The Nordic Baking Book's Kladdkaka (Swedish Gooey Chocolate Cake)

November 23, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

From Magnus Nilsson's The Nordic Baking Book: "Kladdkaka is a relatively recent addition to Swedish cake culture. Its origins are a bit unclear and the accounts on where it came from are as colorful as they are conflicting. One thing is certain though: there was no kladdkaka before the mid-1970s. One can also assume without going out too much on a limb that the unleavened, very gooey and soft cake of today is the result of naturally occurring cake evolution. Someone had a really good recipe for chocolate cake, perhaps a brownie one, or why not something more central European in style? The same person, in the heat of the moment, forgets to add baking powder only to realize his or her mistake halfway through the cooking process. They then remove the undercooked cake from the oven and they are astounded by its deliciousness. Those character traits that were liked with the first failed cake have then, through generations of cakes, been reinforced, whilst those that weren’t liked have been changed to improve it. Kladdkaka only exists in Sweden and during its brief existence it has gained a huge following. It is actually the most common recipe search from Swedish websites. If you type it into your Internet search engine you will get well over 650,000 hits.

There are as many conflicting ideas on how to eat this cake as there are recipes for it. Some like it warm with ice cream, some like it at room temperature with nothing, and I like it as my wife will tell you to eat it: cold from the refrigerator with whipped cream on the side."

Ella Quittner

Food52 Review: Feel free to swap in all-purpose or cake flour, if it's what you have on-hand. Featured in: The Fudgiest Chocolate Cake Takes Just 5 Ingredients & 20 Minutes.The Editors

Makes: 8 pieces
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 20 min

Ingredients

  • 200 grams (7-ounces or 1 3/4 sticks) butter, plus extra to grease
  • Breadcrumbs, to coat
  • 200 grams (7-ounces) dark (semisweet) chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 4 eggs
  • 250 grams (9-ounces or 1 1/4 cups) sugar
  • 40 grams (1 1/2-ounces or 1/3 cup) weak (soft) wheat flour
  • Good pinch of sea salt
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC/345ºF/Gas Mark 4. Butter a 24-cm/9 1/2-inch springform cake pan and coat with breadcrumbs.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium pan over a low heat. Add the chocolate and keep melting everything together while stirring. Remove the pan from the heat and add the rest of the ingredients while you keep stirring until well combined.
  3. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan, smooth the surface and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. It should be sticky on the inside. If the cake gets too dark, cover it with aluminum foil for the last 5 minutes.

More Great Recipes:
Cake|Swedish|Chocolate|Egg|Butter|Bake|Quick and Easy|One-Bowl Baking|New Year's Eve|Potluck|Valentine's Day|Weeknight Cooking

Reviews (29) Questions (2)

29 Reviews

Darian January 22, 2019
This cake is SOOO good! My family was literally speechless while they ate it. I used graham cracker crumbs instead of breadcrumbs since I had them on hand. Cooked for 25 minutes and it was perfect!
 
porchapples January 16, 2019
Added cardamom and lemon zest to the batter ( directly into the melted butter)
 
Ithaca January 10, 2019
Made this at the weekend - didn't change the recipe (except to use a 50:50 mix of dark and milk chocolate) and it came out great, 25 mins in the oven was about right. Our kids loved it - it is very sweet, but you only need a small serving anyway as it's very rich. I used a square shallow non-stick cake / brownie tin with greaseproof paper lining and no issues with sticking at all.<br /><br />It did literally take 15 mins to put together so definitely something we'll be making again.
 
dc January 1, 2019
Loved this! Served New Year’s Eve and everyone had 2nds. We didn’t find it too sweet but I did use 4oz of 70% and 3oz of 60% bittersweet chocolate. I cooked it for 27 minutes, could have probably gone 30. This will be made again! Thanks for sharing.
 
Linda M. December 31, 2018
This recipe is quite fantastic as literally melts in one's mouth (and dark chocolate is "healthy"😊)! Cooking time for me was about 25 minutes as I was waiting for the edges to be a little crusty and the middle still a little wiggly. It is quite the tempting dessert, and one I shall definitely make again to share its exquisite "yummyness with others". Thank you Food52!
 
Anna B. December 27, 2018
This looks quite a bit sweeter than I would prefer. How much do you think I could reduce the sugar without messing up the texture?
 
Lynn December 27, 2018
I used a scant cup, but I also used a very dark chocolate and that worked for me. I definitely have no sweet tooth. :-)
 
Anya S. February 14, 2019
I used just 70% dark chocolate and served with barely sweetened whipped cream and fresh raspberries. I didn’t find it too sweet like that but I’d skip the ice cream since the cake is really rich and sweet enough.
 
Joyce December 26, 2018
A little too sweet for my taste. I'll decrease the sugar a wee bit next time. Like some others, my butter-chocolate mix was too hot and began to cook my eggs when I mixed them in. I've never had that happen before, revolting. So I'd let it cool a bit next time before mixing. Used AP flour and seemed alright. I lost my springform pan when moving and haven't replaced it yet. A well buttered and crumbed 10" cake pan lined with parchment paper worked very well though. Cooked 25 minutes until the edges were noticeably set but a toothpick still came out sticky when inserted.
 
