Kvæfjordkake – the world’s best cake

The title does not exaggerate, this cake is ridiculous. The best part about it is that it’s super easy to make, but looks really impressive when placed on the coffee table. Since I’m on a roll  lately writing about national favorites, this has, in fact, been named Norway’s national cake. A sponge cake topped with meringue, and filled with vanilla custard and whipped cream, it is light as a feather but rich in taste.

The cake gets its name from town Kvæfjord, situated on Hinnøy, which is Norway’ largest island. Located in northern Norway, the town has about 3200 inhabitants, and is known as the potato and strawberry town of the north.

kvæfjordenPhoto source: http://www.kvaefjordkaka.no

Previously known as “Kongekaka” (The King’s cake) it switched names in the the 1930s, when Hulda Ottestad, a cafe owner in Kvæfjord, bought a Danish recipe for 200 kroner (around $30+, which was considered very expensive at the time)  and developed it into the popular version we see today.  A natural addition to any cake table at parties and a special treat on the weekend, it’s rare to find anyone who dislikes this pastry or doesn’t get excited by the mere look of the world’s best cake.

You might become someone’s hero after you’ve made this cake, and if you do decide to tackle this – be ready to do it over and over again in the future, because the requests will keep returning!

“EKTE KVÆFJORDKAKE”  (Authentic Kvæfjord cake)

For the base:

1 stick unsalted butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

4 egg yolks

3 tbsp milk

2/3 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp vaniljesukker or 1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking powder

For the meringue:

4 egg whites

1 cup granulated sugar

For the filling

1 1/4 cup heavy cream

2 tbsp sugar

1 container store-bought vanilla custard (you can use a Jell-O pack w/vanilla flavor), prepared

You can also make your own vanilla custard if you insist. You’ll find a recipe in my previous post about Skoleboller.

1/2 cup sliced almonds for decoration

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 13 x 9 baking pan with parchment paper.

To make the base of cake: In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix sugar and butter until light and fluffy.  Add in the egg yolks, one at a time, then add in the milk. If using vanilla extract, add this in.  In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and if using, vaniljesukker, and fold it into the batter.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Whisk the egg whites with the 1 cup of the sugar until stiff peaks. Pour the meringue over the cake and sprinkle sliced almonds  on top. Bake on low rack in oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until the meringue is firm and have turned a golden color.

Cool the cake on a rack.  Whisk the heavy cream and sugar until firm and fold in the vanilla custard. When the cake has cooled down, divide it into two pieces, spread the filling on top of one piece, and top with the other. It tastes even better when you  top with sliced strawberries!


Photo Source: alleoppskrifter.no


“Ho e som bygda ho sogne te: Verdens beste, og vel så det!” (Norwegian saying about this cake)

19 thoughts on “Kvæfjordkake – the world’s best cake

  1. Joan Lønning Abbott says:

    I studied the recipe & questioned how the base would bake with meringue? After 15 min the meringue was plenty brown, but the base was still very loose. I covered with parchment & baked 8 more min, not chancing over cooking. Only 2/3 C flour, 1 stick butter +, & needing to slice in 1/2. I thought I had completely failed, & the Norwegian National Cake would not make an appearance at the Sons of Norway potluck. Baked up a boxed yellow cake, sliced in 1/2, spread pudding, then another thin layer of pudding, slapped the meringue on top, (told my husband to leave the kitchen), almonds, then many rows of 1/2 sliced strawberries. It was not authentic, but was a big hit at the lodge. I read a different recipe & it called for 1 C flour & also baked the almonds on the meringue. Just FYI. Thank you so very much for your blog. I really enjoy learning new recipes.

    • Sunny says:

      Hi Joan! thanks for checking in and your comments. The baking time obviously varies according to the individual oven, but it’s common that the meringue browns before the base cake, which is why it’s so important that you place the cake on the bottom rack of the oven. That said, please note that the base is not supposed to be completely “dry” – it’s supposed to be somewhat sticky and moist, which is why this cake is delicious (and requires little flour). Every recipe will call for slightly different measurements – I guess keep trying and eventually you will find what works best for your own oven! Thanks again for your commentary and hope you will keep reading my blog! 🙂

      • Joan Lønning Abbott says:

        OK, I am once again inspired to bake, for May 17. Will let you know how it turns out. My Norwegian friend Bjørg, told me it was the flour I used. Her family owned a bakery, & would import the flour from Norway. 😀

      • sheryloben says:

        You’re welcome. I was actually following the recipe when I realised that I haven’t used the milk yet. I actually had to redo the the batch. Anyhow, the recipe’s actually pretty good 🙂

  2. The Vanilla 47 Site says:

    After I originally commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the same comment. Is there a way you are able to remove me from that service? Cheers!

    • Sunny says:

      Hi there! This is something you have to do yourself from your own wordpress or user service I’m afraid under settings when you commented….I don’t have a access to you user profile – sorry! Hope you can figure it out! 🙂

  3. Dag Scutch says:

    Something to keep in mind, if this recipe is directly from Norway – flour in Norway is more glutinous than flower elsewhere, so generally you have to alter the recipe slightly to compensate by using slightly less flower or beating it a bit more.

    • Sunny says:

      Hi Dag – thanks for your note, it also depends on what you are making. For instance with breads I find you have to use MORE flour here in NY /if you live in a humid environment… the recipe is from
      Norway yes, but I always test it here in the U.S. and alter it accordingly 🙂

  4. Abeline says:

    Thanks for posting the recipe. I was making this for Thanksgiving… I followed the instructions and my batter is so thick I could make cookies with it. More pics with the steps would be helpful, especially for people who are not experienced bakers.

    • Sunny says:

      Hi Abeline, hmmm… I’m not sure what happened there… Many people have made this recipe with great results. Thanks for the feedback though, I do appreciate. As a blogger is difficult to please everybody – some wants photos along the way, and other people comment “Just give me the damn recipe already!” and don’t like details… That said, I do appreciate your comment and hope you are able to salvage it somehow! Happy Thanksgiving! Sunny

      • Abeline says:

        Thanks Sunny for the prompt reply. I totally get how pics and too many details can overwhelm. I just wanted to give you and update on the progress. I tried to salvage it by adding some whole cream to the batter to thin it out..and thankfully it worked. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Sunny says:

    Sooo glad to hear it worked!! And will be more mindful of being more detailed in the future, thanks for letting me know – I so appreciate your feedback! Let me know how the cake tastes! xo

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