Rye bread layer cake

Rye bread layer cake


Scandinavian Baking
Columbus Leth

This layer cake is from Sønderjylland, the southern part of Denmark that borders Germany. That area of Denmark is famous for ‘cake tables’, served with coffee. You are invited to a buffet consisting of 20 cakes or more, and you are seriously expected to taste all of them… in fact, your hostess will see to it that you do! The cakes are served in a particular order that is never broken: good old-fashioned cake rules. For this cake, you will need two 24cm diameter springform tins; if you only have one, don’t worry, you can cook them one after the other.


Quantity Ingredient

For the cake

Quantity Ingredient
butter, for the tins
150g stale rye bread
150g hazelnuts
6 eggs, separated
200g soft dark brown sugar
1 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons cocoa powder

For the filling and topping

Quantity Ingredient
200ml double cream
6 tablespoons Scandinavian jams, redcurrant jelly or Blackcurrant 'jam'
50g best dark chocolate, at least 60% cocoa solids, finely chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Line the bases of two 24cm diameter springform tins with baking parchment and butter them lightly… or, more probably, line and butter the one tin you have and re-use it to make the other cake.
  2. Crumble the rye bread into crumbs. In a food processor, grind the hazelnuts until fine.
  3. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together with an electric mixer until paler and fluffy. Separately mix together the rye breadcrumbs, hazelnuts, baking powder and cocoa powder, then fold them into the egg yolk mixture. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold gently into the batter. Pour into the prepared tin or tins and bake for 12 minutes, then leave to cool.
  4. Take a round serving dish and place the least attractive layer of cake on it. Whip the cream until billowing and spread half of it on the cake, then top with the jelly or jam. Now spread the remaining whipped cream over the top layer of cake and gently place it on top of the jam layer. Scatter the chocolate on top and serve right away.
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