Right after college, I was a newspaper reporter in Stoughton, Wisconsin, a town so proud of its Norwegian heritage that street signs were in both English and Norwegian, and Syttende Mai (May 17, Norwegian independence day) celebrations trumped July 4th.
But even though I frequented (almost daily) the two bakeries on Main Street, right around the corner from the Courier-Hub office, I had never heard of this cake until I found this tattered recipe in one of my collections. Which is too bad, because it is fantastic. So good, that for the convenience of my readers, and in hopes that some of you will bake this, I not only scanned the recipe but typed it, as well.
It's simple to make and, yes the eggs and butter to flour ratio is decadent and probably responsible for the cake's full name: Norwegian Gold (or Golden) Cake. The method to make this -- incorporating the butter into the flour directly -- was developed in the 1940s, but I'm happy to report still works fine today. The key is having the butter soft enough.
While you're making this, you'll think that it won't work, for the batter doesn't come together well when the eggs are added. But do as I did and keep going. You'll be glad you did.
|The batter only fills the pan to about 1/3, but don't worry, it will rise!|
I brought my cake to the ladies of the Home Planning Workshop at Henry Street Settlement -- this is a tough crowd of scratch bakers -- and they heartily approved. And then invited me to their Thanksgiving dinner next week. Enough said.
|I had forgotten about the kind of paper this is typed on, parchment-like, nearly translucent |
with a very visible watermark. Today's white paper is so boring in comparison.
Norwegian Gold Cake
1 cup soft butter
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
Allow butter to become soft, but do not melt. Place butter and flour in mixing bowl. Beat 5 min. at low speed. Add eggs, one at a time, blending each egg at slow speed. Sift together sugar, baking powder and salt. Add graduatl to creamed mixture. Add extract. Mix 2 min. after all sugar has been added. Turn into 10" tube pan that has been greased with 2 tbsp. butter and then sprinkled with fine bread crumbs. [Note: I used Crisco instead of butter and flour instead of bread crumbs.] Bake 1 hour in 325 degree oven. Invert to cool [when I did this, the cake fell out of the pan, so let it cool about five minutes, then invert on to rack and then cool.] Sprinkle top with confectioners' sugar.
A bit of googling revealed that Stoughten still celebrates Syttende Mai in a big way. Below are the prince and princess and king and queen of the 2010 festivities.
Are you sure those aren't Glauberman family portraits? This cake looks and sounds unbelievably good. Steve just made something called 'Elvis' Favorite Whipped Cream Pound Cake' but this looks even more decadent!ReplyDelete
I made this tonight in two loaf pans instead of the tube. It is delicious!ReplyDelete
Salted or unsalted butter?ReplyDelete
I used to make this years and years ago. We always just used the butter in the house, salted.Delete
I have a rich Norwegian heritage and am constantly on the lookout for new recipes. Thank you so much for finding this and posting it!ReplyDelete
@Margaret: Could be, but don't recall that we had those costumes handy. And of course, my cakes will always be more decadent than Steve's!ReplyDelete
@Peggy: Glad to hear it!
Melissa: I always use unsalted butter, but I suppose if you reduced the salt in the recipe salted butter would work fine.
@Anonymous: Thanks for finding me!
Thanks so much. I just made this cake tonight using whole wheat cake flour from Blue Bird Mill, unsalted butter, and super fine sugar. You could not be more correct, worth every calorie! Those ladies will invite you to every holiday dinner from now on. Thanks so much. BERMDReplyDelete
I will make this cake for the holidays. The appearance of it reminds me of David Lebovitz's marzipan cake. It looks very simple but is also worth all of the calories. Now I will read about your zuchinni disaster...ReplyDelete
@BERMD: Sorry for the delayed response, but so glad you made this cake, and even happier that it is still worth the calories using whole wheat flour.ReplyDelete
@Anonymous: I'll have to check out his marzipan cake. I adore David -- even took a food walking tour in Paris with him. Very informative! And I don't think you'll regret making this cake;it's truly delicious.
