A cake that smells like Christmas

Nov 30, 2017

“Krydderkake”, as it’s called in Norwegian, translates to “spiced cake” and is a juicy cake filled with lots of warming holiday spices like cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom and all spice.  The cake is a welcome change to all the cookies we typically see on tables this time of year.

This is a very simple cake presented without fuss.  Typically it’s just sprinkled with powdered sugar or sometimes a light confectioners glaze .  Many people forget about krydderkake, which is a shame really, as there is nothing quite as delightful and satisfying as having a slice of this cake with a cup of coffee or tea, or even a glass of gløgg, especially on dark, cold winter nights.

Krydderkake have been made for generations in Norway, some have raisins and a variety of spices in them, as with most other recipes – the cake ingredients vary from family to family.
What they do have in common are heaps of flavor that brings out a smile on people’s faces as soon as they bite into it. Thought of as festive and decadent despite its modest look, it’s a staple in many homes and a sign that Christmas is here.

Another great feature about this cake is that it’s just as appropriate on a festive table during Christmas as it is as a packed lunch or snack if you’re going hiking.  Perfect for a Sunday afternoon snack or when you are inviting people over for a dinner party.

Many people call it the ‘lazy man’s cake’, because it’s just so simple to put together, and I have to agree.  Make this for when you want to entertain, but really don’t feel like going all out in the kitchen yet still want to impress!

Whereas the classic recipe calls for eggs, I decided to replace them with homemade applesauce, thinking that apples are such a wonderful companion to all the previously names holiday spices. It gives the cake a really juicy texture, and you don’t have to worry about the cholesterol and saturated fat in the eggs, but I’ve added back some fat in form of a generous amount of vegan butter.

A cake like this makes both your body and soul feel happy.  Don’t think twice about attempting this one!


1 stick plus 1 tbsp (150 grams) vegan butter

1 1/2 cup  (300 grams) brown sugar (packed)

2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup (180ml)  applesauce

8 1/2 oz (400 ml) all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground cardamom

1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 cup (55 grams) chopped walnuts (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350F (180 degrees Celcius).  Prepare a loaf pan by lining it with parchment paper

Place butter, sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip until light and fluffy.  Gradually add the applesauce and combine well.   Add the rest of the ingredients and make sure they are well integrated.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake the cake for about 60 minutes.  Check the cake half way through, if it starts to get dark on the top, cover it with a little parchment paper.  Cake is done when a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack before removing it from the pan and sprinkle with a little confectioner’s sugar if you wish.

(You can also bake this in a 13 x 9 inch baking pan or even a 9 or 10 inch cake pan, for a a different shape. I would reduce the baking time to 40 minutes or so. )




  1. veganmom7

    Wow! This looks amazing and easy! I’ll have to try it!

    • Sunny

      Thank you, I’m scared to have it in my kitchen! Definitely worth a try, thanks for stopping by! xo

  2. Andy

    That looks great

  3. Sunny

    Thank you, Andy!

  4. Joan

    Are you familiar with a Norwegian dessert that has a lower crust, pudding of some sort in the middle and a slivered almond crust for the topping… Had it at a Sons of Norway party recently. It was delicious and I was told a favoite in Norway.

  5. Sandra Tatsuno

    So happy to have found your blog, this recipe! Having grown up in a Scandinavian home (Norwegian mother Swedish father) I was treated to so many yummy baked goods, especially come Christmas! Unfortunately, the one recipe my mom didn’t share with me was her krydderkake recipe. I do remember her adding eggs and maybe milk? Just a little apprehensive about the lack of liquid, reduced rise. Your cake looks delicious, not quite as high as my mom’s cake/traditional loaf cake, but nice and gooey. Yum! As for the parchment lining. Never used it to line a loaf pan before. Did you cut separate pieces to line bottom and sides, or just press down a single sheet into the pan, (trimmed) folds and all? Thanks so much! Can’t wait to make this today!
    God Jul!

    • Sunny

      Hi Sandra, thanks so much for your message and so glad you found my blog too! Yes the original does include eggs, but if you notice my blog is vegan and I don’t add any animal products in my food. Not to worry, I use applesauce in place of eggs and the cake is plenty juicy. And yes, I just cut the sheet of parchment and press it down into the pan and let some hangover the edges. This just makes for easy removal of the cake. Happy baking and god jul to to you too! Sunny


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