Holiday recipe spectacular: Swedish Pancakes a la Helene Henderson

This week we’re enlisting in some of our finest Minnesota authors to give us their favorite holiday recipes. We kicked off this holiday recipe spectacular on Friday with a few goodies from Beth Dooley. Today, we feature Helene Henderson, author of The Swedish Table.


Holiday recipes from Helene Henderson


I always make Swedish Pancakes (from The Swedish Table) for Christmas Eve breakfast, followed by the opening of one gift.

3 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 ½ cup milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Additional butter for cooking
Powdered sugar, simple syrup cranberries (recipe below) and/or whipped cream (optional; for garnish)

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until combined. Heat a 7-inch nonstick or cast iron skillet until hot, or alternatively, if available, use a mini pancake pan. Add a small amount of butter and immediately pour in one ladle full of the batter: quickly tilt pan to spread batter evenly over the bottom. When pancake edges are dry and bubbles begin to appear in the center, flip it with a spatula and cook the other side until lightly brown. Repeat with the remaining batter, stacking the pancakes on a plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, simple syrup cranberries, and whipped cream.

Simple Syrup Cranberries

Blend 1 part sugar with 1 part water, and heat over low heat until sugar dissolves.

Place your cranberries (amount can be adjusted to your liking) in a heat proof bowl and pour the sugar mixture over the berries to cover. Place the syrup-covered berry bowl on top of a double boiler and cover with a lid, and cook under low heat for 45 minutes. Cool and serve at room temperature.


To get the perfect texture and color I usually do a 60% sweet potato to 40% mashed potato combination.

Ingredients and instructions:
-Take 2 large russet potatoes, peeled, boiled in salted water until soft when pierced through. Mash in a ricer.
-Take 2 sweet potatoes or yams, baked in a 400-degree oven until soft when pierced about 45 minutes. Remove from skin and gently mash.

Combine mashed potato and baked sweet potatoes.

Next ingredients:

4 tablespoons butter (or more)
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon hot sauce of choice
1 cup pomegranate seeds
¼ cup chopped parsley

Stir the butter into the warm potato/sweet potato mixture and add the cream and the hot sauce. Season to taste with salt. Stir in half of the maple syrup.

The potatoes can be made one day in advance up to this stage. To serve, reheat and garnish with remaining maple syrup, pomegranate seeds, and parsley.


Helene Henderson is an African American, Swedish-born chef who was raised in Luleå, Sweden, where she learned how to cook. She is author of The Swedish Table. She currently runs Malibu Farm, an organic farm where she and her staff offer fresh catering, host special events, and teach cooking classes. You can visit her online at

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