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Chessboard cookies ('Schackrutor') are a part of the Swedish 'fika' and 'kafferep' tradition.
Photo credit: Tina Axelsson/Visit Sweden

Chessboard cookies ('Schackrutor') – recipe

Recipe by top patisserie chef Mia Öhrn.

Makes approximately 40 cookies.

Oven temperature: 200°C or 392°F.

Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus some extra time to let set.


  • 400 ml (4 dl or 1,7 cup) plain flour
  • 100 ml (1 dl or 0,42 cup) potato starch
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 200 g (7 ounces) cold butter
  • 100 ml (1 dl or 0,42 cup) caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or 2 tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder


  1. Measure up the plain flour, potato starch and salt in a bowl. Add the chilled, chopped-up butter and blend this into the flour mixture using your fingers. Work the mixture into a dough before adding the caster sugar. Knead the dough a little until it has a smooth texture. The dough can also be mixed using a processor.
  2. Divide the dough in half and knead vanilla extract into one part and cocoa into the other. Flatten both parts a little and let them rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  3. Using a rolling pin, shape the vanilla dough into a 1 cm (or just above) thick rectangle. Repeat the procedure with the cocoa dough and place one part on top of the other. Press lightly. Cut the double-dough into bars measuring just over 1 cm and place these two by two – with the cocoa parts facing the vanilla ones.
  4. Cut the dough into 4 mm thick slices and place the cookies on baking trays lined with greaseproof paper.
  5. Bake in the middle of the oven for 7-10 minutes and allow to cool. The cookies keep for about a week at room temperature and are suitable for freezing.

Vegan alternative: Replace the butter with plant-based margarine.

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EU and Swedish Board of Agriculture