I LOVE this dessert. It’s actually called Swedish Snacking Cake, a go-to recipe for the Scandinavians to serve when visitors stop by for “Fika.”
“Fika is often translated as ‘a coffee and cake break’, which is kind of correct, but really it is much more than that. Fika is a concept, a state of mind, an attitude and an important part of Swedish culture. Many Swedes consider that it is almost essential to make time for fika every day. It means making time for friends and colleagues to share a cup of coffee (or tea) and a little something to eat. Fika is a ritual.” (More here).
When I was a teenager, I went with my family to visit our Swedish friends in (obviously) Sweden. I remember having tea and a cinnamon knot with pearled sugar on top for fika. The appreciation for this moment deepened when as an adult, I befriended a Swede here in the states, Hanna (Johanna). Whenever we get together to catch up, beverages and little snacks are abundant. I love it! Who doesn’t love fika?!
Today’s fika, the almond meringue snacking cake is absolute heaven. It pairs perfectly with coffee or tea and gives guests the feeling that you’ve spent quite a bit of energy and time on it. It’s rather sophisticated looking and tasting. The truth? It takes 15 minutes to prepare. The other truth? The meringue doesn’t require any electric mixer or beating of egg whites. All you have to do is stir the egg whites with powdered sugar and sliced almonds and it does the job for you in the oven. It’s truly magical. A little like this low effort, equally delicious Vegan Pumpkin Cobbler.
The result is a wonderfully thick, soft, almond cake base — like a frangipane sponge really. And the topping is a crisp almond meringue. The two textures and flavors pair perfectly together. It’s neither too sweet nor too heavy. It’s just right.
If you’re convinced that everything is better with meringue then take a little look at these recipes too: Mocha Almond Egg-White Cookies (GF) and Tarte au Citron Meringuée. And if you’re intrigued by Swedish bakes, take a look at this Swedish Chocolate Sticky Cake (Kladdkaka).
Almond Meringue Swedish Cake
This soft, almond, sponge cake, reminiscent of Frangipane, but without the heaviness of it, is topped with a crisp almond meringue. It is very easy to make and takes only 15 minutes to prepare! It's perfect with a cup of coffee or tea, as they do in Sweden during "fika".
- 1 cup Powdered sugar
- 3 Egg whites
- 1 cup Sliced almonds
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 1/4 tsp. Salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. Almond extract
- 1 cup Flour
- 1/2 cup Butter, melted
- Dusting of powdered sugar to finish
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Grease and line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper; set aside.
To make the topping, combine the powdered sugar and egg whites in a small bowl with a spoon. Stir in the sliced almonds to fully coat; set aside.
In a large bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or using an electric hand mixer, beat together the sugar, eggs, and salt. Let mix about 2 minutes, until it lightens and thickens. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts.
Gently fold in the flour with a spatula. Once combined, gently fold in the melted butter. Pour batter evenly into prepared pan. It will be a thin layer.
Give a last stir to the topping and then spoon it evenly over the batter. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the topping is a pale golden brown. If it's not golden enough, place under the broiler for a few minutes if desired.
Let cool on a wire rack before removing from pan and parchment. Dust with powdered sugar before serving with coffee or tea.
Adapted from Life Made Simple.