Surprise your brunch guests with a different kind of cake; a Sandwich Cake (Smörgåstårta).
This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BrunchWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the #Brunchweek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.
I know. You have that look on your face that my husband did when I told him what I was making. That quizzical, “Did she really say what I think she said” look on your face. Yes. I said sandwich cake. It’s a real thing. And it’s delicious!
I planned on making this recipe last year. It didn’t, obviously. Last year I was making some more traditional recipes for my blog. I anticipated this to be one of them. It’s a traditional dish from Sweden, Estonia, Finland, and Iceland. Well, I have ancestors from 2 of the 4 countries. So, of course I had to make one.
A sandwich cake, or Smörgåstårta, is a savory “cake” made with bread and fillings like pate, olives, shrimp, ham, eggs, and vegetables. However, there are as many combinations of fillings as there are sandwiches. The cake is typically iced with cream cheese. It’s garnished with anything from olives to smoked salmon roses. I even saw an elaborate basket weave with long, thin slices of cucumber.
Think of the Smörgåstårta as a birthday cake. It’s served for celebrations like birthdays, Christenings, and other celebrations. Sort of like we celebrate with sweet cake; they celebrate with sandwich cake. And some of them are totally over the top! Just like some of our cakes. However, this can have adverse effects. I can’t imagine trying to choke down a sandwich cake made with liver pate, roast beef, chicken salad, and cocktail shrimp. Just, no.
Now, I see THAT look, too.
Yes, there’s more bread than filling. This is the same reason I don’t make layered cakes. I suck at slicing things horizontally. I could have easily sliced this loaf into at least 4 slices. This would have meant more delicious filling! In fact, I planned on more fillings. But I also planned on being the only person to eat this. Consequently, I didn’t want to make it too big.
I knew, right off the bat, that there had to be tuna salad in there. Don’t ask my why. I just needed to make tuna salad to put in there. And it was oh so good! I kept eating it. I might share it with you, if you’re good. MIGHT!!
The cake must be iced in cream cheese and goat cheese combined. I’m in love with goat cheese. It’s tart and creamy. I try to put it into anything and everything if I can. I added a little bit of butter to the icing to make it spreadable. If you have ever whipped cream cheese and goat cheese together, it’s just not that spreadable when you’re finished.
Radishes had to be part of this delicious cake. Thinly sliced radishes to not only decorate the cake but to top a layer of the cake. And, as luck would have it, my Seasonal Roots box had radishes in it this week! Not one, but TWO kinds of radishes! I kept the regular red radishes, but also added the French breakfast radishes. I’ve only seen them in pictures. So, I was so thrilled to try them in my box this week. And, yes, I’m an affiliate of this excellent #DirttoDoor subscription box. You can read all about it in my posts for creamed collard greens and carrot kohlrabi coleslaw.
While I know ham and tuna salad aren’t the best of friends, but I really did want to have ham in there. Since I’m not a huge salmon fan, a smoky ham was the next best thing that I could easily get at the store. If I could find smoked trout, I probably would have used that instead, but I didn’t find any.
And what’s more American and ham sandwiches and tuna salad sandwiches?
Not together of course, but I don’t think I could count the number of ham sandwiches and tuna sandwiches I’ve eaten in my life. I figured since there was enough bread between them, it was safe to stack them together in my sandwich cake. And I was right. But if you’re that squeamish about it, you can make a ham spread instead of tuna. Or you can use smoked salmon or layer of salad shrimp instead of the ham.
There are no rules with a sandwich cake! In fact, the more layers of deliciously ornate ingredients the better. And the garnishes! So over the top. Mine were so plain in comparison. It all boiled down to me running out of time and needing to really work on my garnish and finishing. Gordan would be all disappointed in my plates for Hell’s Kitchen. Just sayin.
Since this will not be my last sandwich cake, you can bet that I will bring it on the next one. I will cover it in chives, which I couldn’t find at all this week! There will be radish roses and those green onion curls. I’ll probably include some cucumber roses or I might even try the cucumber basket weave. It looks so cool! There will also be some flat leaf parsley decorations, too. And maybe some capers.
Because with a sandwich cake, more is more.
How does it taste? It is delicious. The tuna salad is packed with flavor. There’s radish and capers in there along with some dill. The ham is smoky and delicious. The icing? I could and might have totally eaten the whole batch but I think I have some leftover. I might make a few mini sandwich cakes for later.
Yes, you can easily make these mini and not full sized. In fact, that might make it easier to slice horizontally. You could just turn the bread on its side or use pre-sliced bread! OR you could make one huge one and only ice the top. You could so do this ahead of time! Then you cut it into bite sized pieces of sandwich cake to have as an appetizer for brunch or a shower. Ditch the pinwheel sandwiches and make sandwich cake bites instead!
They could be the petit fours for today!
Okay, it’s a bit of a stretch, but you get my point. There are many ways to incorporate this sandwich cake into celebrations. From an appetizer for a party to slices of sandwich cake at a tailgate party, you could easily sneak it in for your party guests to nibble on. I know they’ll thank you. Heck, I’ll thank you!
Since there’s a bazillion variations and even more fillings you could make one for every party and still not duplicate combinations. Well, unless you wanted to. I know I want to make sure the tuna salad I made for this sandwich is in my next sandwich. Maybe with a crab or shrimp salad. Topped with lobster roll filling? Oh no. I went there and now I’m really drooling.
See those layers of yum? The whipped goat and cream cheese frosting. Then the tender bread and smoky ham. More artisan bread and then the flavor packed tuna salad layered with radishes. And the bottom bread. Is it time for lunch?
Stay tuned for more versions of this traditional Swedish celebration cake. I have so many ideas for it in my head. And I’m adding some of those suggested produced listed below to my cart. Especially that slicer. I really could have used that this week.
And you could really use some of the prize packages for the giveaway this week! There’s several to win so make sure you enter. And be sure to show some love for the rest of the bloggers sharing recipes this week.
For the tuna salad:
- 12 ounces canned tuna in water
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons finely diced radish
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh dill
For the "frosting" and garnishes
- 8 ounces goat cheese
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup green onions sliced diagonally
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced breakfast radish
- 1 loaf of country bread or other round loaf of bread
- 4 ounces Black Forest ham, sliced
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Sandwich Cake (Smörgåstårta) from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
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