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crackly exterior and soft, molten interior: the ultimate chocolate cake is Swedish Kladdkaka! // by food to glowDo you favour a light, open-textured, easily-cut chocolate cake? One that is three tiers of ganache-filled indulgence? Well, you may as well just come back next week as this cake is none of these. If however the chocolate cake of your dreams is slightly ugly, cracked on top and is really rather unruly then, well, pull up a stool, I may just make your dreams come true.

I should mention at this point so as to keep you here for the recipe that kladdkaka is ridiculously easy to make. Not that Swedes need that as an advantage when making a cake, mind you. Any country that produces such beautiful yeasted buns as my favourite – and yet to master – cardamom bun are not exactly slackers when it comes to baking nous. 20150507_170215

But easy is always a winner for me when it comes to baking. Especially anything that doesn’t need pretty swirls of icing, or stamping out little hearts in fondant. So, even although I am an infrequent baker of sweet things, I was very excited when, leafing through a recent copy of Waitrose magazine, I spied a come-hither image of this very cake. I read the text, realised I had the ingredients, and basically ignored the piles of ironing and the floor that needed washing so that I could make it. I have never done that before. Never. Of course it wasn’t just an excuse to delay tackling household disorder. Oh, no.

Reading further about this cake I repeatedly came across the words molten, creamy, crackly, sticky, addictive, OMG,  gooey, delicious, fudgey, brownie, perfect and, um, ugly. I would agree with all of these. And I should just add “must-make.” And by must-make I mean, step over the washing and wade through the dust bunnies to make it. Ignore the phone too for timing is everything to get the perfect ratio of crackly, chocolate wafer-like crust exterior to gooey molten lava cake interior. This is what you get when you cross a brownie with a cake – chocolate nirvana, and household chaos. Thank you Sweden.

Why not get the kids to make this for (US) Mother’s Day? Or practise getting the crackle crust-melty inside just right and debut it publicly on Father’s Day? Yeah, go on and do some private practising. I did. 🙂 And btw, you can make it three-tier and lace it with ganache, but I can’t be held responsible… crackly exterior and soft, molten interior: the ultimate chocolate cake is Swedish Kladdkaka! // by food to glow

Kladdkaka – Swedish Chocolate Cake

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Adapted from who wrote the recipe for Waitrose magazine, and who have a highly-regarded café and shop in London.

This is my version of the most popular cake in Sweden. Somewhere between a brownie and a proper cake, unleavened kladdkaka is delightfully squidgy when done as it ‘should’, but even if its interior is less than fudgy it will still be fantastic. But it is worth keeping an eye on it to achieve the proper texture of crispy exterior and gooey interior because it is quite possibly the best chocolate cake if done with this in mind. I give some slightly pedantic instructions below to help you get the perfect result. You are wanting a crackly crust and a molten interior. Sounds good, huh?

So, do save room after dinner for this one. This is supposed to serve 8, but if you can make that happen rather than gobble it between four people then you are a better person than I! Serve with berries and softly whipped cream.crackly exterior and soft, molten interior: the ultimate chocolate cake is Swedish Kladdkaka! // by food to glow 100g unsalted butter, plus extra for the pan.

2 tbsp liquer of choice – e.g. Frangelica, Kirsch, Glotonia Pedro Ximenez Los Pecadillos (what I use – divine!) – optional but decrease the flour to 150g if not using

2 medium eggs

150g golden caster sugar or sucanat

1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla paste

160g chestnut flour, light spelt flour or unbleached plain flour/AP flour OR gluten-free baking flour mix (I use chestnut flour – naturally gluten-free and uber yummy!)

¼ tsp fine salt

4 tbsp best cocoa powder (I use Green& Black’s) crackly exterior and soft, molten interior: the ultimate chocolate cake is Swedish Kladdkaka! // by food to glow1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Butter and line a loose-bottomed 20cm/8 in pan.

2. Melt butter; add liquer if using, then set aside.

3. Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer or with electric beaters for 4-5 minutes.

4. Sift over the flour, salt and cocoa powder and fold in lightly – no beating! Now pour in the butter and fold again until just mixed to a smooth batter.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared oven and bake in the lower part of the oven for 18-22 minutes, depending on your oven and perhaps the type of flour you’ve used. The perfect kladdkaka is one that cracks slightly when pressed. If it dents immediately it needs another minute or two. The cake will not rise as such but will puff up and crack charmingly as it cools. Cracks are good in this cake!

