White Chocolate

A Squidgy Swedish Cake That's Pretty Much a Brownie

Although I'm not Swedish and have never been to Sweden, I find myself very drawn to Swedish recipes. I love cardamom more than most people, and have fallen a bit in love with the Swedish approach to eating. In Sweden, it's customary to take a coffee break called fika in the mid-afternoon, much like the Brits do with teatime. And it's not just for coffee; they eat cake. I fully support this sort of national pastime of taking a moment to stop and sit, and most importantly, enjoy a bit of cake.

One of the cakes you'll find all over Sweden, I'm told, is a brownie-like confection called kladdkaka, which translates roughly to sticky cake. Usually made with milk or dark chocolate, the cake has just a tiny bit of flour of the batter, yielding a moist and gooey interior with a crackly, shiny top. It's fudgy and decadent and absolutely easy to bake: It's supposed to be squidgy and nearly underdone, but if you bake it too long, it'll still be soft and tender and delicious! How's that for a win-win?

Hello, fika. Photo by Posie Harwood

Although it's traditional to use regular chocolate, I've used white chocolate in this version. Before you swear you hate white chocolate, or panic that it'll be too sweet, give it a try. It's important to use the very best quality chocolate you can find though, in order to really taste the flavor not the sweetness. I've dialed back the sugar in the classic recipe to compensate for the white chocolate's sugar content, and I love the result.

If you're craving deep, dark chocolate, do a 1:1 swap.
Photo by Posie Harwood

You can add a bit of lemon zest to add a welcome citrusy zip to the cake, or leave it out. It's such a wonderful canvas for building dessert: Add a scoop of ice cream (strawberry or Earl Grey tea are both very good partners), or a dollop of espresso-infused whipped cream, or a handful of fresh berries.

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If you're craving deep, dark chocolate instead, just swap out the white chocolate for an equal amount of dark chocolate and carry on with the rest of the recipe as instructed. It's a 1:1 swap. While you're baking, I'll be deep in the archives of Swedish baking books, searching for my next favorite thing. Stay tuned!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • ehuckaby
  • DeirdreMS
  • Gigi
  • Cbrady
  • Hollie Duffy
    Hollie Duffy
I like warm homemade bread slathered with fresh raw milk butter, ice cream in all seasons, the smell of garlic in olive oil, and sugar snap peas fresh off the vine.


ehuckaby December 22, 2023
Can this be made ahead with success and, if so, how would you suggest storing it?
DeirdreMS April 5, 2018
Hi Posie. This looks delish, cant wait to try. So happy to see your recipe. xo Deirdre (old pal of your Mom's)
Posie (. April 5, 2018
Ah, so great to hear from you here! Xo
Gigi April 5, 2018
I never cook with white chocolate but would like to give this a try. What is a "very good quality" white chocolate? Ghirardelli?... or...

Posie (. April 5, 2018
Yes ghirardelli would be great! Or guittard or valrhona
Cbrady April 5, 2018
Do you think gluten free would hold up? Sometimes the more dense recipes work better for gluten free in my experience....not sure with this?
Laura415 April 14, 2018
I will make this with a GF flour mix. Should be fine. The method indicates that you need to be careful not to overmix and let the air out of the mixture. Since it's so dense already that seems sensible no matter what kind of flour. I'd probably use a GF flour that is very fine with starches rather than ground almonds or other whole grain type flours.
Cbrady April 26, 2018
Great, thank you! Will definitely plan to try it!
Hollie D. March 29, 2018
If you use dark chocolate do you need to then add more sugar?
Posie (. March 29, 2018
You could leave it as is if you want the dark chocolate to shine through but if you want it a little less intense tasting I’d up the sugar to 1 cup.
Lisa B. March 28, 2018
Made me happy! Welcome to Sweden anytime!