Jordgubbstårta is a traditional Swedish Strawberry Cake enjoyed each year at the Midsommar dessert table.
Our quick & easy homemade Jordgubbstårta is a gluten free recipe, featuring cardamom and almond flavoured meringue, whipped cream and fresh strawberries.
Authentic Swedish Midsommar Jordgubbstårta is most commonly baked during the summer months. If you’re a strawberry fan like us enjoy a slice year round of this light, creamy and juicy gluten free dessert!
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What Is Jordgubbstårta?
Jordgubbstårta is Sweden’s national cake, served each year in celebration of Midsommar.
Jordgubbstårta, which literally translates to “cream and strawberry cake” is part of the dessert tradition since the arrival of strawberries in Sweden, in the early nineteenth century. It is a light and fruity dessert that is perfect for the summer!
Jordgubbstårta is also called gräddtårtan (cream cake) in some parts of Sweden. Other cakes, like the famous prinsesstårta (princess cake) are also served at Midsommar.
Authentic Jordgubbstårta is easy to make at home as traditional recipe’s typically feature just a few ingredients like vanilla sponge cake, whipped cream and fresh strawberries.
Our modern spin on the classic Jordgubbstårta swaps out vanilla sponge cake layers with crunchy and chewy meringue flavoured with cardamom and almonds. The result is a cross between a Swedish Midsummer Cake, French Macaron or Dacquoise, English Victoria Sponge, American strawberry shortcake and an Australian or Kiwi Pavlova.
History of Midsommar
The Midsommar period of time is centred around the summer solstice, typically between June 19 and June 25. The ancient celebration predates Christianity, and existed under different names and traditions around the world.
In Sweden, Midsummer is such an important festivity that there have been proposals to make the Midsummer’s Eve into the National Day of Sweden, instead of June 6. In Latvia, Midsummer’s Jāņi festival is a public holiday. In Denmark and Norway, it may also be referred to as St. Hans Day.
Midsommar in Sweden is marked by families raising and dancing around a maypole (majstång or midsommarstång). Greenery placed over houses and barns was supposed to bring good fortune and health to people and livestock; this old tradition of decorating with greens continues. To decorate with greens was called att maja (to may) and may be the origin of the word majstång, maja coming originally from the month May.
In ancient pagan rites, bonfires were lit to protect families from evil spirits who were considered free to wander when the sun was going south. The May tree refers to a phallic symbol commonly used in pagan rites to symbolize the fertility and durability of harvest in the Viking era.
Like in Norway and Finland, it is believed that if a girl picks 7 different flowers in silence of the midsummer night and puts them underneath her pillow, she will dream of her future husband.
Another tradition on Swedish Midsummer is to end it with a skinny dip at night. It’s not mandatory to be naked, but many swim completely naked accompanied with a partner after a couple sips of schnapps!
In 2019, traditions and iconography from Swedish folklore were displayed in the much talked about Midsommar film. Dubbed the most haunting horror film of the year, director Ari Aster filmed a terrifying tale of a creepy Swedish Midsommar feast. Sadly, actress Florence Pugh was never given the opportunity to indulge in a slice of Jordgubbstårta. For shame!
Travel To Sweden by Baking Midsommar Jordgubbstårta at Home
I love traveling to Europe!
During my first visit to the continent I traveled for 5 months by train and plane. I had the opportunity to eat my way through Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, Holland, Russia, Estonia, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Bosnia, Hungary, Slovakia, Greece, Turkey and Italy.
My fondest food memory of Sweden is the country’s curiosity for cakes! I was in Goteborg on Midsommar, instantly falling in love with Jordgubbstårta thanks to all the local bakeries selling thick slices.
What I found most fascinating was my encounter with Smörgåstårta, a traditional savoury Swedish sandwich cake. I didn’t even know sandwich cake existed in the world so what a pleasant surprise! The Swedes brilliantly came up with the idea of layering slices of bread between fillings like egg salad, chicken salad and smoked salmon. The savoury sandwich cake is then adorned with mayonnaise and cream cheese “icing” and topped with whimsical vegetables and herbs.
Once back home from a Scandinavian holiday you’ll have a newfound appreciation for the flavours of Sweden and can impress friends and family by making your very own homemade Jordgubbstårta!
My Family Loves Midsommar Jordgubbstårta
After encountering Jordgubbstårta on a visit to Sweden during Midsommar I thought I should introduce the dessert to my family.
I knew my family would rave for Jordgubbstårta because they love crunchy and chewy meringue, fluffy whipped cream and juicy summer strawberries.
In the morning I whipped up the meringue and baked them slowly in the oven until perfectly crunchy and chewy. In the afternoon I sliced a mountain of fresh Ontario strawberries and got my egg beaters out to fluff up a bowl of whipped cream.
Just before dinner I assembled the Swedish Strawberry Meringue Cake, featuring layers of meringue, whipped cream and sliced strawberries. I stored the cake in the fridge and surprised everyone at the table once I unveiled it as the evenings show-stopping dessert!
