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I’m Andrea. I like to cook and bake and take photographs and write about life. Welcome to Bella Eats, where I share these passions of mine with you. I’m glad you’re here.

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swedish visiting cake

Spring. My backyard has gone from yellow to pink to white (or, daffodils to plum and apple blossoms).  Each afternoon over 60° has me longing to get outside, in the sunshine, with a glass of white wine in my hand. Preferably, with my husband or a girlfriend by my side and my dogs at my feet. This season brings with it a jovial state of mind. And with that comes the desire to be amongst friends, sharing in the pleasantness of open windows and the greenish light of sunbeams passing through new growth.

I believe it is imperative for every person to have a quick and simple cake in their repertoire. One that, when invited over for a last-minute afternoon visit, or next-day weekend brunch, is easy to whip up using ingredients always on hand. I have a few, but I think that this Swedish Visiting Cake is my very favorite. Not too sweet, but with a substantial, moist crumb, it can pass for either dessert or a morning coffee cake. I adore the crunch of almonds atop the dense base, and the way the edge and bottom of the cake crisp to create a shell that keeps it all together. You know, just in case you choose to pick up an entire slice between your thumb and forefinger. No need to dirty a dish if you're sitting outside and your other hand is occupied with a glass...

I found this recipe last year on Melanger, and it is not surprising that after making it once it has remained at the top of my list. Julia's taste in baked goods is steady; never too rich, most often simple and leaning towards rustic, always comforting. If you haven't yet, you should visit her lovely site.

Swedish Visiting Cake

from Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan, via Melanger

serves 8

I realized this time, after I'd already prepared the pan and staged the table for photographs, that I was out of vanilla extract. So, I used a full teaspoon of almond extract instead. The cake is delicious both ways.


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more to grease pan
  • 1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds


  1. Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat oven to 350°. Butter a seasoned 9-inch cast iron pan. (If you don't have a cast iron pan, a 9-inch cake pan works as well). 
  2. Pour sugar into a medium bowl and add lemon zest. Use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar, until the sugar is moist and fragrant.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking to combine.
  4. Add the salt and extracts and whisk to combine.
  5. Stir in the flour using a rubber spatula.
  6. Fold in the melted butter.
  7. Pour batter into your prepared pan and smooth top with rubber spatula. Sprinkle almonds over the top of the batter and finish with a sprinkle of sugar.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the edges are golden brown and starting to pull away from the edge of the pan.

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Reader Comments (18)

That looks delish! I will definitely have to try it.

04.13.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Hello there,

You have the loveliest blog! The photos are gorgeous and as I'm into everything Swedish, I think this will be the next cake I make. Greetings from Berlin.

04.13.2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmily Byron

So when I pop in one of these days I just may get served this lovely cake? ;)
Gorgeous photography and eloquent writing, as usual.

04.13.2011 | Unregistered Commenterfaith

I can't wait to try this! Just found your blog and have really enjoyed looking over past posts!

04.14.2011 | Unregistered CommenterShelby

this looks great! The less dishes a recipe has the more I love it!

04.14.2011 | Unregistered Commenterblogbytina!

made this last night. don't think it's even going to survive twenty four hours. so quick and easy. i think next time i'll use a little less sugar and add lemon zest to the top before baking

04.15.2011 | Unregistered Commentersteve

Your photos are just gorgeous and i seriously want to reach through my screen and eat that cake :)

Beautiful and yummy at the same time. I am loving your blog. Can't wait for the next entry!

04.16.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKathy

Gosh, that cake seems to be so delicious! It looks moist and how you have presented it through your photos, I felt like I can stare at it for quite a long time before eating it already. :D

Looking to buy a cast iron pan. Any recommendations?

04.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterTheresa

@Theresa :: I have all Lodge cast iron cookware. It is relatively inexpensive, especially if you buy it through Amazon.

04.20.2011 | Registered CommenterAndrea

Sounds delicious! Love your blog :)

04.22.2011 | Unregistered Commentermichelle

This is one of my favorite treats. Your photos are wonderful

04.26.2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Food Hunter

I'm so glad you saw this cake on my blog and made it. It's so wonderfully simple and definitely a keeper! Have you tried it with cardamom? That's my husband's favourite.

BTW, I loved your description of my blog. It's always interesting to know how other people view what you do. :)

05.15.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJulia @ Mélanger

This cake looks so good!! It looks so moist. I will have to try it. Virginia Beach Cakes

07.9.2011 | Unregistered Commenterkaren lawson

if you like this cake you might also like a Danish Almond Kringle.

10.30.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

I tossed a bunch of whole frozen cranberries on top, added a squeeze of lemon to the batter and went light on the sugar. yum, and so easy!

12.26.2012 | Unregistered Commenterleah

@Leah : I LOVE your modification! Going to try that very soon. Happy New Year!

01.1.2013 | Registered CommenterAndrea

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