Monday, February 18, 2013

Sockerkaka (Swedish Cardamom Cake)

This cake is a new one to me, and I'm so glad I found it - because it's both lovely to eat and simple to make.  This is a sockerkaka, which means "sugar cake" in Swedish.  The cardamom is optional, says my Swedish sister-in-law, but it's so wonderful that I don't see myself leaving it out (and I am not always a fan of cardamom!).  It's a delicate cardamom flavor here, almost more scent than flavor, and it's perfect.

This is also one of those great "dump everything in a bowl and mix it" recipes, so I can see myself using it as a jumping-off point for cakes with other flavor profiles (in which case I would leave out the cardamom, most likely).  I think it would be great with chocolate chips, or nuts, or cinnamon, or berries, or any number of things!

from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book
Serves at least 12

Note: The recipe calls for a "9-inch tube-type fancy mold," by which she probably means something like a kugelhopf pan, but I don't have one of those.  I made mine in a star Bundt pan, which is a 10-cup pan, I believe, and it worked great.  It would work in a 12-cup Bundt pan, too, but would be shorter. I'm willing to wager you could also use 2 standard loaf pans.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cardamom (I do not crush my own. If you do, more power to you - and the cardamom flavor will be stronger in your cake!)
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
bread crumbs or vanilla wafer crumbs, for coating pan (I use store-bought bread crumbs)

Preheat your oven to 350°F.  Butter a Bundt pan (see note above), or use cooking spray (this is what I do; it gets into all the nooks and crannies better that way, I find).  Coat the pan with the bread or wafer crumbs and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cardamom, salt, eggs, and whipping cream.  Mix at low speed for 15-30 seconds, until just blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and mix at medium speed for 3 minutes.

Pour into prepared pan, and bake for 55-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Remove from pan immediately; cool on a rack. Just before serving, dust with powdered sugar.


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