Sweden is so much more than a beautiful Scandinavian wonderland. There is a rich culture in Sweden that centers on history and tradition while still being forward-thinking. Art and beauty are at the forefront of Swedish culture. There is no better way to glimpse the heart of Swedish culture than through their sweets. Swedish chefs are renowned for the gorgeously delicious Swedish desserts and show-stopping pastries.
What is Special About Swedish Desserts?
Everything is special about Swedish dessert because that is how it is designed. Desserts in Sweden are made to be beautiful to look at and even more beautiful to eat.
Swedish chefs have been crafting traditional Swedish pastries and desserts for centuries and their styles are copied around the globe. Many of these desserts are also great for ‘Fika’ (coffee break custom) – one of the many things Sweden is known for.
Traditional Swedish desserts will focus on local produce and the sweet flavors that Swedish locals love, like chocolate, marshmallow, and fruit. No matter what your sweet tooth is craving, there is a delightful Swedish dessert for you!
Most Famous Swedish Dessert
Prinsesstårta (Princess Tart/Cake)
Princess tart is arguably the most iconic of all traditional Swedish desserts. It is an eye-catching classic with undeniable style. Princess tart was created by a royal teacher in honor of some very noble Swedes in the 1940s, but today it has taken on a new life. It is recreated by bakers worldwide!
Swedish princess tart is a layered sponge cake that has been made with almond flour. Between the layers of cake are raspberry jam, pastry cream, and whipped cream. The entire cake is topped with the signature mint green marzipan and a rose.
This treat is fit for a princess! It can be found in full 8-inch cake form or in tiny personal tarts. Imagine life as a Swedish monarch with this royal delight!
Traditional Swedish Desserts
Blåbärssoppa (Blueberry Soup)
Wild berries grow abundantly in Sweden and the locals love to pick and eat them. One favorite way to prepare local blueberries is in this amazing dessert soup, blåbärssoppa.
Traditionally this Swedish dessert is made with a local variety of blueberry, the bilberry. These extra vibrant berries produce a wonderfully sweet and tart soup. It can be served hot or cold, with porridge, oats, or cream.
Saffranspannkaka (Saffron Pancake)
A popular Swedish dessert offering in the southern part of the country is saffranspannkaka. This is a tasty cross between a rice pudding-like dish and a hearty pancake.
The flavor of this pudding is of warm saffron and sugar. Top this tasty dish with lingonberries or wild blueberries for a deliciously Swedish dessert!
Våfflor (Swedish Waffles)
Swedish waffles are the perfect answer to dessert or breakfast in Sweden! Våfflor are beautifully pressed Swedish waffles meant to impress both visually and gastronomically.
The Swedes typically use either square or heart-shaped waffle presses for these treats. These deliciously crispy Swedish cakes use eggs and sugar to make an airy and sweet treat. Top them with blueberries for a truly Swedish bite!
Nyponsoppa (Rose Hip Soup)
Rose hips can be a tough flavor for some, but the Swedes have found a balance. Nyponsoppa is an amazing Swedish dessert soup. It is flavored with rose hips, cinnamon, and sugar. The soup is typically studded with almond biscuits and served with cream. It makes a beautiful dessert or even breakfast.
Popular Cookies In Swedish Desserts
Pepparkakor (Swedish Gingerbread Cookies)
Christmastime in Sweden is always idyllic. They love to go all out with gorgeous winter celebrations, and no winter feast is complete with pepparkakor, or gingerbread cookies.
These cookies have just enough ginger and bright spice to satisfy. Children of all ages love eating and building with this warm Swedish dessert.
Havreflarn (Oatmeal Cookies)
Swedish bakers struck gold with these amazingly crisp and oaty cookies. Havreflarn are traditional Swedish oatmeal cookies. They are delightfully thin and buttery, and some bakers love to dip the bottoms of the cookies in chocolate.
Havreflarn are the perfect Swedish dessert to enjoy as you sip your coffee, and watch the Swedish scenery.
Chokladbiskvier (Chocolate Meringue Cookies)
This little cookie is liable to start an addiction, they are just that good! Chokladbiskvier are traditional Swedish cookies made from a base of almond meringue.
The cookie is topped with rich chocolate buttercream and coated in decadent dark chocolate. It’s impossible to eat only one of these chocoholic’s delights! They make the perfect accompaniment for an afternoon coffee.
Swedish Cakes In Sweden
Kladdkaka (Sticky Chocolate Cake)
For those familiar with lava cake, this Swedish cake is not far from that. Kladdkaka is a decadent fudge cake baked in a way that allows the outside to be crispy while the inside stays deliciously gooey. This treat is a chocolate lover’s delight! It pairs perfectly with fresh strawberries and little whipped cream.
Appelkaka (Apple Cake)
Swedish locals love apples! Bakers in Sweden have worked apples into many of their greatest desserts, but one takes the cake, appelkaka, or apple cake. A warm and rustic Swedish cake with all the familiar flavors of apple and welcoming spices appelkaka is a real comforting treat!
