Traditional Finnish Christmas Fare – Porkkanalaatikko (Carrot bake)

Our family Christmas dinner is a Finnish feast. We dine on traditional Finnish fare such as Rosolli – beetroot salad with pickles and herring, Karjalanpaisti – a traditional meat stew, and no Finnish family Christmas dinner would be complete without the famous root vegetable bakes. In our family we feast on Lanttulaatikko – a swede based bake, Perunilaatikko – potato bake, and my all time favourite, Porkkanalaatiko – carrot bake.

These casserole type dishes can be made in advance and freeze well if there are any leftovers. I have always made sure I leave Mum’s house on Christmas Eve armed with leftovers to last me a few days. Since we only eat these dishes once a year, I need a good dose. I may just eat this carrot bake for lunch and dinner this week. I am not joking, I love it that much.

In Finland Christmas is smack bang in the middle of winter, so these rich, hot dishes make sense. In our hot Christmas climate however, one would think we’d be more inclined to indulge in summery salads and the good old Aussie BBQ, but not our family. We go all out, keeping up the Finnish Christmas dinner tradition.

Also in the tradition of doing what I can myself over buying ready-made ingredients (ie I prefer to make my own pastry rather than use store bought pastry) I made my own breadcrumbs with day-old Pane di Casa for this dish. I am heavy-handed when it comes to butter so I went a bit nuts with it on top, you can never have too much butter in my opinion.


Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

Suitable to freeze



750g carrots

1 cup short grain rice

3 eggs

1 cup cream

25g butter, melted

1 tsp salt

Breadcrumbs and a few knobs of butter for the top


Preheat oven to 175oC.

Boil rice as per packet instructions however take off heat a few minutes earlier to retain a porridge type texture.

Peel and grate carrots roughly.

Lightly beat eggs and cream together, add to carrots. Add rice, butter and salt to carrots and combine well. Pour into a lightly greased oven dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and throw on a few knobs of butter. Make a pattern on top with a big spoon.

Bake in oven for 50 – 60 minutes until golden brown in colour.

Gracing the Finnish Christmas dinner table for dessert are Joulutorttu, delectable little buttery-pastry tarts filled with prune jam. I have posted the recipe earlier, you can find it here. I think next I will try my hand at Rosolli, no Finnish Christmas dinner table would be without it. Sounds crazy – beetroot, herring and pickle – but believe me the combination is mind blowing! Watch this space.

December 11, 2012 - 11:58 am

Brent - I’m going to make this tomorrow, it sounds wonderful! I love your blog, I especially like to read the stories that accompany your recipes. I’ll keep my eye out for the Rosolli recipe, it sounds…interesting :) .

December 11, 2012 - 5:36 pm

Peggy Saas - Brilliant! I love it when people try my dishes (although this isn’t “mine” per se, we’ll say it’s my grandmothers). Please let me know what you think. And don’t be stingy with the butter on top.

I wondered if my accompanying stories were boring, good to know someone likes them. :)

Thanks for dropping in Brent, and thanks so much for leaving me a note.

December 18, 2012 - 12:22 pm

Sirpa - Hi,
This sounds just like our Christmas table.It’s great to see people embracing the old Finnish traditions with Christmas food. It can be 40C outside and I will still make these wonderful foods at Christmas. Hyvaa Joulua (Merry Christmas) to all. :)

December 18, 2012 - 8:04 pm

Peggy Saas - Hi Sirpa, it’s great isn’t it! We once discussed doing something else rather than the Finnish food at Christmas but we couldn’t do it. We all look forward to our old favourites. Doesn’t matter how hot it is, the food is what makes Christmas!

Hyvää Joulua to you too, thank you so much for dropping by and leaving me a note. :)

February 3, 2014 - 4:09 am

42 Traditional Finnish Foods That You Desperately Need In Your Life | - [...] What is it? A carrot casserole, traditionally eaten at Christmas. Find a recipe here [...]

February 3, 2014 - 3:54 pm

42 Traditional Finnish Foods That You Desperately Need In Your Life - zdouf! - [...] What is it? A carrot casserole, traditionally eaten at Christmas. Find a recipe here [...]

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