Swedish Visiting Cake

Made in just a few minutes, this Swedish Visiting Cake is meant to be shared over a cup of tea, and features fresh lemon and almond flavors. There is no better treat to share with a friend. 

An overhead shot of a swedish visiting cake, with two plates that have a slice of cake. Two mugs of coffee are also on the table.

I found this recipe in my beloved Dorie Greenspan book that I found my pie crust recipe in. Every baker should have it in their collection and I love the stories Dorie includes. This recipe came from her friend, whose Swedish mother would start to whip this up as soon as she saw a visitor coming up the driveway. By the time coffee or tea was ready – so was the cake!

Everyone I have shared Swedish Visiting Cake with, no matter the age, has loved the soft texture and the pop of lemon that brightens everything up. In other words, this citrus and almond combination is a winner every time.

The cover of a baking cookbook

This is the book that I am talking about. Run to the your local BN and buy one or hit up Amazon. You will be thanking me later. I promise you.

An overhead shot of the ingredients for Swedish Visiting Cake

Swedish Visiting Cake Ingredients //

Since Swedish Visiting Cake is meant to be an impromptu treat, this cake comes together in less than a half an hour and also has incredibly simple ingredients. All you need to gather is sugar, lemon zest, eggs, salt, vanilla, almond extract, flour, butter, and sliced almonds. It will go from bowl to oven in five minutes. You can’t get better than that!

How to Make // The Steps

Process shots for creating the batter for Swedish Visiting Cake

  1. In a medium bowl, combine your sugar and lemon zest by rubbing the zest and sugar between your fingers. Doing this releases the lemon oils, and makes the kitchen smell delicious right away! Meanwhile – preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Whisk in eggs one at a time, until smooth. 

3. Add the salt and extracts, whisking until smooth.

4. Using a spatula, fold in the flour, until combined.

5. Melt and fold in the butter.

6. Stir the swedish visiting cake batter until fully combined, and prepare your pan. Dorie’s recipe calls for a nine-inch cast iron skillet. Without one ready to go, I used a standard 9-inch cake pan. Though I greased it with a bit of butter, you can use parchment as well.

7. Add the batter to the pan. Sprinkle sliced almonds evenly across the top.

8. Bake the Swedish Visiting Cake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is golden and the edges have a nice crust. Remove from the oven and cool for about five minutes.

An overhead shot of unbaked swedish visiting cake, before it is put in the oven.

9. After that, take a knife and run it around the edge of the pan.

Overhead shot of a swedish visiting cake, with a knife out prepared to slice.

10. Swedish Visiting Cake can be served warm (and really is there anything more delicious than a warm cake?) or at room temperature.

A slice of swedish visiting cake, with two mugs and the larger cake in the background.

What makes this Swedish Visiting Cake so good? //

There are a few classic versions of this recipe, but I use this one because

  • Firstly, this recipe uses simple ingredients that are easy to find. This makes it accessible for bakers of all levels and ages.
  • Secondly, we can’t ignore the five minute prep time – which is almost non-existent for baked goods!
  • This bakes in less than 30 minutes, making it great for last-minute gatherings
  • Eaters of all ages LOVE this cake! Seriously!
  • In addition, it is served well
  • This recipe is super simple to make dairy or gluten free, needing only a few swaps.
A swedish visiting cake, with slices cut out and partially removed.

Serving and Storing Swedish Visiting Cake //

  • This is traditionally served warm with tea or coffee. I think lattes go really well with the lighter flavors, but a bergamot tea pairs really well.
  • If you prefer, baking this in a square pan can give you Swedish Visiting Cake bars, which are great for lunch boxes or a breakfast on-the-go. 
  • To store your Swedish Visiting Cake, cover with plastic wrap on the counter for up to three days. But, in my experience, it may not last that long!

More Cake Recipes //

A slice of swedish visiting cake, with two mugs and the larger cake in the background.

Swedish Visiting Cake

Yield: serves 6 to 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Made in just a few minutes, this Swedish Visiting Cake is meant to be shared over a cup of tea, and features fresh lemon and almond flavors. There is no better treat to share with a friend. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar (plus more more sprinkling on top right before baking)
  • grated zest of one lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 stick melted butter, cooled
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, add the lemon zest to the sugar. Rub the zest and sugar in between your fingers to release the oils, the sugar will start to smell delicious.
  2. Whisk in the eggs one at a time.
  3. Whisk in the salt and the extracts.
  4. Change to a spatula and stir in the flour.
  5. Fold in the butter.
  6. Stir until combined. Dorie makes her in a 9-inch cast iron skillet. I don’t have one so I used a regular 9-inch cake pan. I used a little of the melted butter to grease the pan.
  7. Pour the batter into the pan and top with the sliced almonds and a generous sprinkling of sugar.
  8. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes. It will be golden and the edges will have a nice crust.
  9. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 5 minutes and then take a knife and run it around the edge of the pan.
  10. This cake can be served warm (and really is there anything more delicious than a warm cake?) or at room temperature.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 298Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 176mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 1gSugar: 26gProtein: 4g

All information and tools presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Oh hey there!

