What Swedish desserts and cakes are served for Swedish fika, or svensk fika?
This part really makes me hungry, but let’s dive into some of the best Swedish desserts that are commonly seen at fika tables. You might have tried Princess cake or cinnamon buns on one of your visits to Ikea, but there’s more to Swedish pastries than that!
These are some of the most common Swedish desserts and cakes you will see in cafes or when visiting a Swedish friend’s house:
Kanelbullar (Cinnamon buns)
Is it even fika if you don’t have a cinnamon bun or kanelbulle? This is the mother of all Swedish fika pastries. You will usually see medium-sized kanelbullar in cafes, but there are big ones in some special fika spots like Kafe Magasinet in Gothenburg.
What makes Kanelbullar different from other cinnamon buns?
It’s the cardamom in the dough! You can really taste the spice in the bread itself, not just in the filling. It is not very sweet compared to other cinnamon buns.
Swedes love to have a special day for Swedish pastries, food, and other things!
Kanelbullens dag (cinnamon bun day) happens every fourth of October. According to West Sweden, 57% of Swedes have at least one cinnamon bun on Kanelbullens dag.
Kanelbullens dag saw a whopping 7 million Kanelbullar sold!You have to take note that, as of this writing, Sweden only has 10.2 million people!
Kardemummabullar (Cardamom buns)
Cardamom is a heavily used spice in Sweden, as evidenced by the popularity of cardamom buns. Kardemummabullar is the next option after Kanelbullar, so it’s no surprise that it has its own day as well.
Kardemummabullars dag (cinnamon bun day) is celebrated every May 15th.
Prinsesstårta (Princess cake)
Prinsesstårta is probably my favourite Swedish cake. I think it looks very pretty and appetising.
It is made of a cake base layered with whipped and vanilla cream and topped with marzipan. The marzipan is mostly green, but you can also see it in other colours like yellow or red.
The history of Prinsesstårta goes way back to 1893. It was also called the Green cake.
Punschrullar / Dammsugare (Punch rolls/Vacuum cleaners)
Believe it or not, we have a vacuum cleaner on the list! These cute green desserts are really nicknamed “vacuum cleaners” in English. It is oblong in shape and has a marzipan and chocolate coating on both sides.It’s mostly called Dammsugare in Sweden.
The dessert’s design resembles that of the old tubular vacuum cleaner, so it was called a vacuum cleaner. It’s both cute and funny! Imagine ordering a vacuum cleaner in a cafe.
Punschrullens dag happens every 7th of March.
No Swedish dessert is as iconic as the Semla. It’s a bun with a lot of whipped cream in the middle, some almond paste, and sugar on top.
Semlor are eaten at the end of the Lenten fast, which is referred to as Mardis Gras, Shrove Tuesday, or Fettis Dagen.
Some cafes start making semlor by the new year because it’s so popular and is offered up until the end of Easter. There have been some variations, like Croissant semla or Nutella semla.
Chokladbollar (Chocolate balls)
This is a a familiar treat to most people. It’s also a no-fuss, easy-to-make dessert. Most cafes sell chokladbollar, and is also a fika staple. There’s no special season for it because it’s pretty much available all-year round.
Blåbärspaj (Blueberry Pie)
Given that Sweden is abundant with bilberries (not blueberries but it’s also called European blueberries), it’s no surprise that it’s easy to bake a bilberry pie, but yes, it still gets called blueberry pie. Make it extra delicious by adding some cream!
In Sweden, you will often be asked, “Vill du ha grädde?” in cafes, which translates to, “Do you want to have cream?”
Kladdkaka (Mud cake / Swedish sticky chocolate cake)
Kladdkaka is likened to a mud cake. It’s a soft, sticky, gooey, intentionally half-baked chocolate cake topped with whipped cream and strawberries. If you like chocolate or mud cake, this is something you should try. It’s sinfully good!
Every year on October 7th, Kladdkaka Day is observed.
Mazariner (Mazarin tartlet)
A fairly well-known Swedish tartlet is the mazarin tartlet, or mazariner in plural. It has a foundation of delicious shortbread pastry with vanilla taste and an almond cream filling.This is a popular choice for fika.
The name Mazarin might be derived from marzipan, the Swedish word for almond paste, or from Jules Mazarin, a well-known Italian cardinal in French history.
