Swedish Visiting Cake

Have you ever had a recipe lying about for ages before you finally made it?  If you’re lucky and it turns out to be fabulous, you wonder why you didn’t make it a whole lot sooner.  That turned out to be the case with this Swedish Visiting Cake.

Last Monday night, I learned that a friend and her husband were coming over the bridge on Wednesday to visit Roger and me on Cape Cod.  The next day was a very busy day with contractors inside and outside as we are still getting settled in our new home, so I wanted to find a new recipe to make that was quick, easy, and delicious.  Enter Swedish Visiting Cake!

I remembered reading somewhere that a Swedish friend of Dorie Greenspan, the cookbook author, gave her the recipe and told her it was so quick and easy to make that you could start it when you saw your friends coming down the road and that it would be ready to eat by the time they came in and you had made coffee.  Well, it’s a little stretch but not that far from the truth at all.

I ended up actually making it on Wednesday morning, the day of the visit and got it in the oven in a jiffy.  It was still warm when I served it to my friends, and I highly recommend serving it that way.  The cake is fragrant with lemon and almond and has a moist delectable crumb.  It is best served the day it is made and so delicious that I doubt any will be left over for the next day in any event.  Should that be the case, a gentle reheating in the microwave will bring it back to just-baked freshness.

If I were you, I wouldn’t necessarily wait for visitors before making this sweet little cake.

Swedish Visiting Cake

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  • 1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling (optional—I skipped the extra for sprinkling)
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. pure almond extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 stick (8 tbl.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • About 1/4 cup sliced almonds (blanched or not)


Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a seasoned 9-inch cast-iron skillet or other heavy ovenproof skillet, a 9-inch cake pan, or even a pie pan.  (I used a 9-inch cake pan and put parchment on the bottom.  I then buttered the parchment paper.)

Pour the sugar into a medium bowl. Add the zest and blend the zest and sugar together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and aromatic.

Whisk in the eggs one at a time until well blended.  Whisk in the salt and the extracts.

Switch to a rubber spatula and stir in the flour.

Finally, fold in the melted butter.  Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.  Scatter the sliced almonds over the top and sprinkle with a little sugar if using.  If you’re using a cake or pie pan, place the pan on a baking sheet.

Bake the cake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until it is golden and a little crisp on the outside; the inside will remain moist.  Remove the pan from the oven and let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then run a thin knife around the sides and bottom of the cake to loosen it.

You can serve the cake warm or cooled, directly from the skillet or turned out onto a serving plate.

Source:   A recipe from The Dogs Eat the Crumbs

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