Karin's midsummer cake

Karins midsommartårta

Karin's midsummer cake

Midsummer is very special for us Swedes. In many parts of the world midsummer passes without even a flicker of acknowledgement, but for us Swedes it is the most important festival after Christmas.

Food plays a dominant role in all our festivals. We try to make use of what is seasonal and so for midsummer strawberries take centre stage. Of course, they must be Swedish! We are very tolerant of other cultures except when it comes to strawberries. Our strawberries are simply the best: redder and better flavoured than any others!

Jordgubbar is Swedish for strawberries, but literally means Earthmen. It makes strawberry picking with children more fun: find the little red Earthmen. It’s also kind of cute to think of strawberries as nice little Earthmen joining in our midsummer celebrations.

Swedes eat a lot of strawberries: on average about 4 litres (8 pints) per year. Generally we eat them with milk and sugar or with ice cream, but for a special occasion it is nice to use them to crown a cake. Mine uses meringue with Rice Krispies to produce a gorgeous sweet backdrop to show off the red Earthmen. I hope you like it. Karin Fürst



A Kellogg's variety pack normally contains a 20g box of Rice Krispies

• The meringue includes some Rice Krispies to add a little contrast to the texture of the base. One packet from a variety box is sufficient for one cake.

A pavlova based on a Swedish recipe

• In late August or early September turn the cake into a hejdåsommartårta (goodbye summer cake) by using whatever soft fruits are plentiful, such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.
• Serve the cake with extra fruit.
• The cake goes down very well at a kräftfest (crayfish party) as a welcome contrast to Västerbottenpaj.


Ingredients for Karin's midsummer cake

Meringue base

4   egg whites*
280 g (1¼ cups) caster (superfine) sugar
20 g (¾ cup) Rice Krispies (Rice Bubbles)

*The yolks will be required for the middle layer

Middle layer

4   egg yolks
100 g (7 tbsp) caster (superfine) sugar
100 ml (7 tbsp) whipping cream
1 tbsp   plain (all-purpose) flour
75 g (⅓ cup) butter


240 ml (1 cup) whipping cream
225 g (8 oz) fresh strawberries


Karin making a midsummer cake

1. Pre-heat the oven to 130°C (250°F, Gas ½, Fan 120°C).

Karin with a prepared baking tray for a midsummer cake

2. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Draw a circle using your serving plate as a template.  Dust lightly with flour.

Karin adding sugar to whipping cream

3. Whip the egg whites and sugar until they form stiff peaks and then mix in the Rice Krispies.

Karin spreading the meringue mixture on a prepared baking sheet

4. Spread the mixture on to the baking parchment to form a circle slightly smaller than your serving plate. Bake for 1 hour and then reduce the temperature to 100°C (200°F, Gas ¼, Fan 100°C) and bake for another hour.

Karin whisking the egg yolks, sugar, cream and butter

5. Mix the egg yolks, caster sugar, whipping cream and flour in a saucepan. Heat the mixture, whisking continuously until it thickens, without letting it boil.

6. Remove the pan from the heat and then stir in the butter until it is melted and evenly mixed. Leave to cool.

7. When cold, spread the mixture over the meringue.

Spreading whipping cream over the midsummer cake

8. Whip the cream for the topping until stiff and spoon over the top.

Karin decorating the midsummer cake with fresh strawberries

9. Decorate with fresh strawberries.


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