Oats, cranberry & cocoa

Oats, cranberry & cocoa

The New Nordic
Simon Bajada

Known as ‘wheat balls’ in Nordic countries, these tasty morsels are very easy to make, keep well and are completely delicious. So well loved are they that there is a café in Stockholm dedicated entirely to their honour that must sell around twenty different varieties.

The base mix is simple: butter, sugar and oats blended together for as long as your patience can withstand – the longer you beat the mixture, the lighter and fluffier it will be. Then add flavours at your will, such as chocolate chips, chopped nuts, seeds and dried fruit. The resulting consistency should be just wet but not sticking to your palms when you roll them into balls. Depending on what flavourings you add, some may be drier or wetter than others so you may need to add more oats or more butter.

In the past they were usually coated in nibbed sugar or chopped nuts. These are still commonly used today, but the most popular ingredient of the moment is desiccated coconut, which could not be less Nordic! In keeping with the Nordic foraging trend, I have used daisy petals here, which are also great fresh in salads. They have a pleasant texture and floral flavour. These little wheat balls often have coffee added to them and I found that tart, dried cranberries went nicely with this. Blend away!


Quantity Ingredient
100g unsalted butter
140g caster sugar
60g dried cranberries, roughly chopped
150g rolled oats
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
40ml strong coffee or espresso
20 young daisy flowers


  1. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  2. Mix in the remaining ingredients, apart from the flowers, and beat for around 5 minutes.
  3. Pick the petals from one-quarter of the flowers and scatter them evenly over a plate.
  4. Roll the dough into small balls, each around 5 cm in diameter. Roll about one-quarter of the balls in the petals. Repeat with the remaining flowers and dough balls. Enjoy with coffee. They will keep well in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before eating.
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