Bologna to Bolognese: Adventures With Food

Food is necessary. Food is fun. Food is an adventure!

My name is Shannon and this is my adventure, my love affair with food.

I hope you'll come along for the ride.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Simple Sugar Cake


As I said in last weeks blog I had a plan for my beautiful bounty of berries and here is part two, a delicious and simple cake from the Finnish coffee table. Let me explain a bit before I go forward. In Finland taking coffee with a friend is nothing like stopping by your local coffee joint and grabbing a cup of joe to go. It's much more personal. When someone comes for coffee you lay the table with good cups and saucers, prettily folded napkins, plates, spoons and platters of goodies. Even at it's least formal "coffee" is a sit down affair. I remember my host mother's friend coming to coffee many times and she never arrived empty handed. She always brought a little something for her hostess and my host mother always had a table laid out with cookies or pulla or some other treat to enjoy with their coffee and conversation. Beatrice Ojakangas explains it beautifully in her book "The Finnish Cookbook" and it is from that same book that today's recipe harkens.

The first time I had this mildly sweet baked good I wasn't sure what to make of it. It looked more like blondies than cake to me and it wasn't nearly as sweet. However I was won over after the first bite. The simple "Sokerikakku" or "Sugar Cake" batter can be paired with any fruit making it the star and providing a delicious and unobtrusive backdrop. Since I have an abundance of blackberries I altered Ojakangas's recipe for Apple Sugar Cake or Omena Sokerikakku (found on p. 55 of "The Finnish Cookbook") to fit my needs. So here you have it Berry Sugar Cake or Marja Sokerikakku!

Berry Sugar Cake - Marja Sokerikakku


1/4 c butter (at room temperature)
1 c sugar
2 eggs
2 cups sifted all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
dash salt
3/4 cup light cream (milk will do if you don't have cream on hand)
1 tbsp vanilla
2 c fresh berries of your choice


Cream together butter and sugar. Add the eggs and combine well. Sift the dry ingredients and add alternately with the cream. Add the vanilla. Mix well until the batter is smooth. Pour into a well greased 9x13 pan and top with the fruit spreading it as evenly as possible over the batter. Bake in a 350 degree (F) oven for 50 minutes or until top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Make sure to not stick it in an area with lots of berries.) Allow to cool before serving.

This is wonderful served with vanilla cream which is not easily found in the states to my knowledge. Basically it is heavy cream infused with vanilla and sweetened. I have not, but I imagine you could make this by warming some heavy cream on the stove with part of a vanilla pod or just some good vanilla in it and some sugar. Heat the cream until the sugar dissolves and remove it from the heat. Then serve chilled over the cake. You could also make whipped cream and of course that would be fantastic as well.


  1. I am absolutely making this for my boys tomorrow! Yummy!