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How To Make A Smorgastarta

Updated on August 23, 2017

How to make a Swedish "sandwich cake"

When I first moved to Sweden from the US 11 years ago, I knew right away that I would have to adjust my palate and start eating traditional Swedish food.

One of the first traditional Swedish foods I tried is called smorgastarta (smur-gos-tor-ta), which literally translates to "sandwich cake".

It was love at first bite. Even all this time later I can't get enough!

The two basic ingredients are bread and a mayonaisse/sour cream spread that you "frost" the cake with. Everything else is up to you!

Check out these gorgeous photos... I dare your mouth not to drool!

How to make a smorgastarta

The main component of any smorgastarta is the bread. In Sweden you can buy loaves of bread sliced lengthwise which work perfectly for smorgastarta.

You may use any bread, but white is the most common. Try getting an unsliced loaf (rectangle or round) and slice it horizontally. You should use 3 or 4 medium slices. Alternatively, you can use slices of white bread with the crust cut off, 3 for each layer when making a rectangle smorgastarta, "glued" together at the edges with butter.

You may also choose to do smaller individual sandwich cakes. Just cut your bread accordingly.

For the "frosting" combine equal parts mayonnaise and sour cream ( or creme fraiche if you can find it) plus lemon juice to taste.

Once you've got the bread and "frosting" ready, assemble them like a layer cake. Lay the bottom piece of bread on a plate or platter, then spread the mayonnaise/sour cream mixture evenly across the entire slice, then repeat till you've used all the slices, top and sides.

You may want to put some toppings between the slices too. Shrimp/prawns, sliced cheese, and thinly sliced cucumbers work nicely.

Once you've got the sandwich looking like a cake, it's time to "decorate" it. There's no real rhyme or reason to smorgastarta topping choices, so just go crazy with food you like. I usually use shrimp/prawns, avacado (don't add until serving time), tomato wedges, hard-boiled egg wedges, caviar, fresh dill, and cucumber slices. I've added a list to this lens of common toppings, but any cold sandwich-type food should work. Look at the pictures to get inspired.

Once the smorgastarta is done, cover with cling film and place it in the refrigerator for a while. Some people think it's best to leave it in the fridge overnight, but a couple hours will be fine.

The smorgastarta is most often served at special events. As you can see it makes a terrific potluck dish.


Smorgastarta Toppings

  • Shrimp/Prawns
  • Egg Slices/Wedges
  • Caviar
  • Tomato Slices/Wedges
  • Sliced Ham
  • Sliced Salmon
  • Fresh Dill
  • Lemon Slices/Wedges
  • Avacado
  • Crayfish/Crawfish
  • Grapes
  • Lettuce
  • Liver Paté

Smorgastarta Duel


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    • profile image

      Florence kutton 3 months ago

      Fantastic . To say one word.

    • orebro profile image

      orebro 3 years ago

      @anonymous: You can use whatever you like. Honestly, though, I've never seen pineapple in a smorgastarta and I think I might not eat it if it was there. But that may be one of those things like Swedish pizza where I'll never understand some of the combinations. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I am swedish and can tell you that the filling is not sliced cheese. You fill it with chopped shrimps, chopped boiled eggs, dill and a blend of whipped cream and maionaise. That's 1 filling and you usually need at least 3. Ok nr 2: fine chopped smoked ham, 1 can crushed pineapple, 1 splat of tomatoketchup (heinz) a dash of ground black pepper. And blend with some cream-mayo.. nr3: liver pate, finechopped apple and some finechopped slices of canned cucumber (the one you put on your sandwich) blend with cream-mayo. Now you have 3 very good fillings. Fill 3 layers with bread between and then start make it beautiful decorated..

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      It looks good enough to eat! ;) Seriously ... I wonder where I can find that in Jacksonville, FL? I'd love to try it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      great looking dishes, I'd like a piece of each one please.

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 6 years ago

      Haven't made a smorgastarta for years, guess it is about time. The best part is decorating it!

    • Beadsnresin profile image

      Beadsnresin 6 years ago

      These are great, i'm hungry now lol

    • Sensitive Fern profile image

      Sensitive Fern 6 years ago

      Yum! Looks like something that would be great to take to a potluck.

    • pramodbisht profile image

      pramodbisht 6 years ago

      These look absolutely fabulous! I might have to try it.

    • spritequeen lm profile image

      spritequeen lm 6 years ago

      I've never heard of this, but it looks amazing! I think I might have to try it. Thanks for sharing!!

    • SelfAndSource profile image

      SelfAndSource 6 years ago

      What a great idea for a potluck.

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      This looks pretty interesting, I'd give this a try! Nice work.

    • Dee Gallemore profile image

      Dee Gallemore 7 years ago

      Smörgåstårta definitely looks like something I would enjoy . . . This lens is featured on Noteworthy & Blessed

    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 7 years ago

      Cool lens. That looks pretty interesting, not sure I'd eat it though. Kind of a picky eater!! :)

    • MisterJeremy profile image

      Jeremy 7 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Looks delicious and I love the name: smörgåstårta. Gonna say it again. Smörgåstårta. Blessed.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      This looks most delicious

    • PaulaMorgan profile image

      Paula Morgan 7 years ago from Sydney Australia

      wow it looks great... can you add a photo of what one looks like cut... I really want to see inside :-)

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 7 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Yum! That looks great!

    • CCGAL profile image

      CCGAL 7 years ago

      Never heard of this dish before, but wow, I can hardly wait to give one of these a try!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      You are totally right..... Smörgåstårta look gorgeous (and very yummy) and yes, I drooled LOL

    • Ashly Rain profile image

      Ashly Rain 7 years ago

      I love food, and I had never heard of a Smörgåstårta... and I am sooo happy you created this lens! Any idea where to get good Swedish (or even Scandinavian) food in the Boston area? In a restaurant, that is :)

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      I have a Sweedish friend who produces the most amazing dishes that she tell me are traditinal Sweedish, mostyl very fishy! This looks great fun- blessed by a Squid Angel and added to my Angel lens.

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 7 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      Thanks for educating me on this delicious dish! I am fascinated by the prospects of a sandwich cake. Is is sliced just like a cake? Do people eat it with fork and knife or with hands?