6. Allow it too cool a bit before cutting and eating while warm. Because I was taking the two that are shown to work I needed to cool them completely to cut them. But kladdkaka is best warm. If eating it the next day (such restraint!) do rewarm the cake on low in a microwave. You can freeze it too: defrost it in the fridge and then pop it into the oven until just warmed. Serve with softly whipped cream (a touch of vanilla is nice in the cream) and maybe some berries. I also like it with a flurry of bitter cocoa.

crackly exterior and soft, molten interior: the ultimate chocolate cake is Swedish Kladdkaka! // by food to glowPopping this over to a new-to-me Pinterest link-up over at MisplacedBrit, #StrategySaturday. Thanks, Steph! And over to the lovely Emily (A Mummy Too) for her weekly share-fest that is #RecipeoftheWeek.

Oh! May 10th update: Just made kladdkaka muffins as a belated birthday treat for my daughter and her flatmates. I added 2 tbsp of dark chocolate-peanut butter spread instead of the booze, used Doves gluten-free flour mix, and cooked these petite babies for 10 minutes only.

kladdkaka muffins gluten free Swedish chocolate cake

phone snap of treat-sized kladdkaka

48 thoughts on “Kladdkaka – Swedish Sticky Chocolate Cake

  1. Looks and sounds divine!

    1. Thanks so much, Simon. It is super duper easy if you have or can borrow an electric whisk/beaters or a stand mixer. I hope you can make it and report back. 🙂

  2. Divine, that looks like my kind of cake. I have a chestnut-chocolate cake recipe which I never made again because it was denser than I imagined it, this seems lovely and light. What a great idea for Mother’s Day and I shall find someone to make it! Nicole

    1. Cheers for the lovely comment. I have another chestnut cake, but of ground chestnuts so I know what you are talking about. Those kind of cakes are supposed to be dense so we are off the hook! This one is light because of the five + minutes of egg and sugar whisking. That is the key. And not over beating the dry additions. I hope someone makes it for you!

  3. superfitbabe says:

    Looks soooooo divine!! CHOCOLATEY GOODNESS heehee!

  4. Kavey says:

    That really does look utterly delicious. I used to spend many happy childhood holidays in Sweden and I do remember fabulous cakes!

  5. I adore chocolate, any form will do. However when you present a cake a good as this I think I may have a new have way to enjoy it. Even better, it does seem simple to throw together. I bet the chestnut flour must taste superb. Nothing better than choc & chestnuts as a flavour combination. I think the Swedes seem to know a thing or two about baking. Would love to visit some day.

  6. aims_jl says:

    This looks insane!!! Saving this for future reference, I definitely need to try!!!

  7. oh myyy….this looks delicious…

  8. Christine says:


  9. bakingfresh says:

    I bet you a smoothie recipe that you haven’t tried that! PAR HAR HAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. I ALWAYS try everything I post 😉

  10. bakingfresh says:

    One does not simply bake the perfect cake..
    (Coughs* me…)

  11. Living in Sweden, I have to agree and say it is one of the simplest cakes I make – no worrying about it sinking (it’s supposed to) or that it is uncooked! Love your little adaptions on the classic – it looks lovely! I always put 1/2 cup of brewed coffee in mine, and sometimes chopped chocolate, and it is heaven!

    1. Oh, 1/2 cup of coffee sounds fab! Do you alter the recipe/time/temp to account for the extra liquid? Thanks for your comment, and “approval.” 😊

      1. No, I would also bake it for around 18-22 minutes, depending on how gooey you like the middle! I love how differently people enjoy it – we rarely eat ours warm and I am quite vigorous when adding the flour to the mixture, too! I made a dark chocolate one recently, feel free to take a look and see the differences 🙂

      2. I will!

  12. susamaimily says:

    Reblogged this on susamaimily.

  13. This cake looks delicious! I might try to make it one day but to change some ingredients ( I am not eating sugar or wheat) 🙂

  14. Baking is not my first love so I need it easy and fuss-free too. That coupled with the rich gooey looks of this cake has sold me. Well done, Kellie! If I hadn’t just made two rhubarb cakes in the last 2 weeks I might just have made this one this weekend. 😉

    1. I’ve been making rhubarb cakes (for work) too! Thanks for the virtual thumbs up, Katie. 🙂 IT’s a really fab cake. On my faves list now.