Typical versions of this Swedish treat have nice crisp edges, a soft interior, and deliciously spiced apples pressed into the cake. Appelkaka tastes like a warm Swedish welcome!
Jordgubbstårta (Strawberry Meringue Cake)
Summer berry season is a real celebration in Sweden! After a bountiful berry harvest, Swedish bakers love to make Jordgubbstårta, or traditional Swedish cake with strawberries and meringue.
This tasty cake matches the strawberry flavor with sugary meringue for a sweet and fruity taste explosion.
Jordgubbstårta is a lovely sight to behold. Local produce is an amazing gift from Sweden’s wonderfully balanced seasons.
Toscakaka (Almond Cake)
The best desserts are a little nutty. Toscakaka is no exception! This is a wonderfully light and nutty almond cake that is topped with sweet caramelized almonds.
Every slice of this gorgeous Swedish cake has just enough crunch from the almonds to satisfy. The great nutty flavor of this dessert pairs very well with fresh berries or a simple cup of tea.
Rabarberkaka (Rhubarb Cake)
Summertime can mean only one thing for Swedish desserts, rhubarb season! Rabarberkaka is a sweet rhubarb cake designed to highlight tasty summer rhubarb.
This cake is made from an airy sponge and the top is studded with rhubarb. The cake itself has warm flavors of cardamom and sugar to balance the sour rhubarb. It’s a colorful, complex, and perfect Swedish summer cake!
Kärleksmums (Chocolate Coconut Cake)
You’d have to be coconuts not to love kärleksmums! This tasty Swedish treat is made from a chocolate cake that has a great brownie-like consistency. The cake is topped with flavorful shaved coconut for a layered and sweet bite.
The cake is served in small squares because it’s so rich that all you need is a square! Kärleksmums are sometimes called “love cakes” in English because you will love them!
Kanelbulle (Cinnamon Bun)
The Swedes are actually credited with the invention of the cinnamon bun, so you would be remiss not to try one in Sweden! This traditional Swedish dessert consists of yeasted and cardamom-flavored dough, filled with cinnamon and sugar, then rolled into lovely buns.
These treats are especially popular at holiday celebrations, but they can be found in bakeries all year. Kanelbulle makes a perfect dessert or breakfast.
This beautiful Swedish pastry is a local favorite. Semlor are yeasted cardamom buns. The sweet buns are sliced open and filled with almond paste and whipped cream. A bite of these tasty rolls has the perfect balance of sweetness, nuttiness, and creaminess.
Semlor are traditionally a seasonal treat to be enjoyed before Lent, so they may be easier to find during the first several months of the year. One semlor is a semla, but you will have a hard time having just one semla!
Spettekaka (Spit-Cooked Batter Cake)
This Swedish dessert originates from the south of Sweden. Its name makes it a little misunderstood. Spettekaka consists of a sweet pastry batter that is piped in layers, sometimes in the shape of a tower, then cooked on a spit. The pastry batter crisps into more of a cookie or pâte à choux texture than a traditional cake. The eye-catching tower is iced with royal icing for a colorful final look.
Delicious Pies In Swedish Desserts
Äppelpaj (Swedish Apple Pie)
Delicious Swedish apples make this basic dessert an absolute treasure. Äppelpaj is Swedish apple pie, and it is similar to apple pies made elsewhere. What makes this pie so special is the local apples.
Sweden grows several local cultivars of apple that make this pie fragrant and flavorful. Cinnamon and cardamom round out the flavor of this Swedish dessert. It is perfect by itself or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Smulpaj (“Crumb Pie” or Crumble)
Sweden gets the best of all four seasons; therefore, many fruits grow exceptionally well here. Swedish bakers have been celebrating that local gift by making smulpaj, or crumble, or ages.
This Swedish dessert uses local berries, like the bilberry or lingonberry, to make a wonderful oaty and fruity crumble. The filling is sweet and tart berry and the crust is warm and nutty Swedish oats. It’s a comforting dessert that makes great use of the local bounty.
Blåbärspaj (Bilberry Pie)
The locals in Sweden love gathering wild berries. One wild berry that is beloved in Sweden is the bilberry. It is a small brightly-colored type of blueberry.
Bilberries will stain your hands, but satisfy your tastebuds with their tart and sweet flavor. If you love the flavor of bilberries, you must try the Swedish dessert of blåbärspaj. It’s a delicious and colorful bilberry pie that goes perfectly with ice cream or tea.
Discovering Traditional Desserts In Sweden
Bring your sweet tooth when you explore Sweden! Here you will find traditional treats with roots as old as some counties and flavors that will make you fall in love.
Traditional Swedish food and cuisine have so much to offer, but a real gem in the crown of Swedish cooking is its desserts. Falling in love with Swedish culture is as easy as one bite of these perfect Swedish desserts!
These are great treats to enjoy as your finish off a meal or while taking a break from your exploration of the famous Swedish landmarks in Sweden.