Danish Layered Cake

danish layered cake

This is a traditional Danish rye cake, typical especially in Denmark’s countryside, where rye has been a staple food for a very long time. The sponge of the cake is actually made with whole-rye sourdough bread, finely ground and combined with eggs, sugar and hazelnuts. The filling is made of jam and whipped cream. In my case I made some strawberry jam (from frozen strawberries)  just for the occasion and added melted dark chocolate to the cream. I also doubled the number of layers usually found in Danish recipes… I can assure you that the outcome was absolutely delicious.

And, as I anticipated, my experiments aimed at making grains more digestible and nourishing continue. This time I made my usual danish rye bread, not only with sourdough and long fermentation times, but also using sprouted rye berries – that are baked whole in this type of bread. I will write soon about sprouting grains. Here I can anticipate that it is super simple and fun.(SCROLL DOWN FOR THE RECIPE)

With this cake based on sourdough, I am happy to participate for the first time to Sourdough Surprises that this month had the project of baking a sourdough cake. Oh… and I don’t know if you can guess it from the picture but this is actually a mini-layered cake. I just recently found some mini cake forms and was happy to use them here for the first time. Thanks to the mini format, one can play with layered cakes without much guilt (and without wasting).

danish layered cake

DANISH LAYERED RYE CAKE (very loosely inspired to Anne Risgaard’s layered rye cake)

70 g dark Danish bread (you can make your own, but store-bought one works as well), finely ground

70 g hazelnuts, coarsely ground

4 eggs

120 g caster sugar

2/3 teaspoon baking powder



200 cream whipping cream

50 g dark chocolate

200 g strawberry jam*

*you can easily make your own by using 1 and 1/2 cup strawberries (frozen are fine) and 1/3 cup sugar. Boil for 15 minutes. Add a drop or two of vanilla extract and squeeze in some lemon. YUMMY!!

danish layered cake

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees (Celsius, 430 Fahrenheit). Whisk the egg whites separately and when they are firm, add the sugar. Incorporate also the egg yolks. At last add also the ground rye bread, the ground hazelnuts and the baking powder, previously combined. Divide between three mini baking molds, greased with butter. If you do not have the mini molds, double the ingredients and use three 24 cm (9 inches) cake molds. Bake for 9-10 minutes at 220 degrees (Celsius, 430 Fahrenheit) then for further 10-15 minutes at 175 degrees (Celsius, 345 Fahrenheit).

danish layered cake

Whip the cream and when firm add the chocolate, previously melted in the microwave. Combine.

Let the cakes cool down and then split in half. Proceed to make the layers alternating jam and cream. Finish with just cream topped with chopped hazelnuts.

danish layered cake

danish layered cake

CONSIDERATIONS: I am generally not a fan of layered cakes but this was so fun to make and tasted really strong of hazelnuts, while the bread and eggs gave a very pleasant consistency to the crumb. Overall this cake is quite healthy and very nutritious. Not the usual layered cake at all! And, on top of it, we really had a blast assembling it.

danish layered cake

danish layered cake

danish layered cake

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Barbara Elisi

Hi there! I am the "soul" behind Bread & Companatico. My main interest is the preservation of bread tradition and craft, with an eye to health. I hope you are having a good time reading this blog, and please don't be shy to connect with me through comments or emails and do keep on bread-ing! 🙂

Latest posts by Barbara Elisi (see all)

23 replies
  1. turnips 2 tangerines
    turnips 2 tangerines says:

    So many wonderful cakes today on Sourdough Surprises:) This looks delicious! I would love to try this cake~Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines

  2. Alida
    Alida says:

    Ma che belle quelle manine!! Questo dolce e’ una vera squisitezza cara Barbara. Un dolce per le feste. Mi piace un sacco! E mi piace anche molto il tuo nuovo look. Moderno e semplice allo stesso tempo.
    Purtroppo ho dei problemi sul sito e la gente non puo’ commentare. Spero di risolvere presto ;-(

  3. Korena in the Kitchen
    Korena in the Kitchen says:

    Oh Barbara, how fantastic does this cake look?! I’ve never seen a cake made from rye bread but now my mouth is watering with combination of rye and hazelnuts. What a creative use for bread. I LOVE that shot of the split cakes – the texture looks amazing. And Ada’s tattoos are too cute! 😉

    PS – the new blog layout looks great, too!

  4. Shelley C
    Shelley C says:

    Oh my gosh, I love everything about this cake. It’s adorable, the cut layers look amazing, your photos are beautiful and I love the little fingers reaching in! What a delicious way to eat your grains!!

  5. sandra
    sandra says:

    nuovo look strepitoso! … e di chi sono quelle manine sul dolcino? mi immagino quanto sia stato difficile non farle mangiare tutto e subito!

  6. Rita cooks Italian (@ritacooksitalia)
    Rita cooks Italian (@ritacooksitalia) says:

    I often make Danish Layered Birthday Cake using the traditional sponge egg base, but this is the first time I see a layered cake using rye bread! Combining the slightly sour taste of rye bread and creamy sweet strawberries jam sounds delicious. I always have some rye bread (I use it for our ‘Italian smorgasbord’ on Sundays!!)……

  7. Jenni (@GingeredWhisk)
    Jenni (@GingeredWhisk) says:

    Oh, wow! I am loving this cake! I love how tall and gorgeous it looks, and how I bet it was so messy to eat! I am also loving that chubby little tattooed hand! 🙂 I really wish I could have one of these little cakes for myself! 🙂 Thanks for baking with us!!


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