Traditional and modern Scandinavian and Nordic recipes.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

How to Make A Danish Birthday Cake - Dansk Fødselsdagskage - Karen Grete Sings Danish Birthday Song

There's nothing like the taste of a homemade birthday cake that you make in your own kitchen. Baking a cake is as simple as measuring ingredients, mixing them in the right order.  But the fun part is to decorate the cake!  
Here we have a simple recipe to make a Danish birthday cake (Dansk Fødselsdagskage).  Our recipe is to make a two layer cake (lagekage).  This is a perfect recipe if you only have one baking pan to bake a cake. 

Also, in the video we made a traditional Danish birthday cake for the Queen of Denmark. Queen Margrethe II birthday is on April 16th.  So we decided to make a birthday cake for her. Also Karen Grete sings happy birthday too!

 Click on our YouTube video 
to see how Karen Grete makes the Danish birthday cake

Cake (Lagkagebunde) - makes 1 cake, cut into 2 thin cake layers 
  • 3/4 cup butter or 1 1/2 sticks
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 3 eggs - make sure that your eggs are at room temperature)
  • 1 1/3 cups flour 
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • butter or cooking spray
 Variations with the Cake batter:
  • Add 1 teaspoon of either vanilla extract, almond, lemon or orange zest to batter.
  • shaved some chocolate on top of the whipped creamed cake to make it look even prettier.
Cake Assembly  Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup of strawberry or raspberry jam
  • Custard Filling- check our blog post and our YouTube video on how to make homemade custard filling
  • 2 cups of whipping cream
  • cake decorations: Danish Flags, candy, etc
Kitchen Utensils
  • 9 inch round cake pan or springform pan
  • measuring cup
  • whisk or a hand mixer or electric mixer
  • measuring spoon 
  • medium mixing bowl
  • wooden spoon
  • spatula
  • wax paper and draw an 9" circle (optional)
Cake Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 435 degrees F
  2. Using an 9 inch cake pan, either spray cooking spray or butter the bottom of the pan. Make sure to grease it well with butter or cooking spray so the cake won't stick to the pan when it's baked.  Optionally trace a circle of the bottom of the pan onto parchment paper and cut the circle out. Place the parchment paper circle onto the greased bottom of pan and set the pan aside.
  3. In mixing bowl, cream softened butter with granulated sugar and beat until light and fluffy. 
  4. Beat the eggs one at a time into the mixing bowl.   
  5. Mix the flour with the baking powder in a separate small bowl.  
  6. Add the flour mixture into the mixing bowl. Beat until well blended. Turn the electric mixer off and use a spoon or spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl so every bit of batter gets mixed completely. 
  7. Add the milk gradually.  Mix until smooth until the batter comes together and no white bits of flour remain.  While mixing, stop occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula or spoon to ensure that everything is mixed thoroughly.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Use a spoon or spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl so every bit of batter makes it into the pan. Spread batter evenly
  9. Bake at 435 degrees on the center oven rack for 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown.  Careful not to over-bake the cake. It’s done when the cake feels firm to the touch or by inserting a toothpick into the middle and it comes out clean, rather than coated with batter.
  10. Let the cake cool in the cake pan on a baking wire rack for 10 minutes.  Then once cooled, run a small butter knife around the pan edges to loosen the sides from the pan.  Place the wire rack over the top of the pan, invert it, and tap it lightly to remove the cake.
  11. Let the cake cool for several hours. (for best flavor make the cake the night before)
  12. Make sure cake is completely cooled before cutting it into 2 cake layers. 
Assemble the Cake
  1. Remove bottom cake layer on to a serving plate or cake platter.   
  2. On the bottom layer spread the Custard Filling.  Then add  droplets of jam on top of vanilla cream.  Make sure there are plenty of droplets all over the vanilla cream surface.
  3. Place the top layer onto the first cake layer. 
  4. Whip the cream in a mixing bowl until frothy. 
  5. Spread on the top and the sides of cake with whipped cream.
  6. Spoon in a pastry bag and pipe over the cake.  Decorate with flags and candles for a birthday.  Add strawberry all around the edging of the cake.

  7. Please note that the cake can be assembled ahead of time (without the whipping cream) and refrigerated. The flavors blend well 
Here are the words that Karen Grete sung in the video

In Danish
I dag er det [name]s fødselsdag
Hurra, hurra, hurra!
han/hun sikkert sig en gave får
som han/hun har ønsket sig i år
med dejlig chokolade og kager til.

Translation in English
Today it is [name]'s birthday
Hurray, hurray, hurray!
He/she probably recieves a present
that he/she has wished for this year
with lovely chocolate and cakes.

Sometimes it is fun to mix and match old and new when setting a table. In this photo, we have an IKEA floral place mat, a Nordic pewter cake server, a vintage Royal Copenhagen Blue Flower pitcher sitting behind the cake and to the left there is a vintage leaf shaped candy dish.  The cake is sitting on a Royal Copenhagen White Fan plate. Yes! The White Fan plate is so large that it could hold the large birthday cake!

Our Scandinavian recipes including Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish are on
*how to make Danish Christmas rice pudding with cherry sauce dessert recipe (Risalamande med kirsebærsauce)

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