Recipe: Swedish love cake, or Kärleksmums

A little over a year ago I started learning Norwegian, so I’ve taken an interest in all things Scandinavian ever since. With Valentine’s Day approaching, and my friends at work in need of a little cheer up, I decided to make a Kärleksmums cake, also known as a Swedish love cake. It’s a surprisingly easy bake, but a delicious and incredibly light one to share with your one true love, or just your friends in the office.

Essentially, it’s a light chocolate sponge traybake, topped with a lovely fudgy chocolate, coffee and coconut sauce. It feels indulgent, but that’s only because it is. But, importantly for busy people, or people less confident in their ability to decorate a pretty cake, it’s just a slap it on and go kind of decoration, which I think we can all get on board with.

Recipe: Swedish love cake, or Kärleksmums

It’s not designed to win any beauty contests, but for a mid-morning pick me up, or a simple expression of love, it’s a winner!

I tend to bake my traybakes in a small roasting tin lined with baking parchment. My bakes in this tin are great for cutting into 15 pretty decent cake portions, so it’s good for feeding a crowd. Kärleksmums also freezes incredibly well. I know there are people who I won’t see for a while who also deserve a piece of cake, so I just wrap up a slice, pop it in a suitably sized plastic container and into the freezer it goes.

I’ve made chocolate cake traybakes before, but the coffee and coconut topping really elevates it from nice cake, to very, very nice cake.

Swedish love cake, or Kärleksmums

50g cocoa powder
100ml recently boiled water
100ml milk
200g butter or margarine, such as Stork
225g golden caster sugar
3 medium eggs
225g self raising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon of baking powder
A good pinch of salt

Recipe: Swedish love cake, or Kärleksmums

For the topping:
150g icing sugar
50g butter
1 large tablespoons of cocoa powder
½ teaspoon of vanilla essence
2 tablespoons of coffee granules
3 tablespoons of hot water
50g desiccated coconut, plus extra to sprinkle on top

How to make a Swedish love cake, or Kärleksmums:

Pre-heat your oven to 180°c and line your cake tin, or small roasting tin if you’re me.

Mix together the cocoa powder and hot water and leave to cool a little. Once it is cooler, add the milk to the cocoa mixture.

Using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one, taking care they are completely incorporated into the batter.

Sift the dry ingredients into a separate bowl – that’s the flour, a pinch of salt and the baking powder.

Add the flour and the milky cocoa mixture to the butter and sugar mixture, whilst beating the batter, taking care to ensure everything is well incorporated. As with all cakes, take care to make sure it’s all incorporated, but don’t over beat it.

Pour the batter into your lined tin and bake in the middle of the oven for approx. 20-25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. My over is a little on the slow side, so mine took 25 minutes.

Once baked, remove your Kärleksmums cake from the oven and leave to cool on a cake rack. While it is cooling, you can make your simple topping. The topping is ridiculously easy, you just put all the ingredients into a saucepan and warm gently, stirring regularly until it’s all combined and a lovely glossy sauce. Pour the topping over the cooled cake and sprinkle with a bit more desiccated coconut, or some other sprinkles if you like. It’s your cake, your rules!

Recipe: Swedish love cake, or Kärleksmums

Leave the topping to set in before serving. You can speed this up by popping it in the fridge if you’d like. Serve with a lovely pot of coffee. It doesn’t need anything else, but it would also be good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

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Recipe: Swedish love cake, or Kärleksmums