Bake your way to a successful spring
Norwegian suksessterte is eaten to mark special occasions and the return of sunny days
Norwegian suksessterte is in my opinion one of the easiest ways to celebrate spring and Norway all in one go. This classically Norwegian cake is often eaten during Easter but also during confirmations where young Norwegians are affirmed into the Church of Norway, christenings, and birthdays. If you receive this cake as a gift or if one is made for you during one of these events, make no mistake, you are loved and you are special. Norwegian suksessterte, or suksesskake as it is sometimes called, is eaten to mark special occasions, usually ones a bit more official or stately if you will.
This recipe for Norwegian suksessterte uses four whole eggs, is gluten free, and is quite popular during spring in Norway. I think its popularity is because of the eggs and their connection to rebirth, renewal, and the solidification of the end of winter—but it could honestly be all the sugar and butter used to make this cake. Either way, I simply adore Norwegian suksessterte. And you will too. If you want to be extra fancy, double this recipe and make a two-layer version.
Norwegian suksessterte, or “success tart,” features a custard frosting and gluten-free almond meringue sponge. It is made with ingredients you find in every grocery store. It’s not overly expensive to make, is always a crowd pleaser, and is, like most Norwegian cakes, uncomplicated.
You’ll want to begin making this cake by grinding your own raw almonds if you can, and of course allowing all of your ingredients to come to room temperature before you begin. I grind my raw almonds in a food processor or blender as we tend to have raw almonds in our pantry year-round, but you can also use pre-ground almonds too.
100 ml (1/3 cup + 1 tsp.) heavy cream
125 g (1/2 cup + 2 tbsps.) granulated sugar
4 egg yolks
1 vanilla pod, seeds removed
150 g (1/2 cup + 2 tbsps.) butter
Gluten-free almond sponge:
4 egg whites
150 g (1 1/2 cups) powdered sugar
150 g (1 cup) ground almonds
Vanilla custard frosting:
Combine the cream, granulated sugar, vanilla seeds, and egg yolks in a saucepan. While continually whisking, bring the pan to a medium heat until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This should take about 7-10 minutes.
Strain the frosting through a fine strainer or sieve and mix in the butter. Allow to cool slightly, then cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
Allow the mixture to cool for around 2 hours, or until thoroughly cool and thick.
Gluten-free almond sponge:
Preheat your oven to 175C/350F. Using a standing mixer or hand mixer, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, then mix in the powdered sugar and chopped almonds by hand.
Place the mixture in a greased spring form pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the edges slightly pull away from the sides.
Allow the cake to cool on a baking rack for 30-45 minutes, then assemble. Smooth the frosting over the top and sides of the cake sponge, then decorate with chopped almonds, mini chocolate chips, almond slivers, or shaved dark chocolate.
Serve at room temperature.
Whitney Love is a cookbook author and blogger. She hails from Tucson, Arizona and is currently living in Stavanger, Norway. She runs the English language blog Thanks For The Food where she documents her love affair with Norway through the lens of traditional and modern Norwegian gastronomy. Find her online at thanksforthefood.com.
This article originally appeared in the May 19, 2017, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.