Traditional Swedish Smörgåstårta instead of cake?

Updated Oct 12 2015
Guest post by Nova

Cake has always been a part of my celebrations and hard times for as long as I can remember. Congratulating family, celebrating finally being me, and burying friends — it's all been accompanied by cake. It's food that signals celebration. And, to be quite honest, who can say no to a decent sugar rush every now and then?

In Sweden we have a savory cake for all occasions, the Traditional Swedish Smörgåstårta:

Traditional Swedish Smörgåstårta
Source: adventurefoodie.blogspot.com via Cindy on Pinterest

I started requesting that my cake would be a Smörgåstårta not only for its awesome versatility but also for its wonderful properties. Here follows the definitive account of the properties of the most awesome of all cakes. The one cake to rule them all.

1. It is actually mostly considered a form of light food so you can get away with eating in in lieu of dinner, lunch, brunch or why not the tea time snack. You can eat this cake ALL THE TIME. Or in the case of a wedding it can be appetizers, main course, dessert AND the actual cake! (For my birthdays I normally make three large cakes and eat them piece by piece for a full week.)

2. It's prefect for all diets. So you are a vegetarian? No problem: Veggie Smörgåstårta. Vegan? Here have some awesome Vegan Smörgåstårta! In it for the meat? Roast beef goes on top if you want. How about some fish? Whatever you really like — just throw it on top of the thing and call it a Smörgåstårta — chances are it has been done and it was awesome. (Personal favorite of mine is the brie and grapes with smoked salmon Smörgåstårta… yes I think I'll have two of those for the wedding come to think about it.)

3. Smörgåstårta can be really decorative. Toppings on many cakes requires a true artisan of cake to create. Not so with Smörgåstårta. With the vast font of building materials for your cake, even somebody as artistically impaired as me can make a cake that looks very nice. And making a cake that is just one big bundle of awesome taste sensations that will leave your taste buds aching for more cake for weeks to come is quite often a colorful piece of food that can hold its own as the centerpiece of most tables.

4. The cake is not a lie.

  1. Despite coming from a Swedish background (my surname ends in "-gren" and I was born with allen keys for pinkies), I was only introduced to this dish through the magic of Ordinary Swedish Meal Time:

    • Allen keys for pinkies – Ha!!

      Also, smorgastarta looks really good. Haven't read a recipe yet but upon first inspection it sort of looks like a cake made out of sandwich. Sandwich cake?

      Edit: It's exactly what I thought it was. OMG. Need to make one very, very soon.

  2. Oh I just love smörgårstårtor! I'm thinking of having them for lunch at my wedding.

    Ha det bra! / Kram Sophie

  3. Never heard of these before even though I am a compulsive foodie! Love the idea for all sorts of occasions but would look s-ooo impressive at wedding buffet.

  4. Smörgåstårta is not just a Swedish treat but Finns love it too! I can't recall any family event or a party without "voileipäkakku", sandwich cake which always tends to be the salty choice in the coffee table. Try it with salmon, it's silly good. 🙂

  5. Very pretty! I like dishes that are a whole meal in one. My mother-in-law makes something called "Who-Do Pie", which is pretty much everything and anything, but this is much nicer looking 😀

  6. I first saw this idea on Brini Maxwell (a drag queen Martha Stewart show if you don't know) and I've wanted to have one at my wedding shower ever since! I think it is the perfect thing to serve at a daytime tea and crumpet all girl get together. It would be great for a daytime wedding too, but I REALLY want it for my shower. Yay sammiches!

  7. Oh awesome! My dad went to Sweden when he was 17, and he still tells the story of when his friend's mom brought out this "fish cake." I don't think he could stomach it (being a picky eater and all).

  8. I'm from Iceland and these are staples at any celebration buffet! We have served "smurbraud" to many a surprised Texan since moving to the states and everyone likes it (as long as you pick the ingredients appropriate for your crowd). They are soo easy to decorate and look gorgeuos. We had a hard time finding the round bread so we often make a rectangular version or just tear up the bread and make a casserole style "smurbraud"

    • The first one I saw was made by cutting a rectangular loaf into planks and then layering them into a loaf shaped cake.

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