Scandinavian baking ideas: Biscuits, buns, and more

Spring has passed by my world more quickly than an oncoming metro train; making a momentary appearance in those dark tunnels, it’s gone in a flash. However, since I spent my spring preparing for a European road trip, I can’t expect you to feel sorry for me, or for my lack of time spent baking.

I’m still dreaming about Paris and all the raw energy of the metro contrasted with the tranquility of the banks of the Seine. I can still feel the brisk marine wind of Normandy whipping through my hair. Likewise, the images of the countryside rolling by are still seared in my memory–the gentle, verdant hills of northern France, the tree-lined hills and valleys of Belgium, and the pastoral landscape of southern Germany.

The remaining weeks of spring won’t allow for much baking either, but if you’re looking for Scandinavian baking ideas, look no further than this list:

Touted as “one of the best-loved Norwegian pastries of all-time” by Siri of The Transplanted Baker, skolleboller are cardamom-scented buns filled with vanilla custard and dusted with coconut. Just go to Siri’s blog and take one look at those buns, and you’ll want to reach in and pull them off your computer screen, bite into one, and wash it down with a steaming cup of coffee.

On gray, damp spring mornings when you want to stay indoors in your bathrobe, a warm, freshly-baked biscuit topped with Norwegian brown goat cheese sounds about as cozy as you can get. The cheese–known as gjetost or brunost–was a favorite treat for Jenn of The Leftover Queen when she lived in Norway some years ago, and now she loves these buttermilk biscuits topped with a thin slice of brunost and a little jam.

Whether it’s paired with brown butter, white wine and vanilla bean, or the classic marriage with strawberries, rhubarb is one of spring’s most generous gifts. Taking advantage of rhubarb’s delicious tang and combining it with almond paste, Dagmar of A cat in the kitchen got creative and gave a twist to the traditional almond-filled pastries known as mazarins. These toasted oat flour mazarins with rhubarb are the result.

Inspired by a Norwegian candy bar, the bloggers at My Little Norway have created what they call Troika cake, a chocolate cake layered with raspberry jelly and cream, then topped with a layer of marzipan. Growing up in a Scandinavian family, marzipan cakes have always been one of my favorites. I love the combination of textures–the slightly chewy marzipan with the soft, pillowy cake and a blanket of cream–plus the flavors of almond, sugar, and fruit.

I’ve been wanting to make a Scandinavian apple cake for quite a while, but haven’t known which recipe to try. Until now. Anne of Anne’s Food uses words like “dense,” “rustic,” “delicate,” and “cinnamon-scented” in her description of this apple cake with almonds. With almond paste as a primary ingredient, along with crème fraîche and fresh apples, how could it not be delicious?

What are your favorite Scandinavian recipes? Leave a comment and let me know!

6 thoughts on “Scandinavian baking ideas: Biscuits, buns, and more

    • If you try these recipes–or any others–be sure to let me know how they turn out. I’m always excited to find a great new Scandinavian recipe to add to the collection.

  1. One of my favorites is: Lussekatter. I blogged about it back in December 15, 2009.
    I’m quite taken in by the Lefse and it’s not the amount of work that I find daunting. It’s the special tools you need to get it right! If I had inherited the things you did, believe me – I’d be making them too. :)

    • Found your blog via a quilting blog, then through the Transplanted Baker. Swedish Great Grandfather married to a Norwegian and another Norwegian Great GF, lots of Scandinavian but not sure which is what nationality. Love the comments about Gjetost cheese. My brother just brought some back from Norway for my dad – the only one that will eat “sour sand” as we call it. He says it’s sweet, we disagree! Favorites? Cardamom bread, hardtack made in circles with a hole in the middle using a special rolling pin. Top it or Swedish pancakes (mom’s are better than Al Johnson’s in Sturgeon Bay, WI where they have goats on the sod roof) with lingonberries. We buy them buy the large can from the Swedish Passport in Norway, MI. Lutefisk in cream sauce at Christmas, home-made potato sausage, pickled herring, kottballer (sp) cabbage rolls, lefse, rice pudding, Swedish cream (my niece just served this with raspberry sauce at her wedding last weekend), coffee cake, my grandma’s svenska kaka (large oval flat bread baked on a cookie sheet and cut in slices) and coconut cookies. I’m hungry for Christmas! Love your blog!

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