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.
Yep, this cake looks dreamy alright. Yum!
Wow! This cake looks amazing! I’m definitely going to try out this recipe!!
Thanks Kristin! Instagram it to me if ya do!
Yum! i am half swedish and we ate a lot of scandinavian style food. I never had anything like this, but i am excited to try it!!
That’s awesome! I’m way jealous of your awesome heritage. Instagram me a picture if you do try it!
i want to make this delicious cake, but want to clarify the ingredients in the topping. Butter is listed twice; once as 1 stick and then as 1/2 cup. So, it’s 2 sticks (1 cup/230g) total?
Hi Marysue! Thanks for picking that up. The second item should be brown sugar! So it’s 1 stick butter, and 1/2 cup brown sugar. I have updated the recipe now as well. I hope you like the cake!
I have a worrying obsession with all things Scandinavian. Ikea only fuels it! This looks delicious, I love the praline top.
Oh man, my best friend lives in Sweden and when she took me for fika for the first time I nearly DIED of happiness. Also, I love how there is candy everywhere,,,so good. This cake looks perfect friend! Totally need to try!
Thanks lovely! So jealous of you and your Fika experience.
It completly melts my Scandinavian heart to meet the word ‘drømmekage’ on your blog :-)
As it does to learn that ‘scandi-file’ actually is a concept. I am an anglo-file myself: scones, clotted cream, cheddar cheese, Barnaby and english cottages all have a special place in my heart.
Drømmekage is Also hugely popular here in DK – and we might fight with the Swedes over who invented it.
Lovely post :-)
I’m so glad you liked the post Lene! And I am a COMPLETE Scandi-file! It’s actually my secret dream to live in Copenhagen one day! I love all that Old English cooking too, though.
oh! this looks so yummy! i’m from sweden and reading this warms my heart, :)
I looove this cake! I have a Danish colleague who makes a similar cake and every time she brings it at the office I am the first to jump on it :)
Thanks for the recipe!!
Scandinavia is just the best place for sweet teeth – although France isn’t too bad either. I studied Swedish, and for a while I lived in Sweden. There it’s traditional to have seven types of bakes at a party (their “baking bible” is called “Sju Sorters Kakor”, seven types of cake) and every day they have something called fika in the afternoon where people bring in bakes and drink tea, gossip, talk etc. My kind of place :D
The cake table sounds like a tradition that should definitely be picked up by everyone! This cake does look like a dream :-)
Who isn’t going through scandimania!? I love the topping omg I need this in my life!
Your cake looks amazing and I am dyeing to try it. Before I do, did you intend to write 14 cups milk for the topping, or was it a n error and you really meant 1/4 cup milk. Please advise.
HAHAHAH, it was an error Judy! Thank you for picking that up! That could have gone terribly wrong. Fixed now to 1/4 cup!
Just wondering where you buy coconut flakes? I live in Brisbane and I haven’t been able to find them in a regular supermarket.
Hi Beck, I picked mine up at the Clayfield Market, but anywhere that has a good selection of nuts would be your best bet I reckon.
I love swedish baking- thanks for sharing.
Deirdre @ http://thekitschcook.blogspot.ie/
DREAMY! Cake table sounds right up my alley!
Whoa, we were so on the same wavelength this week. My hands are up because I love me some Scandinavian winters. And I will come to your Swedish cake party in a heartbeat!
This looks delicious and I would love to try it. I live in the US and I am not familiar with Vanilla Bean Paste. Could Madagascar vanilla extract be substituted? Instead of caster sugar, could regular granulated sugar be used? I’d love to make this cake for my husband since he loves coconut!
I’m definitely going to try your No Knead Cranberry Pecan bread recipe. I think I might try it with fresh cranberries since they are in season and great quantity in my part of the country in autumn.
Hi Anne! Vanilla extract (especially a lovely Madagascan one) would be a lovely substitute, and regular granulated sugar is just fine! I’d love to hear how it turns out, as well as the no-knead loaf with fresh cranberries!
ooooooooh-I could totally get on board with this! That topping totally puts the cake over the top (mmmmm praline….mmmmm coconut)…..YUM!
Lovely post! But drommekage is danish spelling/recipe, not Swedish , Kage is Kaka in Swedish . but we do have small biscuits, “Dreams” that is made with ammonium carbonite. Sweden traditionally serves 7 sorts, as mentioned Above .
A pan of awesomeness!
HI I’m a danish food-nerd and i stumbled upon your post about the Drømmekage.
Just to clarify a couple of things; The cake is danish, swedes call it danish Drømkaka. The cake-table is originally a tradition from jutland (part of denmark that shares a border with Germany), it consists mainly of big farms and land and the farmers got together in the weekends to drink coffee and chat and when guests came over it was customary to show the guests that you were a good host and were able to make a lot of different cakes and had the means to do so.
For this particular cake you have used big flakes of coconut. It looks delicious but it would never be made that way in scandinavia. The recipe calls for the grated coconut and that is how it is always made.
I have one final comment (and then I will stop being totally annoying) ; “Fika” is a verb. It is something you do and not a subject.
Basically it is the action of sitting down for a cup of coffee and something on the side. Just saw it in the comments and wanted to clarify that as well.
But all in all you are right. scandinavians are good at baking and danish and swedish cakes are definitely something to explore.
You should try making the Kanelsnurre and the Brunsviger as well. It is incredible.
INFORMATION BLAST! Thank you for this extremely informative comment! I definitely have a lot to learn, but I will continue to explore Scandi baking, and hopefully get better at the language and the history as I go!
Alma. You are right about the cake being Danish. I am Swedish and have never heard of that cake although it looks really yummy.
However, the word fika is both a verb AND a noun. To “ta en fika” (take a fika) is something you say, at least in Swedish, so it goes both ways.
Sarah , I love love love your blog and get so inspired by all of your recipes. If you want to make something truly Swedish I would recommend a really gooey cinnamon bun, we eat THAT all the time.
Gooey cinnamon buns? I AM THERE! Thankyou for the lovely comment Sofie!
That looks soo good, but I think it’s a danish cake. I’m swedish and i’ve never seen it here, but we have something very similar called tosca cake that has almond flakesor almond slivers instead of coconut. it’s awsome, my grandma made the best! Google it!! Love your blog by the way, and the fact that you love sweden! I love everything british and french :)
I think “dreamcake” is a danish cake, not swedish. Originally it is called “Drommekage fra Brovst” (comes from the Brovst region of Denmark), this Danish Dream Cake is truly divine…a one-of-a-kind comfort food. Lovely photos!
Kind regards from Norway :)
Your dream cake looks delicious! Hope you don’t mind this culturally pendantic comment, but this is actually a danish cake rather than a swedish one! your comments page doesn’t seem to let me type scandi letters, but we don’t actually have an o with a line through it in the swedish alphabet! in swedish dream cake would be Dro(with two dots over the o)mkaka… however in sweden this is a type of crumbly biscuit, rather than a cake. this is something much more similar to what we’d call a tosca cake.
still looks delish though, whatever you call it!
HAHA, I’ve had so many people tell me this, I really don’t mind at all! I appreciate the feedback, I really do! But I have to ask, who is Kayle?
Lovelly spoons, where qre they comming from?
I just made this cake and it really does taste as delicious as it looks! Thanks for another great recipe!
That’s brilliant! Thanks for commenting Kat, I’m so glad you liked it!
I’m making this cake for friends and neighbors this Christmas using a 6 inch pan so that I can get 2 smaller cakes out of 1 recipe.