Danish summer bliss

The brunsviger (a yeasted cake topped with butter and brown sugar) and kanelsnegle (cinnamon snails) we were treated to these past few days are not technically on my “nutritious treats” list, but all the more delicious for being baked by my lovely friend Ida Marie during our visit with her family in the Danish countryside. She did make a wonderful variation on the original by spreading grated apple, desiccated coconut and coconut oil on one batch of snails, which ended up not being at all sweet, but rather like a fun little spiced bread roll.

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Brunsviger Cake

Ingredients for the cake

200ml milk or milk substitute such as almond milk or oat milk

25g fresh yeast

2 eggs

350g spelt flour

150g wholemeal spelt flour

100g fine oat flakes

100g butter, softened

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Ingredients for the topping

400g soft, dark sugar (muscovado works well)

400g butter, softened


1. Whisk the milk, yeast and eggs, then add the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined.

2. Knead the dough until soft and smooth, then place in a bowl, cover and allow to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size (about 30 minutes to 1 hour).

3. Mix the brown sugar and butter well for the topping.

4. Press into a large cake tin (30cm by 40cm) or into two smaller tins, and allow to rise a second time for 30 minutes. You could also make individual portions by pressing the dough into muffin tins.

5. Press holes into the dough with your fingers, then spread the topping over the dough, filling each little hole as you smooth it out.

6. Bake at 200°C for at least 10, but up to 20 minutes, until the sugar has caramelised and the dough has turned golden brown.

Note: It is up to you how thinly to spread the dough (if you prefer something more akin to cake, leave it roughly 2cm thick), but it will have an impact on your baking time. Also, adding a pinch of freshly ground black pepper to the topping gives it a very grown up twist.

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