almost as beautiful as an aurora!