Smörgåstårta

This Swedish sandwich “cake” is a wonderful party dish in the Spring; perfect for Easter or Mother’s Day. It’s made with bread instead of cake, filled with a variety of savory spreads, iced with cream cheese, and decorated with fresh herbs and vegetables. You can make it ahead of time, and then finish off the outside on the day you’re going to serve it. Fillings and toppings are varied, and can be seafood and/or meats, or vegetarian. And, best of all, it’s super easy to make (although a little time consuming).

I like to make salmon pate, egg salad, and a creamy shrimp filling for a four-layered cake, but a three-layered cake (above) works just as well. I make the icing by mixing some sour cream with softened cream cheese (one small carton of each is enough for both the fillings and the icing). I decorate with carrot, radish, capers, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, chives, flat leaf parsley, dill and grated lemon and/or lime zest, and this last time I made it, I added kiwi crescents to the top. Some folks put lox and shrimp as decorations as well, but I find it’s hard to cut through those, so I leave them for the inside.

Both the fillings and decorations are totally up to you, and can be guided by what’s in season, or the occasion.

  • Bread: 1 large round loaf (sliced to make 4 layers), or 16 sandwich bread slices, crusts removed*
  • .5 oz packet of fresh dill
  • .5 oz packet of fresh chives
  • small bunch of flat leaf parsely
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 hot house cucumber
  • handful of cherry tomatoes
  • spoonful of capers
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 8 oz. soft cream cheese
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 14 oz. smoked salmon
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups bay shrimp
  • Bottom layer filler: Rökt laxpate
    • 14 oz. smoked salmon, broken up and smashed
    • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
    • 1 Tbsp sour cream
    • 1 Tbsp soften butter
    • salt/pepper
  • Middle layer filler: Äggsallad
    • 8 hard boiled eggs, chopped
    • mayonnaise
    • chopped chives
    • salt/pepper
  • Top layer filler: Skagenröra
    • 2 cups bay shrimp, well drained
    • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
    • 2 Tbsp sour cream
    • about 1/3 cup chopped fresh dill
    • grated rind of one lemon
    • salt/pepper
  • Bread

Start with a bread layer, then add a layer of bread on top of each filling, ending with a layer of bread on top of the thrid filling. Spread mayonnaise or softened butter on bread before topping with filling. Press down on bread layers after loading up each one. Cover and store in fridge overnight to set.

* I use a spring form pan for a circular “cake” even when I don’t have a round loaf to start with, but it’s kind of a pain. If you don’t want to fool with that, just use four slices of square sandwich bread for each layer to make a square, free-form version.

Mather’s Day on Harper Hill, May 2021

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