‘Tropical Aroma’ – Norway’s most popular chocolate cake?

Judging by the name,  my thoughts certainly don’t wander to the Nordic countries, but then again how does the saying go? “Opposites attract”? Which country does not love chocolate? And by adding a few spices into the cake, this could certainly qualify as “tropical”.   A deep chocolate flavor is produced by adding dark cocoa and  hints of cinnamon and nutmeg adds that little extra to make this a very special chocolate cake indeed.  There are several varieties of this cake – one can be made with just dark (chocolate) batter, another has a mixture of white and dark batter, which is the classic version, and the one I have selected to make for this blog post.  There is also a “light” version, with only white cake batter, but coated with chocolate cream.  This is definitely one of Norway’s most popular chocolate cakes.


Many Norwegians remember getting served “Tropisk Aroma” when visiting their grandma’s house, or when attending confirmations, weddings and anniversaries.  The cake was even better if allowed to stand in a cool place for several days, but more often than not, the cake didn’t last that long.

Norway might not have the most sophisticated chocolate cakes in the world, but there’s  something to be said for that familiar flavor, look and consistency that just reminds you of HOME. Of a happy childhood, fun times with friends and family and recipes that makes you want to cook. That is why I love these cakes- most Norwegian cakes you whip up in less than 10 minutes and they taste delicious. Juicy, flavorful and satisfying – that is what I want in a cake.

Try this the next time you’re having friends or family over for coffee – a perfect companion to this cake.

TROPISK AROMA  (Tropical Aroma)

200 grams/7 oz butter, softened

1 1/2 cups (380g) granulated sugar

3 large eggs

2 cups (450 g) all purpose flour

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground nutmeg

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla sugar (or substitute vanilla extract)

1 3/4 cups milk or buttermilk

For the dark batter:

2  tbsp good quality cocoa powder

For chocolate glaze:

7 tbsp butter, softened

1 1/2 cups (380g) confectioners sugar

2 tbsp cocoa powder

2 tsp vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract)

3 tbsp strong coffee

1 egg

To make cake batter:   Preheat oven to 350F (180C).  Line two 10-inch cake pans (24 cm) with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl sift the flour, baking powder and spices together.

Using a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating each egg well into the batter.   Add in the flour mixture and milk interchangeably, mixing until just combined (don’t over whisk).   Pour about 1/3 of the batter into a separate bowl, and whisk in the cocoa powder.



Pour in the two batters into the two cake pans.


Bake the dark batter for about 15-20  minutes and the white batter for about 35 minutes (depending on your oven)  in the middle rack of the oven.


Remove and cool.   While the cakes are cooling, prepare the chocolate glaze. In a stand mixer, whip the butter with the confectioners sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla sugar. Add in the egg and the coffee and whisk until it forms a smooth glaze.

Carefully remove the parchment paper from the cakes. Divide the white cake in half,  smear some of the chocolate glaze in between the layers- place the dark cake in the middle, top with the second half of the white cake.  Glaze the rest of the cake with the chocolate cream- garnish with shaved chocolate on top if you wish. Some pipe ornate chocolate cream roses on top  which I think are really pretty too. I was in a hurry today so I just wanted to make  it and eat it! 🙂

This cake turned out soooo juicy and delicious – I promise you it will be your new favorite chocolate cake!!




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5 thoughts on “‘Tropical Aroma’ – Norway’s most popular chocolate cake?

  1. Janet Rörschåch says:

    That looks like a chocolate cake my mom used to make when I was a wee, wee bairn. Thank you for sharing!

  2. saucygander says:

    Having just finished a 4-hour layer cake (for a friend’s birthday), I am loving how quick this cake is by comparison. I made the rye bread from a previous post (the one with a mix of rye and wheat flour), the dough is sitting in the fridge so it’s ready for tomorrow, I can’t wait to taste it!

    • Sunny says:

      Thanks saucygander – this is exactly why I love Norwegian cakes. They may not be as beautiful and sophisticated as say, French cakes, but what they lack in beauty they more than make up for in taste! They are, as I like to call them, cakes with “personality” 🙂 thanks for your comment and great to hear you made the rye bread – let me know how it comes out!! Sunny x

  3. Sørlending says:

    Tropisk aroma is a south western Norwegian tradition brought back by returnees from Brooklyn. The recipe was published in the US in 1926 when it was a winner in the Royal Baking Powder bake-off where it was called Tropical Aroma.

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