Kirsten December 25, 2018
This is the 1st thing I’ve baked in years & it was painless! I let it cook the full 20 min. & maybe a little beyond. The center looked a little like pudding, but once cooled that’s just fine. I cut the sugar down to 1 cup based on others’ advice (thank you!) & might even cut it a little more next time. A little powdered sugar &/or whip cream on top & definitely 5 stars (4.5 for taste & then .5 because it’s so incredibly easy!).
 
Smoothiesrule December 22, 2018
Most of the trouble was due to my holiday stretched brain. BUT I never heard of a 9 1/2” springform and had overlong internal debate of using a 9 vs a 10. Then, the multicultural instructions threw me. Seems like a cool idea until you realize it said 175C and 345F. Yes folks for some strange reason it didn’t seem odd to bake something at 175F and then I thought “gosh, this certainly is gooey”. So I guess this recipe is fine if you aren’t rushing around like a lunatic. But then I would have made something else
 
thedrells December 3, 2018
I made this on Saturday for my daughter's birthday (her 20th), she thought she'd died and gone to heaven :-) I used an idea in the comments of lining with cocoa first rather than breadcrumbs, I also limited it to 1 cup of sugar.
 
Kathryn L. December 2, 2018
Why is the pan lined with breadcrumbs? I really don’t want breadcrumbs coating my cake when it’s finished cooking. I’d much rather butter and coat the pan with a little cocoa. That makes better sense to me. I’m glad it turned out well for so many. My dad would have loved this.
 
Smaug December 2, 2018
It's just to prevent it sticking, a lot of people do it with all their cakes. This cake isn't likely to stick, you could skip it. I suppose cocoa would be alright, though I wouldn't do it- it burns very easily. I used flour, which was undetectable on the finished cake. I doubt the breadcrumbs would be either.
 
Fiona W. December 24, 2018
Not sure mine is going to<br />come out of the pan in spite of butter and cocoa/sugar. It’s not cool yet. ??
 
Becky January 9, 2019
How do you test to see if the cake is done? Thanks
 
JillKir December 2, 2018
What is in the additional topping shown in the video? Looks like something fruit.
 
Regina November 30, 2018
Just made/ate this great cake. Wonderful! It did take almost 30 minutes to cook. At 15 minutes it was still liquid. I served with whipped cream and toasted pecans. Simple and delicious!
 
Betsy November 30, 2018
Would it be possible to substitute almond flour for the soft wheat flour called-for in the recipe?
 
Mary F. December 21, 2018
Yes, in the comments for the other article featuring this cake someone subbed almond flour and said it worked well.<br />https://food52.com/blog/23429-easy-fast-chocolate-cake-recipe-kladdkaka-magnus-nilsson?bxid=53b59316dd52b88655017e55&utm_campaign=20181221_eds_chocolatecake_buyer&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_term=15465728<br />
 
Rachel W. November 29, 2018
Made this last night and it was SOOOOOO good. I didn't have bread crumbs so I just used butter and cocoa powder for the pan. My father said this is his new favorite dessert; it might be one of mine too. Winner!
 
Author Comment
Ella Q. December 21, 2018
So glad you enjoyed, Rachel!
 
Lynn November 29, 2018
YUM. I made this pretty much like Smaug did: halved the recipe and used a wee 16cm springform (just four of us at dinner, no temptation later), slightly less sugar, and 86% chocolate, letting the choc/butter mixture cool slightly before adding the rest. I lost track of time (tsk) so mine was in the oven for half an hour, but it still had exactly the consistency I had hoped for. Served it with whipped cream and a drizzle of dulce de leche: huge success.
 
Smaug November 28, 2018
OK, that was about as easy as promised. I made half the recipe in a 6 3/4" springform. I lined the bottom with wax paper (I usually do with cakes)- I doubt it was necessary, this thing is half butter, it wasn't likely to stick, but it certainly didn't hurt. I mixed it in a double boiler, largely because I thought I could do a better job mixing in a bowl than in a saucepan. I also cooled it to room temp. before adding the eggs, so I was starting a little cool and it took me 25 min. to bake; I went until the top started showing signs of drying out around the edges. It's pretty good; I used 85% chocolate and was a bit conservative measuring the sugar, and it's still very sweet- they seem to like it that way in that part of the world. It was hard to resist adding vanilla or orange oil or coffee or something, and there's no particular reason why you couldn't. I sometimes ask myself with desserts like this if it wouldn't have been better to just eat the chocolate bar; I'll let you know if I ever come up with an answer.
 
So S. November 28, 2018
Warning for anyone attempting: the batter mixture was still really hot when I was adding my eggs in that the eggs started cooking.... I would either add batter to the eggs a little at a time or just wait for it to cool a bit
 
Chris S. November 28, 2018
Lovely cake but took 30 mins to cook .
 
Smaug November 28, 2018
How could you tell? The recipe gives no help on how to judge doneness.
 
Chris S. November 28, 2018
Recipe says it should be sticky inside so tested it with steel prong and it was runny. Tastes great though.
 
Smaug November 28, 2018
Wasn't it sticky inside before you baked it? Anyway, I'm off to the kitchen to give it a shot, so I suppose I'll see.