Koldskål: A Chilled Danish Dessert Made with Buttermilk


The summer in Denmark is cooler compared to Japan, with an average high temperature of just below 20 degrees Celsius in August, making it quite comfortable. With long, sunless winters, the Danish people enjoy soaking up the sun as much as possible when summer arrives. Moreover, many dishes that help alleviate the heat also make an appearance in the summer, one of which is a dessert called Koldskål. 

Made with an unfamiliar ingredient called buttermilk, it is known for its refreshing, chilled texture perfect for hot days. In this article, I will introduce you to Koldskål, a culinary symbol of the Danish summer.

Koldskål – A Popular Summer Dessert

Koldskål is a dairy-based dessert eaten during the summer season in Denmark, with buttermilk as its main ingredient. It has a soup-like consistency similar to drinkable yogurt and offers a refreshingly cold texture that’s perfect for summer. Its creamy taste and the acidity unique to buttermilk are its main features. 

“Koldskål” means “cold toast” in Danish. It is common to top Koldskål with seasonal berries or crumbled kammerjunker (a type of cookie), making it visually appealing as well.

How to Make Koldskål

The ingredients for Koldskål include buttermilk, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla beans, and lemon. Buttermilk is a liquid that forms during the production of fermented butter and is considered a low-fat, low-calorie health food in Western countries and India. 

To make Koldskål, first mix the egg yolks and sugar, and then add the vanilla beans. Next, add the buttermilk and mix well, adjusting the acidity by squeezing in some lemon juice. Finally, chill the mixture and top it with your choice of berries or cookies. In Denmark, it is common to add crumbled cookies to Koldskål. Koldskål has a refreshing taste perfect for hot summer days and is said to pair well with berries, especially those that are in season during the summer in Northern Europe.


Koldskål is a classic Danish summer dessert made with buttermilk and berries. It is so popular that it is sold in packs at supermarkets, and with its easy preparation, it is commonly homemade in many Danish households.