Fit for a princess

Make prinsessepudding for a summer dessert that is easy to make ahead of time


Photo: MatPrat/Astrid Hals
Prinsessepudding is a semolina-based pudding that can be served in individual serving dishes or in a gelatin mold like this. Serve with rødsaus for an elegant, traditional Norwegian dessert.

Taste of Norway Editor
The Norwegian American

Have you seen the PBS mini-series Atlantic Crossing yet? I was swept up into the storyline from the first episode. It’s made me realize how little I actually knew about courageous Crown Princess Märtha. It’s such an inspiring story!

When I came across a recipe for Prinsessepudding, I wanted to learn more.

Prinsessepudding (princess pudding) is a god gammeldags (the good ol’ days) dessert from Norway made with semolina flour. I wasn’t familiar with semolina beyond pasta, so I did some research to learn more.

Simply put, semolina is a coarse, pale yellow, high-gluten flour made from hard durum wheat. In the milling process, the bran and the germ flake off while the endosperm breaks into coarse pieces. The endosperm pieces are then ground down into semolina flour.

Semolina is used in sweet and savory dishes in cuisines across the world, from couscous to pasta, Indian desserts to all kinds to porridge.

Semolina also goes by the name farina in the United States. It is milled to a finer texture and contains more gluten. (This is what the breakfast porridge Cream of Wheat is made of!)

Semolina pudding (called semulepudding in Norwegian) is found across Northern Europe and dates back to the Roman times. It’s cooked with milk and a bit of sugar. The result is a porridge-like pudding, and its hearty texture is nicely accented with a sweet red sauce.

Prinsessepudding was popularized in Norway during the 1940s and 1950s, when the recipe was taught in husmorskoler (technical schools for home economics) across Norway. It’s a classic Norwegian dessert that brings back childhood memories for many.

Though I find many references to how beloved this dessert is made, I can’t seem to find the history of why it is called prinsessepudding. Is it for Crown Princess Märtha or other princesses in the royal family? If you know, please write to me at I’d love to hear from you.

Please note that this is a firm, substantial pudding. I love Cream of Wheat, so I was prepared for the texture of this pudding, but my young taste-testers, who like chocolate pudding, were not. It gets an extra boost of richness from an egg added to it, and it is flavored with almond extract. You can use premade rødsaus (red sauce) if you want to, but my rødsaus recipe comes together is just a couple of minutes with three ingredients.

Prinsessepudding can be served in individual bowls or shaped in a gelatin mold of your choice. Serve it with rødsaus, or you can really gild the lily with some slivered almonds and fresh berries. Best of all, it can be prepared the day before you serve it for an easy, traditional Norwegian dessert for summer.

What are your favorite traditional Norwegian desserts? I’d love to hear from you! Write to me at


Princess Pudding
Adapted from MatPrat


½ cup fine semolina flour

4 cups milk

2 tbsps. granulated sugar

¼ tsp. salt

1 egg

½ tsp. almond extract

To serve: rødsaus (recipe follows), slivered almonds, and fresh berries (optional)

Here’s how you make it:

1. In a medium saucepan, add the semolina flour, sugar, and salt. Gently pour in a bit of milk and whisk to make a thick paste. Add in the remaining milk in a small stream, whisking constantly. This will ensure a lump-free pudding!

2. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce to simmer. Keep an eye on it and give it a good whisking every minute or so as it thickens. This should take 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, temper the egg: Whisk an egg in a small bowl. Add a ladleful of hot semolina-milk mixture in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Add in another ladle, whisking constantly. Now pour the egg mixture into the pudding and whisk so it’s thoroughly combined. Cook for an additional minute or two until it thicken.

4. Remove from heat, and stir in the almond extract. Pour into individual serving bowls or a gelatin mold. Place the fridge to chill thoroughly, at least four hours.

5. To serve, pour rødsaus on top and decorate with fresh berries and slivered almonds if desired.


Red sauce


2 cups 100% fruit juice 

(I used tart cherry juice, but strawberry, red currant, raspberry, cranberry, black currant, or another red colored juice works great!)

1 tbsp. potato starch

2 tbsps. cold water

Here’s how you make it:

1. Pour juice into a small saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. 

2. Whisk the potato starch and water in a small bowl to make a slurry. 

3. When the juice is bubbling vigorously, pour the potato starch slurry into the liquid in a small stream, whisking constantly. 

4. Remove from heat as soon as you start to see it thickening. Let sauce cool completely.

This article originally appeared in the July 23, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American.

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Christy Olsen Field

Christy Olsen Field was the Taste of Norway Editor from 2019 to 2022. She worked on the editorial staff of The Norwegian American Weekly from 2008 to 2012. An enthusiastic home cook and baker, she lives north of Seattle with her husband and two young sons.