Sweden! Hands up if you’re as obsessed with Scandinavia as I am? Anyone? In Scandi countries, they have this thing called a ‘cake table’. And it is basically the afternoon tea of my dreams.
You invite all your friends and family over, and serve up a gigantic smorgasbord of cakes – 10 at least – and everyone has to taste each of them! I love that! So people saying, ‘oh just a tiny piece’ or ‘none for me thanks’ is actually mandated against. Now THAT is my kinda place.
I like to think that this cake is called a ‘dream cake’ (drømmekage) because it contains coconut, which I imagine would have once been a very exotic ingredient in Sweden.
And I suppose it makes sense if you come from somewhere with long, cold Winters and short Summers, that a coconut palm-lined beach, with the sun shining endlessly would absolutely seem like a dream.
Because I come from somewhere with super-long, hot summers it may not be surprising that I dream of Scandinavian Christmases and white Winters. The beauty of this cake is that it pleases everyone.
If you love Summer, you can dream of a coconut-scented beach-scape. If you love Winter, you can dream of a Scandinavian kitchen and a cup of hot coffee. Either way, the name ‘dream cake’ really couldn’t be more perfect for this buttery, caramel and coconut topped, vanilla cake. It is a dream come true.
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup (165g) caster sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 cup (150g) plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup milk
- ¾ stick (75g) butter, melted
- 1 stick (115g) butter
- ½ cup (115g) brown sugar
- ¼ cup (65 ml) milk
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups (150g) coconut flakes (unsweetened)
- Preheat the oven to 320F/160C and grease and line a 9in/23cm round cake tin, or a 11x8 inch rectangular tin.
- Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla into a bowl and whisk until pale and fluffy and doubled in volume. This takes a while, so easiest to do it with an electric whisk.
- Place the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and stir together. Do the same with the sour cream and milk.
- Now, add a third of the flour, a third of the milk mixture and a third of the butter to the egg mixture and begin gently folding it in with a large metal spoon or spatula. Once the first lot is incorporated, add the remaining ingredients in two parts, folding well after each.
- Once the batter is all incorporated, scrape it into the lined tin and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden and springing bake when lightly touched.
- When the cake has about 5 minutes bake time remaining, prepare the topping. Place all the ingredients except the coconut into a large saucepan and heat until everything is melted and combined. Stir in the coconut, and mix well.
- When the cake is finished baking, take it out and crank the oven up to 425F/220C. Spread the coconut topping mixture over the cake evenly, and then place it back in the oven for 5 minutes, or until it is golden and bubbling.
- Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin, and then run a knife around the edge to loosen the praline topping if it has stuck. Turn the cake out and serve! This is gorgeous with a cup of black tea.