Every holiday season as far back as I can remember, making lefse has been a family tradition. It wasn’t until I became an adult and moved away that I realized just how many steps it takes to create it. The first year I tried my hand at lefse making without parental supervision, I made too large of a batch and it took me several hours four nights in a row to finish baking the batch.

I have seriously wised up, and I now have many willing helpers so I don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen. This year was especially fun having these two nerds helping me. I don’t think I’ve ever answered SO many questions about lefse and Norwegians…EVER.

My Norwegian heritage stems mainly from my dad’s lineage. It also helped my dad to pull my mom to the Scandinavian side when they spent 7 years in Minot, North Dakota for their first duty station in the Air Force. If you can get my mom chatting about her time in the great white north, she may even accidentally slip into her Scandinavian accent she accidentally picked up living there.

.Lefse is the Norwegian version of a tortilla shell made with mashed potatoes instead of corn. It is time consuming and takes two days to complete, but like any ethnic food that is loved by most, time is what it takes. Like tortillas, lefse is cooked on a hot skillet or griddle. The key with lefse though, is that you cannot use just any skillet. You need a skillet that goes up to 500ºF. Anything less and the lefse will not cook properly.


Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 dozen
Calories 81 kcal


  • skillet
  • potato ricer
  • potato peeler
  • electric hand mixer
  • rolling pin
  • spray bottle filled with water
  • 2 lightweight kitchen towels


  • 5 lb russet potatoes peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Tbsp salt
  • Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour plus extra for rolling out the dough
  • unsalted butter
  • granulated sugar


  • Boil the potatoes until soft enough to mash. Drain the water and place back into the pot.
  • WIth the potato ricer, begin ricing the cooked potato into a large bowl. Drop by tablespoonful the butter into the bowl with the riced potatoes every other time you rice a batch. Alternate ricing the potatoes and dropping in the butter until all of the butter and potatoes are in the bowl.
  • Add the heavy whipping cream, salt, and sugar in with the riced potatoes and butter. Whip with an electric hand mixer on high until the potatoes are thoroughly combined in with the other ingredients. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator to let cool overnight.
  • The next day lay out the following tools in 3 separate stations. The first station has the prepared and cooled potatoes in the bowl, another large bowl, flour, 1 cup measuring cup, ⅓ cup measuring cup, a cutting board, and a sharp knife. Section station has a place to roll out the dough, flour, rolling pin, and a lefse flipping stick. Third station has the preheated skillet to 500ºF, paper towels, spray water bottle, and kitchen towels.
  • At the first station you will turn the potato mixture into a pliable dough by adding a 2:1 ratio of 1 cup of the potato mixture and ⅓ cup of flour into the other large bowl. Using your hand kneed the flour into the potato mixture until the two have formed a dough that can be shaped into a small rectangular log.
  • Using the sharp knife, cut the dough into equal sections. I like to cut the dough into 6-8 sections. Then onto the second station. Take one section of the dough and on a floured surface with a rolling pin and roll the dough as thin as you can get it without it tearing apart.
  • You want the dough to be super thin so the texture turns out perfectly when it cooks. Be sure to flour the surface and the rolling pin often as you continue to roll the lefse out.
  • Using the lefse flipper (a long flat stick) and gently slid the stick under the rolled out lefse, lightly shake the lefse on the flipper to get excess flour off then roll it onto the preheated skillet.
  • Let each side cook until it begins to bubble and brown. It takes about 3-5 minutes for each side to cook. Then using the lefse flipper again, take the cooked lefse and place on one of the kitchen towels, then cover with the other kitchen towel and spray the top of the towel with the water spray bottle. You don’t want to soak the towel, just dampen the towel. You will need to make sure you check the top towel often to keep it damp. Repeat the steps until all of the potato mixture has been used. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to a week.
  • There are many ways to eat lefse, but one of the most common ways is to spread butter over one side, sprinkle with granulated sugar, roll up and eat.


Serving: 2lefseCalories: 81kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 2gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 149mgPotassium: 144mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 88IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 8mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Norwegian, potatoes, Scandinavian
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

While my dad would say the pure Norwegian way to eat lefse is with butter and sugar, we’ve tried it with butter and cinnamon and sugar, Nutella, and honey. All of them are equally tasty and satisfying. Some people like to take the savory route with lefse, but we prefer ours sweet.

Have you ever tried lefse, or even heard of lefse? It can be rather uncommon, so it always excites me when I start talking about lefse and the person I am conversing with totally knows what lefse is. Either way, it is always a fun treat to share with others, especially during the holiday season. Hope y’all are having an amazing week. Stay safe, be kind, and hug your loved ones.

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