Every time I go home to Norway, I’m reminded of how much I miss our cakes. I’ve mentioned this in previous posts, but our cakes are something special, and we certainly take pride in them. I could probably spend a lifetime writing about all the varieties that exist, as each household has their own creations and versions. Norwegians love using nuts in their cakes, most often almonds, and instead of using butter cream and icing, we often turn to whipped cream (bløtkake or cream cake) or some sort of other glaze which makes the pastries less rich and sweet. All our cakes are famously moist, fluffy and light – making it possible to eat more than one piece at a time!
Suksesskake, or suksessterte, is a great example of a Norwegian cake most people are familiar with, and I have yet to meet anybody who doesn’t absolutely love this cake. I previously posted about the Kvæfjordkake, which has been named “the world’s best cake”, but many would argue that suksesskake is better and deserves the title. I will leave it up to you to try out both and decide!
A staple on the table not only at weddings, confirmations and baptisms, but also a suitable item to serve on weekends when visitors come over, suksesskake is also called “gulkake” (yellow cake) because of its bright color. Popular with kids as well as older people, it’s easy to please anyone when choosing to serve this classic cake. With a moist bottom chock full of nuts (yes, almonds), topped with a flavorful, silky and light egg cream, it’s a great addition to your cake repertoire. Serve it with a little dollop of vanilla ice cream and it becomes even better!
SUKSESSKAKE (Success Cake)
For the almond cake:
5 egg whites
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup almonds
2 tsp all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
For the topping:
6 egg yolks
2/3 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla sugar (or substitute vanilla extract)
1 stick + 3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
Sliced almonds or chopped dark chocolate for decoration
To make cake bottom:
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a round 10″ spring cake pan with parchment paper.
Grind the almonds in food processor until fine.
Whisk egg whites in a stand mixer until soft peaks form. Add in confectioners sugar and continue whisking until you get a meringue, about 5 minutes more. Fold in the baking powder, flour and almonds and combine well. Pour the batter into the cake pan, bake in oven for about 30 minutes. Let cake cool in the pan while making the topping. When cake is cool, loosen the spring carefully, remove the parchment paper and bottom and place the cake on a serving tray. Wash the spring form and place it around the cake.
To make topping:
Combine egg yolks, heavy cream, sugar and vanilla sugar in a small pot over medium heat. Bring it to nearly a boil, while constantly stirring (be careful not to scramble the eggs!). Take pot off the stove and let cool to room temp. Whisk in the softened butter with a whisk until shiny and even. Pour the cream over the cake and place in fridge to let it firm up, preferably over night. Make sure both the cake bottom and cream are cool, otherwise the cream will just disappear into the cake! When ready to serve, pull out of fridge and carefully remove spring from the cake. Decorate with sliced almonds or chopped chocolate chunks.
I’ve seen versions of this cake, where the yellow egg cream is filled in the center (cutting the cake in two lengthwise), and topped with a chocolate glaze too… sinfully good! Another version is with a whipped cream topping and fresh berries or canned pears with a chocolate drizzle… as you can see, you can go really wild with toppings and no matter what, the almond cake base is a perfect partner to many flavors.