13 November 2010

Swedish Mjuk Pepparkaka - Spice Cake

Silent Bob has been doing his genealogical research almost day and night around here at the cottage on the hill. He's very excited to have found long lost names of people and places, birthdates and emigration dates, death notices of relatives in Sweden. It's like a wonderful puzzle coming together on the Internet. The Lindquist emigration and Swedish connections have been mysterious for so long.

I, however, have been taking a more hands-on approach.  It's comin' on Christmas and I have been looking at all the wonderful baked goods that have come our way from Scandinavia. This is an easy little cake to make when you need a sweet something to offer for tea or coffee time. It would do well as a light dessert with a bit of mocha whipped cream or whipped and sweetened Mascarpone cheese.

I found the pan for baking it in a small consignment store and it fits really well with this particular recipe. Yum. Who can resist a little slice of spice cake when you're sipping a cup of tea ... or something a bit stronger?

The key to this little cake ... and the molded pan ... is to bake the cake until the edges are crisped and to cool the cake for a bit before trying to plate it. I was liberal with the cooking spray that I used for the pan too ... just sayin'.

When you get it onto your serving plate, let it cool completely before dusting with powdered sugar and garnishing with some pretty something. I am thinking that a different plate and some cranberries and greens or a sprig of autumn color laying near the platter would dress it nicely for your Thanksgiving dessert table. Get creative!

We had to trim the ends of the cake to fit it to my new holly plate that was made by an talented potter down in Rehoboth, MA named Diane Berube.  Those are whole almonds that I laid the length of the molded pan ... and only one bucked authority and slouched to the side a bit ... a sin covered with the confectioner's sugar dusting!  Now, what to do with the trimmed ends? Such a shame ... SB and I had a preview of dessert in the middle of the afternoon.

Christmas perfection! Gotta love it!

Swedish Spice Cake
Mjuk Pepparkaka


1¼ c. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 c. whole milk or light cream
1¼ c. flour
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. cardamom
1/8 tsp. cloves
½ tsp. baking powder
1 stick ( ½ c. ) of unsalted butter, melted
powdered sugar for dusting

Making the Cake:

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F

2. In a mixing bowl, whip until creamy: sugar, egg, and vanilla extract.

3. Add the milk and continue whipping until smooth and light.

4. In a 2-cup measure, whisk together: flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom.

5. Melt 1 stick of unsalted butter. Turn heat off under it and cool it slightly.

6. Add the flour mixture to the dough and continue whipping vigorously.

7. Pour the butter in a steady stream whipping until light and frothy.

8. Spray an 8 inch square baking pan or an oblong molded pan with cooking spray. Be generous.

9. Sprinkle slivered almonds in the bottom of the square pan or lay whole almonds down the center of the molded pan. Carefully pour the batter so that it covers the bottom of the pans and gently spread the remaining dough to make an evenly distributed batter.

10. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until the edges are crisped and the center is set.

11. Remove from the oven and set on a rack to cool for at least 20 minutes. Then, turn onto a serving plate and gently loosen the cake from the edges of the pan. Tap to unmold.

12. Let cool further and then sprinkle the surface with confectioner’s sugar. Garnish with holly or other greenery and serve with mulled cider, Swedish glogg, gluwein, tea, or coffee.

Note: This can be served as a warm dessert with mocha whipped cream or whipped and sweetened Mascarpone cheese also.


  1. Food provides such a connection to culture. Even though my family left India - I think in the 1890's or 1900's - we have a strong connection to it - and a big part of that comes from the food I think.
    The spice cake sounds delicious, perfect for the holidays too.

  2. My great-grandparents were born and raised in Sweden. I just love finding Swedish recipes like your cake. And that mold! I love it. They cake looks so pretty, I bet it was delicious! Would be nice to have with some glogg. :o)

  3. @ Brenda - I have to say ... I sent the rest of the cake with Silent Bob when he went to the farm to meet up with the rest of the guys to hunt. It didn't last long and Hiel (Silent Bob) said it was 'pretty tasty'. Brenda, try this one ... so simple and it really is very good. The big challenge is finding the pan. I'll look for a link for you.

  4. What a lovely cake! It makes me want a cup of tea and a fancy hat!

  5. Looks wonderful - and the dish seals the deal... I'm ready for the holidays! :)

  6. This fantastic - I only ever do a traditional boiled pudding or a simpler cherry raisin cake but this cake with its spices and the beautiful cuved pan is WONDERFUL! Wish we were neighbors :)

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  7. A great sounding recipe for spice cake, awesome find on that pan.


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