Sept. 29, 2016

About a week ago one of my lovely host sisters turned 14 (if you’re reading this–happy belated birthday), and I attended my very first Danish birthday celebration. This day will go down forevermore as the day I ate MORE SUGAR THAN I EVER THOUGHT POSSIBLE. I’ll take you hour-by-hour through my day.

08:00: Bright and early on Sunday morning, the other Americans and I were woken up by the sounds of my host mother Alice’s parents arriving to our doorstep. They were possibly two of the most precious humans I’ve ever met, and Alice’s mother kept rubbing my back and smiling like a doting mother. The birthday girl’s place at the table was cleverly decorated with Danish flags and a little Danish soldier guarding her plate. Together we enjoyed a typical Danish Sunday morning meal: rolls with an assortment of jams and spreads (aka Nutella). I typically leave these weekend breakfasts absolutely stuffed with sugar. So let’s bear that in-mind as I proceed to describe the rest of the food I consumed that day.


A Danish soldier guards the birthday girl’s plate.


09:00: The birthday girl and I decided to take a run around the lake, like we often do on weekends, and we added a little ab workout just for good measure. We’re going to pretend that this exercise counterbalanced all the calories awaiting us.

14:00: My housemates and I emerged to a fully decorated dining room, complete with the ultimate mother lode of sweets and snacks. My host parents invited a few of their friends and their friend’s children to the party, and I was delighted to meet some new Danes. We exchanged pleasantries and sat down to enjoy some food. In contrast to American birthday parties, which generally include small savory dishes like chips or tiny sandwiches, our celebration included sugar on sugar on sugar. Can’t be mad about that.


Here’s just a taste (hehe, get it?!) of what was served:

  • More rolls with jam and Nutella and chocolate
  • Apple cinnamon cookie cobbler
  • Hot chocolate with homemade whipped cream

Obviously I proceeded to stuff my face for the next hour until I felt certain that I would be sick. My housemates and I began to discuss the legitimacy of pizza-as-a-vegetable, and decided that, yes, in this moment pizza could in-fact qualify as a vegetable. But we weren’t even ready for what came next…

15:00: Cake time. But not just any cake. A ONE-METER LONG cake. A shaped-like-a-human cake.


I have no words, guys. This cake was created in the likeness of the birthday girl, and as my host mother slowly sliced through cake girl’s neck, all the children at the table began screaming, mimicking the sound of a girl getting her head chopped off. You truly cannot make this stuff up. Update: it was absolutely delicious, and I probably would have eaten four times the amount had I not just consumed 5,000 calories worth of rolls and jam and hot chocolate.

17:00: Went into a food coma from which I could not recover.

In summary, Danish birthdays are pretty awesome, especially if you like the prospect of developing diabetes by the end of the night. No, but truly, everything was absolutely delectable, and the experience is one I will not soon forget.

Vi ses!

This post originally appeared on the A Coffee Girl in Copenhagen blog.