Fyrstekake, an All-Time Favorite Norwegian Dessert

Fyrstekake Slice on Plate with Crumbs

I have the feeling that when I look back at this summer in the coming years, this time will be defined by food and family. Between cooking for the family, developing recipes for an article I can’t wait to tell you about, and testing recipes for a gifted cook who recently landed her first cookbook deal, I’ve been spending a lot of time walking up and down the aisles of the grocery store and whipping up drinks, dinners, and desserts in my kitchen. Never mind that the weather in Seattle has been full of sun, sun, sun!

Even though I have to be disciplined and make myself get outside and enjoy the sun at times, this has been a special summer, and one that confirms my belief that food is one of the most effective ways to bring people together.

In celebration of those special times we spend in the kitchen with those we love, connecting over a shared task and sitting down later to enjoy it together, I would like to share a recipe for fyrstekake, a classic Norwegian tart flavored richly with almond. Growing up eating it with my mom frequently, it remains one of my favorite Scandinavian desserts to this day.

Fyrstekake and Coffee

Fyrstekake Slice Horizontal

Fyrstekake is also known as Royal Cake or Prince’s Cake. Though it calls for only a handful of ingredients, the results are decadent and somewhat regal in their simplicity. As a classic dessert, it makes sense that many variations exist. Some are spiced with cardamom and other flavors, and some let the almond shine. This particular recipe resembles the one I grew up eating, and I love the soft, almost-toothsome texture of the filling with the crisp cookie-like crust.

Enjoy!

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Fystekake and Coffee Spread

Norwegian Fyrstekake
Adapted from Norwegian Cakes and Cookies by Sverre Sætre, this recipe gets its rich flavor mostly from the ground almonds, but also from the slightest touch of almond extract that I added. If you enjoy marzipan candy, you’ll love this dessert.

For the crust:

2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup powdered sugar
14 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 egg

For the filling:

1 3/4 cups slivered almonds
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 egg yolk
1 whole egg
1/4 cup whipping cream

For topping:

1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon water

To make the crust, combine flour, powdered sugar, and butter in a food processor until crumbly (alternately, cut ingredients together by hand). Add the egg and continue to process until the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and cover it well, and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Grease an eight- or nine-inch tart pan with removable base. Roll out the dough on a lightly-floured surface to about 1/8 inch thick. Place in the tart pan and work it in evenly in the crease and up the sides. Put the crust–and the remaining dough–back in the refrigerator for 30 minutes while you prepare the filling.

Preheat the oven to 335 degrees.

Whirl the almonds in the food processor until fine, then add the sugar and pulse some more until combined. Melt the butter in a small bowl and pour it into the almond and sugar, along with the egg yolk, egg, and whipping cream. Process to blend, and then pour the filling into the prepared crust.

Remove the remaining dough from the fridge and roll it out on a lightly-floured surface. Working quickly so that it doesn’t warm up too much and become difficult to work with, cut the dough into thin strips and arrange in a lattice or crisscross pattern on the top of the filling.

Mix the remaining egg yolk with a tablespoon of water and brush this over the top of the cake.

Bake approximately 40 minutes, depending on the size of your pan, until golden. Cool, then remove tart from pan.

Serves 8-12.

Fyrstekake and Slice

 

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16 thoughts on “Fyrstekake, an All-Time Favorite Norwegian Dessert

  1. I was lucky enough to view this fyrstekake with my own eyes. I have bought it in bakeries, and served it for many years. I have yet to see such a perfect crust adorn with the beautifully lattice trim as the one you provided for us in this pic. It was equally as good – thank you for providing us with this wonderful recipe. You are amazing Daytona!

  2. This looks so good! I love almonds. I don’t remember ever having this cake before but I think I’m going to have to try it. Thank you for this recipe.

  3. It looks wonderful and I would like to make it but you do not say how much of the dough to use at the bottom and how much to reserve for the lattice portion on top

    • Thank you. It’s definitely one of those classics that has stood the test of time. I’m not sure why more local grocery store stocked them when I was growing up–we weren’t in a Scandinavian neighborhood or anything, but I guess the greater Seattle area does have a rich Scandinavian heritage. This recipe is just as good as the fyrstekake I grew up eating–perhaps even better!

  4. looks good. would have loved to see a side picture of a slice though, i have not heard of it before so i don’t know what to expect…

    • Jane, thanks for the feedback. The fyrstekake is about 3/4 of an inch thick, so it’s a fairly thin tart. The side view of the slices is pretty humble, with a layer of crust topped with a layer of similarly-colored almond filling, and then topped with a little more crust. When baked, these layers look a lot alike, but they have pleasant textural differences, from the soft but dense filling to the crumble of the crust. Enjoy!

  5. I made this for a work ‘Office Olympics’ we had today as part of competition involved baking a dessert from your team’s country (I was on team Norway). It was a huge hit! I will absolutely make this again. The crust was perfect, and the filling was delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

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