Swedish Visiting Cake is a buttery, almond-infused cake that is simple and elegant ~ the perfect excuse for a Swedish style fika coffee break!
Swedish visiting cake
Swedish Visiting Cake, known as Mandelkaka is a simple and delicious cake that is traditionally served to guests in Sweden. The cake is typically made with basic ingredients such as butter, sugar, eggs, flour, and almond extract. It has a slightly crisp meringue-like outer layer with the most enticingly soft, almost custardy interior.
Of all the sweets I make here simple rustic cakes that can be eaten any time of the day are the most iconic. They fit right in to the Swedish tradition of fika, or casual social coffee break. They’re what we’re all about and luckily you guys respond to them too. Your favorites are my favorites:
ingredient list for Swedish visiting cake
The ingredient list couldn’t be more basic, and that makes perfect sense because this cake was meant to be whipped up at the first sight of a visiting neighbor or guest at your door.
- sliced almonds
- sliced almonds come in different forms: blanched sliced almonds which have had their skins removed, resulting in a lighter-colored slice that is uniform in color. And natural sliced almonds which still have their skins intact, resulting in a darker-colored slice with a slightly nuttier flavor. Either can be used for this cake.
- granulated sugar
- powdered sugar
- almond and vanilla extracts
- almond extract has a nutty, slightly bitter flavor, while vanilla extract is warmly sweet and aromatic. Using both adds depth and complexity to this cake.
- The simple cake batter can be whisked together in a mixing bowl, no special equipment needed. I like to line my pan with parchment paper so I can lift it out for easier slicing.
- The topping is a little unusual: you’ll mix egg whites, powdered sugar, and sliced almonds together and spread that across the top of the batter. This bakes up to a golden lightly crisp meringue topping over the soft cake.
tips for Swedish visiting cake
You can also bake this cake in a springform pan or round cake pan if you like and slice it in wedges.
Try your best not to over bake this cake. Treat it like a brownie and err on shorter baking time. The top will get nice and golden but the center may still feel a bit soft.
Resist the temptation to plunge your knife into the hot cake, it is very delicate and benefits from some cooling down time to firm up. And the slices will not be neat and clean ~ expect (and welcome) cracks and crags, that’s part of this cake’s unique charm!
Don’t slice the cake until ready to eat or that perfect piece of Swedish visiting cake on your plate can start to dry out.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.
Swedish visiting cake can be frozen for longer storage.
what to expect from Swedish visiting cake
This is a rustic cake in the manner of so many European cakes but Swedish cakes in particular are known for their simplicity and are baked specifically for the casual and comforting tradition of fika, or coffee break. Swedish visiting cake is neither too sweet nor too rich, and the almond flavor is just right. But the beauty of this cake lies in the contrasting textures. The almond ‘crust’ is light and crisp, and the interior…it’s almost custard-like (if you haven’t over baked it!) It pairs perfectly with coffee or tea.
for almond lovers
Swedish visiting cake is just one of many almond-centric recipes here:
- Almond Ricotta Cake
- Green Beans Almondine
- Paste di Mandorla ~ Sicilian Almond Paste Cookies
- Almond Fig Cake
- Toasted Almond Pavlova with summer berries
- Raspberry Almond Puff Pastry Danish
Swedish Visiting Cake
- 9×9 square or round cake pan
- parchment paper (optional)
- confectioner's sugar
- Preheat your oven to 350F. Butter and line a 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper. The parchment paper is only necessary if you want to lift out the cake for neater slicing.
- Put the egg whites in a medium bowl and break them up a little with a fork. Add the extract and powdered sugar and blend together. The mixture will be lumpy. Gently stir in the almonds, and mix well, taking care not to break the almonds. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk the sugar, eggs, extracts and salt together until pale and slightly thickened. This will take a bit of elbow grease and a good couple of minutes.
- Using a silicone spatula fold in the flour. Then fold in the melted and cooled butter until the batter is homogenous and smooth. Turn the batter into your prepared pan.
- Top the batter with the almond topping. I use my fingers and drop small bits all over the surface of the batter to more easily distribute it. Smooth it down with an offset spatula and spread to the edges and corners.
- Bake in the center of the oven for 28-32 minutes. The top will turn golden and the center may still be slightly soft. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out without obvious wet batter on it. Do not over bake this cake.
- Let your Swedish visiting cake cool for about 15-20 minutes before lifting it out using the parchment paper to cool completely on a rack.
- Dust generoulsy with powdered sugar and slice just before serving. You can also serve with whipped cream and berries if you like.