The cake layers for our Jordgubbstårta are made of gluten free meringue. If it’s your first time baking homemade meringue here are some tips:
- Use Older Eggs: Older eggs actually produce fluffier and higher meringues. A simple trick to test how old your eggs are is by gently placing an uncracked egg in a glass of water. If it stands up on its end, it’s gonna be great for meringue.
- Bring Eggs To Room Temperature: Separate the whites from the yolks while the eggs are still cold from the fridge. Let the whites stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before beating. This will help you whip your eggs to lofty heights.
- Use a Clean Bowl: Place whites in a clean metal or glass mixing bowl. Even a drop of fat from the egg yolk or greasy residue sometimes found on plastic bowls can prevent egg whites from foaming.
- Stabilize: If the egg whites aren’t foaming to your liking you can add a little cream of tartar or fresh lemon juice. Both are acids that help stiffen egg whites.
- Take Your Time: As you beat, don’t rush adding the sugar. The slower you add your sugar, the better it’ll dissolve into the whipped whites.
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Whipped Cream Tips
The filling for our Jordgubbstårta is made of flavoured whipped cream. If it’s your first time making homemade whipped cream here are some tips:
- Chilled Whipping Cream: cold cream whips up the quickest and lightest; chilling the bowl and whisk or beaters for at least 15 minutes before whipping the cream is also helpful.
- Use a Large Chilled Bowl: a stainless steel mixing bowl with egg beaters works best but you can also use a stand mixer or egg beaters. Cream whips up to at least 3 times its volume (so 1 cup cream will yield about 3 cups whipped cream), and it tends to splatter quite a bit while being whipped, so be sure to use a very large bowl.
- Start Slow: whipping the cream slowly will limit the amount of splattering.
- Add Flavourings: once the whipped cream starts to thicken add flavourings like sugar, spices or extracts.
- Increase the Speed: once flavours are incorporated whip, whisk, or beat the cream until it forms soft peaks.
- Avoid Over Whipping: perfect whipped cream dollops nicely and maintains a smooth, creamy texture; cream beaten to stiff peaks starts getting a slightly grainy texture and can quickly separate into butter and buttermilk if over-beaten.
When To Serve With Jordgubbstårta Cake
While Jordgubbstårta is traditionally served during Midsommar we love this gluten free cake so much we make it year round.
Jordgubbstårta is an eye-catching dessert perfect for celebrating special occasions like birthdays, Mother’s Day, baby showers and bridal showers.
The white and red colouring also makes it a perfect Canada Day desert. Add a few blueberries and impress guests with your “red, white and blue patriotic July 4th dessert table.
What To Serve With Swedish Jordgubbstårta Cake
Swedish Strawberry Cake is best enjoyed as a slice on its own.
If you’re enjoying the cake in the evening after dinner pair it with a pot of tea or coffee. If you’re serving Jordgubbstårta at a summer barbecue or luncheon it pars nicely with a Swedish strawberry rhubarb cider.
If you’re feeling truly decadent, we sometimes serve Swedish Strawberry Meringue Cake with lemon curd or vanilla and strawberry ice cream.
How To Store Jordgubbstårta Swedish Midsommar Cake
Since Swedish Midsommar Cake is made of whipped cream it can easily melt at warm temperatures. As soon as you finish assembling the cake store it in the fridge to keep cool.
You can store leftover Jordgubbstårta in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
How To Make The Best Midsommar Jordgubbstårta Recipe
Jordgubbstårta Swedish Strawberry Meringue Cake
- Baking sheets
- Parchment Paper
- Mixing bowls
- Egg beaters
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- 8 Egg whites
- 1 1/8 cup White sugar
- 1 pinch Kosher salt
- 3 tbsp Cornstarch
- 1/2 cup Almond Flour
- 1 tsp Ground cardamom
- 3 quarts Strawberries
- 4 tbsp White sugar
- 1 quart Whipping cream
- 1/2 tsp Ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 cup Cream cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper; trace 5 8-inch circles on the sheets of paper and grease the sheets with butter and flour.
- In a large mixing bowl with electric egg beaters whip egg whites until they form gentle peaks. Add the sugar gradually, ¼ cup at a time, and the salt, and beat at high speed until the egg whites form stiff and glossy peaks. Gently fold in the cornstarch, almond flour and cardamom.
- Divide the pillowy meringue evenly among the five circles, and spread them to fit inside the circles, making sure that the layers are even.
- Place baking sheets in the oven, immediately reducing the heat to 250 F. Bake for 25 minutes, then reduce the heat further to 200 degrees and bake for an additional 2 hours.
- Turn off oven. Leave baking sheets in the oven until they reach room temperature. This prevents the meringue from cracking.
- Stem and slice the strawberries. Sprinkle 1 tbsp sugar over the sliced strawberries.
- In a large, chilled bowl, combine the whipping cream, remaining sugar, vanilla extract and cardamom. Beat until holding soft peaks. Add softened cream cheese and beat into the whipping cream.
- Place 1 layer of meringue cake on a plate. Top with whipped cream, ¼ of the strawberries, more whipped cream, and another layer of cake. Repeat. Frost the top layer with the last of the whipped cream and the reserved whole strawberries.
- Serve immediately if you want crisp layers. For a softer texture serve a couple of hours after assembly.
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