Brunsviger is a popular Danish Cake. The name is hard to translate. “Brun” is brown in Danish but I’m not sure how I would convey “sviger” in English. Many claim that it originated on the Danish island of Funen (the same island where Hans Christian Andersen was born) but nobody knows for sure. What the records do show is that the cake is quite old, meaning the recipe first appeared in 1873!
But enough about the history of this cake. Now to the good stuff – how it tastes! I don’t think I’ve ever met a Dane who hasn’t tasted Brunsviger. Its sticky, gooey topping is what makes it special. Because I love the traditional Danish spices of cinnamon and cardamom, I did add a pinch of cardamom to the cake itself and a teaspoon of cinnamon to the topping. That isn’t the traditional way but it’s good! Brunsviger is often used as a birthday pastry by being made into a cake man/boy or cake woman/girl depending on whose birthday itself. For those occasions, it is decorated with candy, making it look very festive.
It’s an easy cake to make so I hope you will try it. Here is the recipe.
- 1/2 cup milk
- 50 gr butter
- 1 Tsp sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp dry instant yeast
- 1/4 tsp coarse salt
- pinch of cardamom (optional)
- 275 gr all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 200 gr butter
- 200 gr brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
Warm the milk. Add the butter and let it melt. Pour into bowl for a stand mixer or any other bowl.
Add the dry ingredients to the bowl along with the egg. Knead the dough in the mixer or with a wooden spoon until smooth. It will be a bit sticky.
Line a square baking pan/brownie pan with parchment paper. Spread the dough onto the parchment paper with wet fingers. Let it rise, covered, on the countertop for about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
While the dough is rising, make the topping by melting the butter and brown sugar in a pot while stirring. Once melted, add the cinnamon, if using, and mix well. Let it cool.
Gently poke the dough all over with your index finger. Stir the topping again before pouring it over the cake.
Bake the cake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Let it cool on a rack before slicing.