Ostkaka (Swedish cheesecake)
American cheesecakes differ greatly from Swedish cheesecakes, often known as Swedish curd cakes. It is frequently referred to as “Småländsk ostkaka” (Cheesecake from Småland) in Sweden, where it alludes to the oldest and most traditional recipe for making cheese from milk and rennet.
In Sweden, the Ostkaka (Ostkakans dag) is celebrated on November 14.
Äpplepaj (Swedish apple pie)
Why is Swedish apple pie special? It has no crust! Even yet, it still tastes just as good as the traditional apple pie that we all know and love.
This pie is bursting with a rich filling flavoured with cinnamon and is delightfully sweet and delicately spiced.
When the filling bakes, a flaky crust forms on top, giving the pie a great texture contrast.
Lussekatter / Lussebullar (Saffron buns)
Saffron flavouring is used in this delicious, soft bun known as lussekatter/ lussebullar. These cheery, holiday-themed buns are typically offered around Christmas and during the advent season. I like to have it with warm Glögg (Swedish punch from spiced wine, comes with non-alcoholic options)
Some versions are laced with almond paste and sprinkled with pearl sugar, others are topped with raisins for a nice textural contrast. Lussekatter dag is on the 13th of December.
Mandeltårta (Swedish Almond cake)
This is a deliciously rich cake with an almond topping. The cake also has a hint of lemon zest flavouring in addition to the almonds. It’s another favourite of mine and is absolutely a must try!
Toscakaka (Tosca cake)
Tasty and easy to make like a sponge cake with an almond icing on top. While the cake is baking, prepare the glaze by combining the butter, sugar, flour, milk, and almonds in a saucepan. Every celebration will be a hit with tosca cake since it is both delicious and easy to prepare.
Raberbarpaj (Rhubarb pie)
The Swedish dessert rabarberpaj, which is improved with some almond flakes, is more akin to a crumble than a “regular” pie (slivers). In this variation, ginger and orange are added since they go well with rhubarb; but, if you like a more traditional rabarberpaj, leave off the almonds, ginger, and orange zest.
Kokostoppar (Swedish coconut macaroons)
The presence of coconut tops in Swedish cafés actually surprised me. I thought Swedish people didn’t like coconuts, but Kokostoppar is really quite well-liked!
Swedish cuisine has just recently begun to include coconut in general, and coconut tops appear to be a more recent addition.
What are the special dates for Swedish cakes and pastries?
I was actually amused to know that Swedes do take their special days for desserts seriously, some more than the others. For example, Kanelbullensdag, Fettisdagen, and Lussekatter dag seem to be more relevant than the others.
These are some of the important dates to take note of, and if you live in Sweden, it’s a must for you to be familiar with these dates:
- January 12: Marsipanens dag (Marsipan day).
- Fettisdagen (40 days before Easter) and Semmeldagen (Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday)
- February 3: Morotskakans dag (Carrot cake day)
- March 25: Våffledagen (Waffle day)
- April 12: Lakritsdagen (Licorice day)
- May 1: Budapestbakelsens dag (Budapest cake day)
- May 11: Chokladbollens dag (Chocolate ball day)
- May 15: Kardemummabulles dag (Cardamom bun day)
- May 27: Muffin day
- June 6: Nationaldagsbakelsen pastry (National day pastry)
- Midsommar (Friday between 19th -25th of June): Midsomartårta (Midsummer Strawberry cake)
- August 9 : Rulltårtans day (Rolled cake day)
- Last week of September: Dedicated to Prinsesstårta (Princess cake)
- October 1: Kaffedagen (Coffee day)
- October 4: Kanelbullens dag (Cinnamon Bun day)
- October 6: Gräddtårtans dag (Cream Layer cake)
- November 6: Gustav Adolfsbakelse day
- November 7: Kladkakkans dag (Mud cake day)
- November 11: Chokladens dag (Chocolate day)
- November 14: Ostkakans dag (Cheesecake day)
- December 1: Glöggens dag (Glogg day)
- December 9: Pepparkakans dag (Ginger cookie day)
- December 13: Lussekatter dag (Lussekatter day or saffron rolls day)
- December 18: Kakans dag (Cake’s day)
To learn more about Swedish fika, it’s history, and other facts, you can read more about it here. If you want to try some of these pastries in some of the cosy cafes in Gothenburg, check out our list.
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