Guest post: Gluten-free Smörgåstårta (Swedish “sandwich cake”)

Guest post and all photos by Ingvar Mattsson.

Today, I am guest-cooking gluten-free food from Sweden. Call me whatever you want, as long as you don’t call me GlutenFreeSwedishChef…

[The Gluten-Free Southern Cook would never suggest such a thing! ;)]

The Muppets' Swedish Chef with gluten free symbols on his apron and hat

Not the man the GFSC married, no. *shudder*

So, smörgåstårta (literally “sandwich cake”) is a somewhat popular Swedish dish, normally served at gatherings and parties, but sometimes enjoyed just for itself.

In Sweden, of course, you can buy these ready-made, but it’s not difficult to make at home, as long as you’re willing to do the work.

All ingredients still in packages, laid out

First, take bread (I used Genius gluten-free bread, as it has a good texture) and decide what size you want the end result. I went for a 2×2 base and 3 layers. Trim your bread slices to be roughly square and lay out the base layer.

Four slices of bread with the crusts cut off, laid in a square on a plate


If at all possible, trim and polish the bread for the rest of the layers, since you’ll (probably) be cutting pickles and wetting the cutting board.

Stacks of bread with the crusts cut off

You will be left with quite a lot of bread crust and maybe some bread arc things. We’ll be using some of that for decorations, later on.

Crusts and scraps of bread

Next, cover the base with the goop of the first layer. I’m using a spreadable cream-cheese with garlic here.

The layer of bread, spread with cream cheese

Chop some sun-dried tomatoes, and spread over the cheese.

Wedges of sundried tomato, on a cutting board

After that, slice up some [Spanish — GFSC] chorizo (I used pre-cut slices and then cut them in strips) and generously pile it over the cake layer.
Sliced Spanish chorizo on top of the cream cheese spread bread

Next, a second layer of bread (4 trimmed slices, as before). This time, I used herb-infused soft cheese.

The second layer of bread placed on top of previous layers, spread with more cream cheese

I then chopped some capers and distributed across the cheese, sliced a bunch of olives (green olives with pesto and green olives with some sort of pepper-fruit, exact type of olives is not super-important).

With a sprinking of capers added

And some sliced olives

After that, I treated some Milano salami the same was as the chorizo (cut sliced salami into thin strips, distribute over the olives). I cut the salami into thinner slices, but that isn’t necessary, just convenient.

A layer of sliced salami is added

After that, some Edam (not pictured), a third layer of bread and some mayonnaise and mustard mixed together.

Another layer of bread added on top, spread with mustard and mayonnaise

On top of that, two (thin) slices of smoked ham and a bit more mayonnaise.

A layer of ham on top, spread with mayonnaise

After that, it’s just a question of adding the decorations on top. I polished the crust off 6 “tops” and arranged around the edges, then used the remainder of the herby and garlicky soft cheese as “icing” around the top and sides. The mayonnaise on the ham helps keeping things in position.

Half-decorated sandwich cake, as described above

After that, I cut a cherry tomato into eight segments, put one in the “middle” of each top side and one in each corner, then put black olives cut in half beside them.

Sandwich cake with halved black olives and thin wedges of cherry tomato around the edges, on top of the cream cheese icing

I finished off with some jalapeño-stuffed green olives cut “diagonally” placed between the black olives and some strips of ham “curled” in the centre (that’s just strips of ham, folded over and placed down, but gives an interesting visual texture to the result).

With folded-over strips of ham arranged in the middle almost like fish scales

As a finishing touch, some salt-pickled cucumber sliced into thin roundels distributed over the ham.

The sandwich cake is all finished!

[All done! And delicious in a very, very rich way. Hopefully, I will get more of the Thanksgiving dinner posted soon. — GFSC]

ETA: Of course, you can use any kinds of sandwich fillings you want for this. You could even do it this way, if you like. 😉

Superior Smörgåscake – Regular Ordinary Swedish Meal Time

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