If you've ever wondered what other countries serve gingerbread cake, la ménagère débutante (French for "the domestic novice") takes on a Swedish spice cake called mjuk pepparkaka. We've translated the recipe and the measurements for you, so you can enjoy the spice-enriched cake here in the States.
One of my favorite traditional sweets of the holiday season is gingerbread. The mixture of sweet and exotic spices, in my opinion, is one of the most comforting flavors available. Enjoyed with a cup of full-bodied coffee, this is the ideal treatment to combat the darkness and chill of December.
Each Nordic country has a similar cake in its repertoire, but the version that I present today is found mainly in Sweden. Although the cake alone is tasty during a coffee break (or fika in Swedish), it is traditionally served with whipped cream and lingonberry jam. This cake is simply divine.
For a more Norwegian or Danish take, bake it in the heart-shaped mold, sold at Ikea and decorate it by drawing a border all around with buttercream or cream cheese icing. Then, pipe God Jul! (Swedish for "Merry Christmas!") in the center.
Keep reading for her moist spice cake recipe.
Mjuk Pepparkaka: Moist Spice Cake
- 450 ml (scant 2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 200 ml (heaping 3/4 cup) sugar
- 100 ml (scant 1/2 cup) brown sugar
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) baking powder
- 2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) salt
- 7.5 ml (1-1/2 teaspoons) ground cinnamon
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) ground ginger
- 2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) ground cardamom
- 2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) of ground cloves
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 150 ml (scant 2/3 cup) whole milk
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. In another bowl, mix together eggs and milk. Add wet mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix well. Add the melted butter gradually, taking care to incorporate. The batter should be smooth.
- Transfer the batter into a buttered and floured round 9" cake pan (or in a fancy heart-shaped mold). Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until that the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and dry.
- Let cool for about half an hour before unfolding. Remove from pan and transfer to a cake rack. Cool completely before cutting. Serve at room temperature alone or with whipped cream and lingonberry jam.