Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Swedish Visiting Cake

Today is the birthday of my baking idol Dorie Greenspan. I simply adore her cookbooks. Her recipes are never too sweet and often consist of traditional treats with a modern twist. Her writing style makes you feel as if she is an old friend who has just happened to drop by to help you bake. I have loved just about everything I have made from one of her cookbooks and Paul is absolutely in love with her because she brought these cookies into our lives.

In honor of Dorie's birthday, I am sharing her recipe for Swedish Visiting Cake. This is one of the easiest cakes you can throw together on the fly - perfect when you need a sweet treat to pair with a warm cup of coffee or tea. For being so simple (the recipe only includes a handful of ingredients and is mixed together in a single bowl), the flavor is delicate and sophisticated. The crumb is simply lovely with a nice crunchy crust on the top and sides created by the caramelization of the sugar while baking. I love it. Then again, it is really hard for me to resist anything flavored with both lemon and almonds.

Happy Birthday, Dorie!

Swedish Visiting Cake
adapted slightly from Baking: From My Home to Yours

Note: I insist that you bake this in a cast iron skillet should you own one. It helps the cake develop an delightfully addictive crust and crumb.

1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4-1/3 cup sliced almonds

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. If you do not have a cast iron pan, you can use a 9-inch cake pan or pie plate.

In a medium bowl, 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 vanilla.  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 you're using a cake or pie pan, place the pan on a baking sheet.

Bake the cake for 25-30 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.


  1. I love this cake too. Great job!

  2. I really like cakes that can be baked in a skillet. This one was definitely a winner!

  3. This is one of my very favorite cakes! Just beautiful!

  4. Lovely looking cake! I am adding it to my 'To Bake' list :)

  5. Great post. This cake looks lovely. I too will have to add it to my baking list.

  6. One of our regular "go to" cakes too! Pictures are lovely.