I halved this recipe, baked it in a loaf pan, and brought it with me to New York as a thank you for my Brooklyn hostess (I'm visiting from Ohio!) The cake is so light and delicious; perfect for breakfast! I substituted a finely ground panko and almond mixture (on hand for another recipe) for the breadcrumbs or flour and was thrilled with the result. As a sweet lover, I considered making a light glaze, but I think the cake's spongy texture would probably be overwhelmed by anything additional.ReplyDelete
kkal: Thanks for writing! Good to know about the loaf pan option. And you sound like the perfect house guest, bringing such a delicious cake with you from so far away. Hope your trip was a good one. (Of course, I love the Ohio-Brooklyn connection.)Delete
If I wanted to make this for a birthday cake, what type of frosting would taste good on this? I don't like chocolate...ReplyDelete
GG: This truly doesn't need any frosting, but a caramel frosting would be nice. Or perhaps a lemon glaze or frosting, and you can decorate it with some strawberries and candles.Delete
Settled on this cake because I wanted something that wasn't fussy to make and didn't involve filling or frosting made from dairy (the butter in the cake itself is fine, and delicious.) It's fantastic but I can't wait to make it again in sour cherry season; I might try mixing cherries in or making some kind of cherry glaze. We had it tonight with a bit of lemon curd and the tartness was delightful, but cherries and almond flavor go naturally together.ReplyDelete
I did have one weird issue--the butter sat out all day long softening, since I live in an old home in Buffalo, NY and it's quite cold here. It did finally get soft enough, but I guess my bowl was chilly from sitting out in my kitchen, so as I was scraping the sides of the bowl to get the batter into the pan, I realized some of the butter had re-hardened and stuck to the sides! I scraped it all out anyway, and it doesn't seem to have done much damage; there were a few little smears of butter on that had settled to the bottom but once I turned the cake out of the pan I just scraped them away with a spoon. I may set my mixing bowl over a heating vent for 30 seconds before mixing next time, I guess!
Looking forward to compare to Nigella's easy almond cake, which also contains marzipan.ReplyDelete
I made this cake today! What a lovely crumb and crisp outer crust. I used a Bundt pan and it worked just fine, just in case anyone else wanted to try it. Full disclosure: I forgot to cream the flour with the butter and did the sugar instead. Worked just fine...probably would try the cake again the "correct" way just to see if the difference is noticeable.ReplyDelete
Hi Susan. I love your blog. Is the flour in the Norwegian Cake all-purpose or cake flour?ReplyDelete
Sorry for the delayed reply. It's all purpose. I always specify if the flour is anything but that.Delete
Just want to say thank you for a great recipe. I made it with Almond Flour for Gluten FREE and Monkfruit Sugar for Paleo (it is Zero Calories/Zero Glycemic) and it turned out great. If I could post a picture I would show you how It came out. Made it in Two cake pans since I did not have the one you used. **Really surprised at how light it was which was the comment from those who tasted it at a wine gathering featuring Norwegian themed wine and food. After all the wonderful food that was there, this cake made the "clear the palate" - light finish to the evening. I shared this recipe by printing out this page too. Giving credit where credit is due. YUMMY! GREAT RECIPES!!ReplyDelete
Wonderful to hear this. And sure, send me a pix at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want me to post it. Thanks for writing!Delete
Hello from Dane County's other Norwegian enclave, Mt. Horeb. We celebrate a part of our family's heritage each Christmas and this will definitely be on the dessert table. Mange takk!ReplyDelete
Wonderful! I miss Dane County (but only in the summer!!!).Delete
Susan, I just saw this on Pinterest. The cake looks yummm and the recipe sounds doable for me.ReplyDelete
I do not have a bundt pan - what can I use in its place ?
Possibly a 9 x 13 sheet pan if you have. Or two 8 inch round pans. There are lots of conversion charts on the internet that you can use to substitute pans. It's basically just checking on the baking time. But it should work out in another pan. Just leave room for the cake to rise!Delete
And I just read in earlier comments (I have to keep track of these better!) that people found success in loaf pans. So you can try that!Delete
I’m so glad I found this on Pinterest! My anecestors settled in Stoughton and much of my extended family still lives there. We do not have this recipe though! I can’t wait to share it with them.ReplyDelete
I believe the thin paper was referred to as “onion paper.”ReplyDelete