  15. That is so pretty and looks delicious – I really want to try baking it, in fact I wish I had a slice right now!

    1. Wish I could send you a slice, Emily. Or, better yet, sit down and eat the whole thing between the two of us. 😉

  16. It is true that the best chocolate cake are most often slightly ugly but you made yours look stunning and most importantly delicious! Thank you for sharing.

    1. Aw, cheers Helene. What a lovely comment – thanks for taking the time to leave it. 🙂

  17. Wow this cake looks amazing, and I love your post! I can’t wait to try the recipe, thank you for sharing with us!

    1. Thanks! I’ve made it about 5 times – mainly for work – but have only had two pieces of it myself!

  18. Kladdkaka, you have my heart! I’ve yet to find chestnut flour in Sweden, though admittedly I haven’t tried very hard and I’m sure I could also order online. Must try this adaptation of my chosen country’s classic dessert!

    1. Thanks so much, Katie.I was hoping you would see this post. 🙂 If you can’t find any chestnut flour I would be very happy to send you a pack. I love the taste, and it’s slightly grainy (kind of like polenta) texture. Let me know!

  19. lyndseyymichelle says:

    Hi, I might have to try this cake! It reminds me so much of the chocolate concrete cake we used to get in british schools in the 90’s. Whether it tastes the same leaves to be decided! thank you for the recipe

    1. Nothing vaguely concrete-like here. Just gooey goodness. 🙂

      1. lyndseyymichelle says:

        even better! that stuff we used to get in schools could break your teeth!

  20. choclette says:

    How could you possibly say that cake is ugly!!! It looks better to me than most of the tiered cakes you see in cafes that are always so disappointing. Anyway you had me at crackly top and molten interior – what a beautiful cake! The peanut butter addition sounds rather good too.

  21. Annie says:

    Help needed! This cake appeals massively – the concepts of Sweden and brownie in a cake are difficult to resist so I had a quick go today – I use a fan oven so reduced the temperature a little, set my timer for 18 mins and embarked on less interesting chores. At 18 mins the cake was puffy, set quite firmly but no hint of a crack so I put it back for another 2 mins by which time it was even more firm………My window of opportunity for moist cake had definitely gone. I am very keen to nail this cake – the folding of ingredients bit was fine as I had a pleasingly puffy creation so the problem undoubtedly was too long a cooking time for my oven or not reducing the temperature enough – assume your instructions are for a non fan oven? I had regular flour as could not find chestnut locally and reduced it to 150g as omitted the liqueur. I am keen to give it another go and will check the cake much earlier next time.

    1. Yes, the only “tricky” bit is timing: just with a little cracking it is done. The one I showed is sturdier as underbaking (which is really what you want) for those on chemo is a no-no, but you want a proper molten experience. For sure. In Sweden it ranges from very runny to proper cake. So lots of scope for enjoyment!

  22. Oh gosh, how gorgeous and I’m totally oggling your lovely little sugar shaker too, that’s gorgeous. This is a real keeper, thanks Kellie x

    1. I’ve got a few vintage American ones like that that my aunt gave me. I just gave one to Rachel to use to strain her turmeric milk!

  23. stateeats says:

    Ok, I was just having a stern talk with myself about cutting back as my pants have been a little too snug lately so thanks, thanks a lot for this 🙂 – Kat

  24. CuisineLab says:

    Looks amazing! I cant wait to try it!

  25. petra08 says:

    Your kladdkaka looks perfect! And how true that we all Swedes love it! I don’t know anyone who can’t make it! You make me a little homesick, so perfect with a cup of coffee for a truly Swedish coffee break, we all them “fika” 🙂

    1. Aw, I don’t want to make you homesick too much, Petra! I know what you mean though. As an American even I get nostalgic for grilled cheese sandwiches and crispy sour pickles ☺

  26. Jhuls says:

    This looks amazing!!! #RecipeoftheWeek

    1. Aw, thanks so much. *beaming*

  27. Reblogged this on littlekeptsecret.

  28. I’m swedish and this is my ultimate cake when I have less time to spend on baking than usual. When my friends and I meet up someone always says “I’ll bring a kladdkaka” haha! 🙂

  29. sswan3008 says:

    Oh YUM! I have made one of these cakes before! I can’t wait to try out your recipe!

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