Smörgåstårta – Savory Rye Sandwich Cake


Hey friends and happy midsummer! We spent midsummer eve at a friends house, dancing like frogs around a flower covered midsummer pole. It’s one of many weird traditions that we do in Sweden on this longest day of the year. Today we are off to Noma (as in one of the coolest restaurants on earth) to test their new plant focused menu that is launching next week. We’re very excited – obviously for Noma, but also for eating a fancy dinner together with zero kids around. Before we are leaving, I wanted to post this little recipe that we uploaded to our youtube a few days ago.

Just like frog dance, this savory layered sandwich cake is also a very Swedish thing. It is called smörgåstårta and is traditionally made by layering white bread with mayonnaise, creme cheese, whipped cream, dill, chives, shrimps, salmon and a bunch of other stuff. It’s basically like a sandwich gone wild. Even if we are not completely sold on the very heavy traditional version, there is something intriguing about the concept of a sandwich cake. So we made our own version, using rye bread and three colorful and fresh (but still quite rich) spreads in between. One green spread with avocado, dill and peas. One white spread with egg, sauerkraut and creme fraiche. And one purple spread with beans, beetroot and sunflower seeds. We cover it with cream cheese with a sting of horseradish and lots of finely sliced veggies and flowers. It looks great, is fun to make and really delicious. Sandwich cake FTW!

Check out this recipe video to see how we make it.

This is the perfect savory dish to make for a party, brunch or gathering with friends. You can easily half the recipe or make it vegan by skipping the egg layer and replacing the cream cheese with coconut cream. If you want to try a gluten-free version of this cake you could either simply use a gluten free bread, or bake 4 trays of our vegetable flatbreads (this option is a little time consuming but would probably taste amazing).


Smörgåstårta (Savory Rye Sandwich Cake)
Serves 12-16

Green Spread
300 g / 2 cups cup green peas
1 small lemon, juice
1 bunch dill, chopped
2 avocados, flesh scooped out
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large pinch salt

White Spread
6 hard-boiled eggs
250 g / 1 cup creme fraice or sour cream
2 tbsp capers
4 tbsp sauerkraut
a pinch black pepper

Purple Spread
1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked for an hour in water
1 x 400 g tin white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cooked beetroots, roughly chopped
1 small lemon, juice
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

36 slices of sourdough rye bread (or bread of choice), thinly sliced
500 g cream cheese
1 tbsp grated horseradish

1 avocado, sliced or shaped into a rose
1/2 cucumber, sliced thinly
1 small bunch of asparagus, thinly shaved
1 lemon, halved and thinly sliced
mache lettuce
chives, finely chopped

Start by making the spreads. Add all the ingredients for the green spread to a food processor and mix until smooth (or use a bowl and a hand blender). Taste and adjust the flavour to your liking. Transfer to a bowl and clean the food processor.

For the white spread, peel and roughly chop the eggs, place in a bowl and gently stir through crème fraiche, capers, sauerkraut and a little black pepper. Set aside.

Drain and rinse the sunflower seeds for the purple spreads and add them to the food processor (or use bowl and hand blender) along with beans, beetroot, lemon juice, olive oil and a good grind of salt and pepper. Pulse a couple of times until combined but still a little chunky.

To assemble: Trim any hard ends off the bread and line up the rye slices so you have a rectangle, 3 slices wide and 3 slices long. Spread the green spread evenly on top and then place another layer of bread. Now layer they white spread evenly on top. Place another layer of bread, followed by the purple spread. Place the final 9 slices of rye on top. Add cream cheese to a mixing bowl and grate in the horseradish. Whisk to make sure it’s incorporated, taste and add more if desired. Use a palette style knife to cover the cake with a layer of cream cheese. Decorate with an avocado rose, ribbons of cucumber, shaved asparagus, machet lettuce, slices of lemons, chives and flowers. Or whatever you think looks good.

Tip: You can make this cake 12-24 hours ahead and store in the fridge to let the spreads soak into the bread and soften it up a bit. Then add the cream cheese and decorations right before serving.


  • Great Post!! Absolutely amazing.
  • It's good for vegetarian like me. I will try to make it but with smaller size, not big like yours. Too big :)
  • camilla
    Hi, can you tell me what the size is of your cake? I need to figure out of the amounts in this recipe are correct for the size of cake I'm going to make based on the sourdough rye bread that is available in my country. Love the colours!
  • That is such a delicious savory alternative! And how was Noma?
  • Ariana
    This is such a unique, beautiful idea! I’m totally sold on making a savory sandwich cake for our next gathering. <3
  • Absolutely gorgeous! My Danish husband would love this, especially the vegetarian style. Love
  • Leif Ostberg
    Interesting, but you seem to miss the point completely, that this is a seafood-centric dish.
    • Haha, yes it traditionally is centered around shrimps and salmon. But as we are showing, it can also be a vegetable focused dish ;) /David
  • Dana
    Hi Luise and David! I wasn’t sure where to leave this comment, so I figured I would try here. Hopefully y’all will see it. I’m a fan of your food and cookbooks and I think it would be fabulous if you ever considered making a book all about fermenting foods. It seems like you have a lot of recipes up your sleeve that I would love to be a part of :) Just a thought...Thanks!
    • Hi Dana, good idea. It's true that we (and especially Luise) are very into all kinds of fermented food so we will definitely make something more of it (wether it's a book or something else). /David
  • Hannah
    This is amazing...SO AMAZING! Also, the video is superb and the music is lovely :)
  • What a beautiful take on a Swedish classic! I will definitely be making this soon! Sounds like you had a wonderful midsummer!
  • Shelley Fisher
    Do you suppose it would work if I made this with your flatbreads, broccoli, beet and cauliflower?
    • Hi Shelley, yes I think I mentioned in the post that it would be excellent with the flatbreads. We were actually considering doing that for this one but decided that it was much easier to buy rye bread than to bake four trays of flatbread. But if you are up for the task, I think it will be amazing. Probably even better than rye bread since the flatbreads are so so soft and flavorful. Go for it! /David
  • Love the idea of a savory sandwich cake -- this would be so cool to serve at a party!
  • Sasha
    I made one of these for Mother's Day this year - I made my own bread in a cake tin which gave it that fun cake shape:). I read a tip online to include something crunchy in each layer to avoid the whole thing being too mooshy, and that was excellent advice.
  • SuryaSmiles
    This is absolutely gorgeous! I’ll have to create a vegan version, won’t be difficult!
  • Emma
    Wow wow wow such an impressive savory cake! Would love to make this for my next birthday dinner. Super cute video as well.
  • That video is cute and that cake looks gorgeous. I have never heard of this cake but I am inspired to give it a try. Enjoy at Noma :)
  • Turan
    Wow, next level "voileipäkakku" as we call it. I have to try this sometime.
  • Sounds like an awesome midsummer eve celebration! The rye bread cake looks incredible! ❤️✨ Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
  • This is such a fab idea!!!! And I love the video so much! You guys are always inspiring!Enjoy Noma x
  • Oh i de this years ago when my sister lived in Gothenburg and had totally forgotten about it. It will definitely make an appearance at my next summer BBQ !!

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