Kvæfjordkake: the official cake of Norway
This treat is often called Verdens Beste, thanks to layers of meringue, vanilla cream, and almonds
This week’s recipe is courtesy of Seattle’s Nordic Heritage Museum, and was first published in their cookbook, Tasty Traditions.
This traditional Norwegian cake delights with meringue, vanilla cream, and almonds, deserving the esteemed nickname of “Verdens Beste” (The World’s Best Cake).
In September 2002, Kvæfjordkake was voted Norway’s national cake by Nitimen’s listeners, beating marzipan cake, carrot cake, kransekake, and chocolate cake.
½ cup butter
½ cup sugar
4 egg yolks
¾ cup flour
1 ½ tsps baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsps milk
4 egg whites
7/8 cup sugar
½ cup coarsely chopped almonds
3-oz package of vanilla pudding
1½ cups milk
1 ½ tsps unflavored gelatin
1 cup whipped whipping cream
Grease a rectangular cake tin, about 8 x 15 inches. Line it with parchment paper. Let the paper extend some out of the pan, because the cake rises. Grease the paper lightly.
Cream butter and sugar until light. Add the egg yolks and vanilla. Mix baking powder with flour and add alternatively with the milk. Spread the batter evenly over the pan.
Beat the egg whites stiff. Beat in sugar, a little at a time until mixture is stiff. Carefully spread on top of the cake batter, and sprinkle with the almonds. Bake the cake on the middle rack of the oven at 350° for about 25 minutes. Cool the cake a little and slide it with the paper onto a wire rack. The cake should be inverted.
For the filling, make up a 3-oz package of vanilla pudding using 1½ cups milk. Fold in 1½ tsp unflavored gelatin dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water. Let cool. Fold in up to 1 cup whipped whipping cream. Slice the cake in two horizontally, spread the filling on the bottom half and place the other on top. Whipped cream may be served in a bowl on the side with the cake.
Kvæfjord is a small town in Northern Norway, where this “official cake” of Norway began. There are many variations of the recipe. At least one adds rum extract to the filling.
This article originally appeared in the Jan. 30, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.