Have you ever heard of a “national cake”? Well I hadn’t, until I saw this one: Kvæfjordkake. It is Norway’s “National Cake” since 2002 and you may also see that they call it “World’s Best Cake”. I don’t know about “best”, but it certainly beats many, MANY cakes in the world..
It is quite simple actually: prepare a basic sponge cake, top with meringue and almond pieces, bake altogether, cut in two and assemble with vanilla cream. The ingredients are really not that hard to find and aside from almonds, you probably have almost all of them at hand in your kitchen already (if you are an almond crazy person like me, you may also have that at hand at all times…).
For a long time I was not very much interested in Norway. But this totally changed when I met the Norwegian – my slanted eyed friend from Sortland, now living in Oslo. The one can of Fiskeboller (fish balls) as a gift from him, which I mentioned also in my Norwegian bread recipe a few months ago, started a chain reaction, making me very curious about Norwegian cuisine. He later on sent me a website where I could read and find out how to eat those balls, and as I went through other recipes in the website, I came across this delicious Kvæfjordkake. Turns out, this is my friend’s favourite cake — well it must be many Norwegians’ favourite, since they decided to call it their national cake!
This cake has such an impressive taste and form that I also chose to bake it for my 35th birthday! Kvæfjordkake is normally baked on an oven tray in a rectangle or a square form and is cut in two. But when I made it for my birthday, I baked two cakes in round springform mould and assembled those with a vanilla cream in between. I think you could also bake them in muffin moulds for smaller portions – I will definitely try it at some point!
One important thing about the cake: the taste gets richer overnight. So I recommend you bake it the day before. Do not put it in the fridge though, just cover it well and leave it in a slightly cool place of your kitchen.
Homage to the “Norwegian”!
75 gr. butter, in room temperature
75 gr. / 1 dl sugar
3 egg yolks
75 gr. / 1.2 dl flour
1 tsp / 5 ml baking powder
1 tsp / 5 ml vanilla sugar
3 tbsp / 45 ml milk
3 egg whites
130 gr. / 1.6 dl sugar
Almond pieces (crushed, slivered, cut…)
1.5 cups / 3.6 dl heavy cream
1 tbsp / 15 ml vanilla extract
First we make the sponge cake – preheat the oven to 175C.
1. Beat butter and sugar until you get a creamy mixture.
2. Add egg yolks, one by one, fully incorporating in between.
3. Add vanilla extract and continue beating.
4. Mix flour and baking powder.
5. Add flour mixture and milk – while continuing beating, start with adding half of flour, then milk and then the rest of flour. Beat only until all is well mixed, do not over mix.
6. On an oven tray with baking sheet, spread the sponge cake batter in a rectangle or square form. Put aside in a cool place.
Second, we make the meringue.
7. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
8. Add sugar, one spoonful each time, until all sugar is fully incorporated in the beaten egg whites.
9. Spread the beaten egg whites on sponge cake fully covering the surface.
10. Shape the surface of meringue as seen in the photo and add almond pieces. Almond adds a very rich taste so use as much as possible.
11. Put the cake in the oven, in middle rack. Bake for 20 minutes. Once baked, take it out of the oven and let it cool.
In the meantime, let’s make the cream.
12. Beat the cream together with vanilla extract until it gets stiff.
13. Cut the cooled cake in two. Spread cream in between and make a sandwich. Voila! That’s all! Delicious, is it not?
It IS the World’s best cake!! :P
haha yes i have to admit it beats almost all the cakes i’ve ever eaten / baked! :D
I agree! :)
There is very similar, if not the exact same cake that’s called Brita-kakku in finnish :) Just a funny fact.
Yes, I know that one too!! :)
As I am crazy for muffins, I will try bake them in muffin moulds, as you suggest here…. I’ll comment you about it! thanks a lot, Asli!
Yes it would be interesting with muffin moulds, but I do recommend you to bake it as a normal cake for the first time to get the real feeling of it. And then if you like, you can also try muffin versions. You’re welcome!
ok! I promise! but it should be difficult to split the cake in two and remove without damage it… or not?
It’s quite easy. Not too big cake anyway so it should be easy if you are quick to flip (and maybe get a support from a baking sheet or paper). :)
I really want to eat this cake! Will have to try making it … ! Thanks for sharing. :)
I do recommend – it’s very very delicious! Enjoy and thanks for the lovely comment!!
You’re welcome, and thank youu again! Will definitely try this cake! :)
Pingback: This is northern style barbecue, bro! | Burgers, Bacon & Beer
I am excited to bring it to our May 17 celebration at the Sons of Norway feast this month! One question: do you rest the cake overnight after you bake it before adding the cream layer or when it is completely finished?
Oh wow! Great to hear! You don’t have to rest the cake overnight to apply the cream layer. You can put the cream when cake cools down. If you are going to do the cake the day before, just assemble the whole cake, wrap up well and keep it in room temperature. The cake tastes much better and richer if you make it the day before. Cheers!
Please could you tell me what is 1dl sugar and what type of sugar . We have icing sugar ,caster sugar ,granulated sugar in white and alsorts of brown … also what is heavy cream would it be what we call double cream thank you
Hi! We use mostly volume measurements in Finland so that’s why sugar is in volume and also in grams in the recipe. 1/3 cup would make 75 gr. granulated white sugar that is needed in this recipe. And yes you can use double cream, it’s the same, just different names. :)
I don’t follow the assembly. Do you end up with the almond side on the top and bottom?
Dear Asli, I just came back from Tromso, where I had this cake baked for me, just delicious. Then I cooked it and follow all the instructions, it was just delicious, all my family was so pleased with the cake but I have to confess that I had a little problem, having the sponge cake ready covered by the meringue gone to the oven and then though I left it more than the time requested, the sponge cake did not cook properly, I wonder if this was because it was covering all the tray and had so much meringue on top that did not allow to cook the sponge through? can you please advice. Thanks
Hi Chantal. Hmm too much meringue on top might be a problem. The amount of meringue in the recipe is just enough but maybe the size of your overall cake was a bit smaller? Then both meringue and sponge would be too thick to bake properly (and meringue will cook faster than sponge as it’s more exposed. You could maybe try next time to play with your oven, meaning, you may choose to heat the oven from bottom or put the tray to the bottom shelf of the oven. This way the sponge below will get more heat. But you shoud watch it so that the sponge doesn’t burn!