Molten fudgy cake you can bake in a snap
Deceptively quick and simple, kladdkaka delivers huge satisfaction with minimal effort
Taste of Norway Editor
The beauty of this cake is its underbaked perfection. Similar to flourless chocolate cakes and molten “lava” cakes, it’s both dense and gooey inside. But it retains a light quality, too, in contrast to flourless cakes. I’ve heard it likened to brownies, but I don’t agree with that comparison; if kladdkaka resembles those, then it’s overbaked.
Kladdkaka—often translated to gooey chocolate cake—is one of the most searched-for recipes online in Sweden, as I learned from Magnus Nilsson, two star chef of Sweden’s celebrated restaurant Fäviken, when he spoke at the Nordic Culinary Conference in Seattle a couple of years ago. The origins go back only as far as the 1970s, yet it’s become a national favorite. I can see why.
The cake in its simplest form only requires a handful of ingredients. The technique is rather simple, too. By and large, kladdkaka recipes call for cocoa powder, but I’m pretty sure that once you’ve tried it this way, with bars of bittersweet chocolate, you won’t be going back. I started making the cake this way a few years ago, following a recipe in Signe Johansen’s mouthwatering book, Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking… Scandilicious. While I’ve given cocoa powder a try once since, I just can’t break away from the incredibly moist and silky results of a good quality chocolate bar. I played with the recipe, switching things up a bit each time, until I came to my ultimate kladdkaka recipe.
The ease of this cake makes it perfect for celebrations of all kinds. It comes together quickly and requires less than 15 minutes to bake. Plus, it has a reputation for freezing well.
As I’m trying to live life looking for things to celebrate, I’m glad to have this cake recipe in my repertoire. I’m sure you will be, too.
Kladdkaka (Swedish Fudgy Chocolate Cake)
If it has the consistency of a brownie, you’ve cooked it too long. The joy of this cake is in its gooey goodness.The magic in this cake is in the timing. There’s no real way to guarantee that your timing is perfect until the cake has cooled and you’ve gone ahead and cut yourself a slice, as I did when I brought it to Rachel’s home last winter. Go for the 14 minutes indicated the first time around. Make a note if you need to give it a minute or two more or less the next time. When you know how much time it needs in your particular oven, you’ll have a deceptively easy cake recipe that’s bound to become a favorite.
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 tsp. instant espresso powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
powdered sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 425° F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan.
Roughly chop the chocolate, using either a sharp knife or a food processor.
In a deep saucepan, 3-quart or larger, melt the butter over medium heat. Remove from heat and add the chocolate, stirring until melted. Stir in the espresso powder and vanilla extract. Set aside to cool to lukewarm.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until frothy, then stir in the melted chocolate and butter. In another bowl, give the flour and baking powder a quick whisk to combine, then gently fold in to the batter until incorporated. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 14 minutes.
Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Remove from pan and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with mounds of sweetened whipped cream and fresh berries or a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. Serves 12.
Daytona Strong is The Norwegian American’s Taste of Norway Editor. She writes about her family’s Norwegian heritage through the lens of food at her Scandinavian food blog, www.outside-oslo.com. Find her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/OutsideOslo), Twitter (@daytonastrong), Pinterest (@daytonastrong), and Instagram (@daytonastrong).
This article originally appeared in the May 18, 2018, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.