Swedish Midsummer Celebrations

Have you ever seen a group of people jumping like frogs around a leaf covered pole? You have?! Then you must have been visiting a Swedish midsummer party (or you have some weird channels on your tv). We know that it sounds like a strange tradition. It is. And we won’t be able to tell you the story behind these traditions, since we have absolutely no idea why we do it. It’s just … tradition. Normally we don’t take these things very serious, but this year we visited some close friends that had arranged everything. Even the pole and the frog dance. We had a blast. Dancing around the midsummer pole, making frog sounds, acting like our parents did when we were kids (and we swore that we would never do the same).

Swedish midsummer celebrations are a lot like our crayfish parties, except for the pole dancing. We cook, we eat, we drink, we sing. Instead of crayfish, most people eat pickled herring and small homegrown potatoes. We had prepared vegetable muffins, this time loaded with goat cheese, broccoli and olives. We also made a no-bake summer cake topped with freshly picked wild strawberries and blueberries. Here are a few photos from our midsummer, and if you scroll down you will also find the recipe for the cake.


Summer Berry Cake
Makes 1 big cake or 8 small

The crust in this cake has a very rich and sweet taste, so we kept the filling pretty natural with fruit and a fat yogurt. We love it like this, but if you have a sweet tooth you might want to add more honey to it. Also, if you won’t eat it immediately we recommend that you make edges on the crust that will keep the filling in place, since it might melt a bit after a while in the sun.

Crust:
300 g (2 cups) walnuts
10-12 fresh dates, pitted
2 tbsp coconut oil
a pinch of salt

Filling:
1 cup fresh (or frozen) summer berries, we used blueberries and wild strawberries
juice from 1/2 lemon
4-6 tbsp honey, agave syrup or maple syrup
2 cups
greek yogurt or quark
1 tsp cardamom

Topping:
1 cup fresh summer berries

Grind walnuts in a blender or a food processor for about a minute. Add dates, coconut oil and salt and run the processor until it all comes together. Flatten it out on the bottom of an 8-inch non-stick spring form or in small muffin cups. Store in the fridge while you make the filling.

Mash the berries for the filling slightly, add lemon juice and honey. If you use a thick yogurt or quark you can use it as it is, but if the yogurt feels too loose and runny you can strain it through a cloth or a coffee filter. Stir together the strained yogurt and the blended berries in a large bowl. Pour it on top of the crust in the spring form and put it in the freezer for around 30-45 minutes (you want it cold but not deep frozen) .

Top the cake with fresh seasonal berries. Serve immediately.

Ps. We recently got the “Sites We Love” award by Saveur Magazine! Read the interview here.

43 Comments

  • cathrine
    Hi! If i try to make this cake using quark, do I have to use full fat quark? Or would the lighter version work? :)
  • Giulia
    Hello nice family! I've started to follow your recipes two months ago and I must admit that I have to pop in it every day just to take a sight of what you're preparing :). I just have a question: do you think that this recipe would be healty for a diabetic person too? Marple sirup it's not too sweet at least but I would like to make it for a friend of mine who has got diabets! :) thank you and you are such a beautiful family. From Italy Giulia.
  • I have finally made this berry cake!:) I must admit it was a new experience for me, flavor wise. The cardamon gave off a savory taste but in a good way:) and I decided to omit the lemon juice just because I thought that the greek yoghurt was tangy enough:). Definitely a fulfilling and healthy snack!
  • The pictures looks amazing!Elsa is totally adorable:) I'll definitely be making the Summer Berry Cake it looks so good and even better cause it's healthy! What a fun looking tradition, I might have seen it on some movie before but I didn't even know that it was a Swedish tradition!:) so thanks for giving me clarity on that department.
  • Imola
    OMG, this recipe is incredible! I've just had this berry cake for dinner, and it was one of the best desserts I have ever had in my life, no kidding! I didn't have coconut oil so instead I made it with walnut oil, and I also had to replace the yogurt or quark with ricotta cheese, and it turned out to be delish! Luckily I have some leftovers in the fridge for tomorrow... or wait, maybe for tonight ;-)
  • Haru
    This cake is delicious! My mom is still raving about it, and calls it the most delicious dessert I've made, surpassing all desserts — even the chocolatey ones. I love that it doesn't require baking. And even though I don't like dates, I thought the crust was really yummy; as if it were made from dough rather than nuts. Thank you for your recipe! Sticking by an eggless diet at dessert time is now much easier… n.n
  • Isabella
    I found your blog on Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. I love your site, the food looks so delicious. Isabella http://sweetzenlife.blogspot.com/
  • Katrine
    Hej Lulle. Jeg har lige lavet denne kage på arbejdet, både i store og små udgaver og nøj hvor der blev spist...:-) Både personale og beboere var vilde med kagen. Knus fra Grønnehaven :-)
  • Tracy McGuire
    I am about to make this for my hubby's birthday cake, but we both don't like dates, could I replace those with raisins.
  • I just came across your blog yesterday, and absolutely had to make this right away. It's wonderful! Thank you for sharing the recipe.
  • Sini
    I made this cake for my birthday last weekend. It was a hot day so a non-oven cake was ideal. We all loved it. Thumbs up!
  • Hysterical! And wonderful! And charming! I loved this post and laughed out loud when I saw the adults tromping around the pole holding hands, laughing, and having such a good time. A huge congratulations on getting interviews by Saveur. I read it and it was a super piece. I'll keep dreaming over here...
  • What a treat of a post. I'm in love with the photo of the young woman in a flower crown, and, of course, the one of Elsa! She looks so sweet. Congratulations of Saveur, that's huge! And thank you so much for mentioning us.
  • We love your work, and thought this MidSummer party post was perfect to include in our Weekly Roundup blog today! Check it out here: http://bit.ly/qhvZ6D xo, the ladies of ThursdayNightDinner.org
  • How cute is Elsa - lika a swedish cinnamonbun! The cake looks like something I would love :)
  • Heavenly! I had no idea what the little red berries were - would have never guessed wild strawberries! We've got our 4th of July, but nothing that quite celebrates summer for its own sake.
  • The smultron look delicious! Our family id half Swedish but at the moment we live in the UK so its great to share your Swedish midsummer.
  • This party looks just wonderful. How I would have loved to be there. So whimsical, natural, rustic and sun-lit. I have a question about the cakes: If I make them in muffin cups, should I remove the base before adding the filling? Thank you! :)
  • The Swedish have it right - summer is DEAD here in France, nice to know I can make some Swedish midsummer fun over here thanks to your great recipe! Will be making this asap! Love the mix of raw food (crust) and a "normal" filling to lighten things up. Merci beaucoup and have a lovely summer!
    • PS Speaking of blueberries... I've had your "birthday blueberry smoothie" every day for breakfast this week (and may extend to every day this summer!) It's AMAZING - so simple yet so good and nutritious. It feels like my birthday every day! Thanks! :)

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