Well, hello there! I’m Bree Hester, the Boston-based blogger and food photographer here at Baked Bree. Here you can get lots of weeknight meal inspiration, eat more plant-based meals, and still indulge in a decadent sweet treat. Baked Bree is a place where you will find great recipes and inspiration for your next family adventure.

raspberry orange pistachio ricotta cake slices on a wire rack

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This Post Has 67 Comments

  1. The Blue-Eyed Bakers

    Delicious! Lemon and almond are possibly one of our fave combos…we have a serious weakness for almond extract. This looks like such a superb simple cake…and we love the name!

  2. Dangler

    I’m with Baby Matthew on this one – that cake looks delish! Perfect with one of those amazing cappuccinos that Corey makes…mmmm. I want both of them & Baby Matthew right now!

    1. bakedbree

      I want a Corey Coffeehouse Special right now!

  3. Maria @ ScandiFoodie

    I’ve been meaning to order that book too and I think I’m convinced now! The cake looks absolutely heavenly, I must try this recipe! Thanks for sharing!

    1. bakedbree

      It is such a good book. It is rare that there are more things that I want to make vs. things that I don’t want to make in a cookbook. A favorite.

  4. healthy mamma

    Oh my goodness! I am going to have to give this one a try!
    Gorgeous baby btw!

    1. bakedbree

      Thank you, he is not mine, but I love him!! Isn’t he cute?

  5. Jiana

    Looks pretty!
    simple but delicious, I love that.
    I am going to cook that soon with your recipe.
    Just two stupid questions,
    Before fold in flour, how long do you whisk your wet mixture?
    Does the butter make cake soft and fluffy?
    Thank you!

    1. bakedbree

      no question is stupid, please ask away. You whisk until it comes together. This cake is more dense than light and fluffy. There is no leavening in it.

  6. Natalie (The Sweets Life)

    a pretty cake AND cute babies? love it!

    1. bakedbree

      isn’t he cute? Baby Matthew likes cake. Who can blame him?

  7. Julie

    Yummy- it’s in the oven right now! Can’t wait to eat it after dinner tonight! Thanks for another great recipe Bree. I love your blog!! 🙂

    1. bakedbree

      hope that you liked it as much as I did!

  8. operarose

    I just found your blog yesterday thanks to one of my twitter-friends tweeting one of your recipes, and I have since spent literally hours reading your recipes and posts getting some amazing ideas. Tonight I made your tandoori chicken burgers which were incredible, and I bought the ingredients for this recipe to try out tomorrow. I love almond, lemon, and vanilla, too, so I can’t wait to taste this!

    1. bakedbree

      I am so happy to hear that! I hope that you continue to read.

  9. Maria

    I don’t know why I haven’t made this one yet! Looks so good!

    1. bakedbree

      do yourself a favor and make it stat, I dream about this cake.

  10. brittany

    That looks delicious! I will definitely have to try it.

    As a side note, I love those ceramic measuring spoons. Would you mind sharing where you got them?

    1. bakedbree

      I got the colored spoons at World Market. Anthropologie has cute ones too.

  11. Stacy

    Made the cake last night and it is fantastic! I had a few blackberries that I tossed in, too. It’s hard to pass them up during this Southern summer. Love your posts as always.

    1. bakedbree

      That sounds so good Stacy! Blackberries are so good right now.

  12. corey

    Thanks so much for bringing this little gem over to our house! It really is a delicious little cake. Baby Matthew really couldn’t get enough of it. What a wonderful treat to have a sweet snack and wonderful friends to share it with.

    1. bakedbree

      my pleasure! we had so much fun drinking coffee and destroying your house!

  13. Sarah@buttered-up

    You got me sooo excited about this. Haha. I’ve never actually seen this Dorie recipe before and am super excited about it. It’s simple, fragrant and it looks like a lot more effort has gone into it. I think it’s just really nice comfortcake. Haha.

    1. bakedbree

      It truly is one of my most favorite things on the planet. Simple and elegant. I want some right now!

  14. Frances

    OMG! My friend Ursula who is a great baker brought this great named Swedish Visiting Cake to a gathering of long time friends last night. We ate it for dinner and then again for breakfast! I looks just like your picture and I was smiling like Baby Matthew! I can’t wait to surprise someone with it myself. Nice to meet you bakedbree.

    1. bakedbree

      Nice to meet you as well Frances. This is one of my all-time favorite treats. It is so easy to make too.

  15. RLynn

    I just made this last night for some surprise visitors–I used slivered instead of sliced almonds. A HUGE hit–thanks so much!

    1. bakedbree

      I haven’t made this in so long, I need to make this soon, I love this cake.

  16. Meghan

    I spent the first few years of my life in Sweden, and while I have never been a big dessert lover, this cake is the exception. I, however, have never made it. Thanks for the recipe – looks perfect for an Easter weekend dessert!

    1. bakedbree

      I love this cake, it is so easy to make, and perfect for any time of day.

  17. Amy

    Just made this for guests this morning, not because they were unexpected but because my house still smelled like last night’s curry. I didn’t have the almond extract and had to chop up some almonds for the top. But still delicious. I’ll be making it again.

    1. bakedbree

      I make this cake all the time, I love it so much. Sometimes I add fruit and it is so good.

  18. gemma

    I’m a sucker for anything almond and lemon, this recipe looks perfect! Just the right thing to satisfy my craving. May I ask where you got your wonderful plates from (the white one, in the top photo)? Also wanted to say how much I adore your blog, it really brightens my day!

    1. bakedbree

      I think that plate came from Homegoods? I just saw plates like them in Ikea of all places. Thank you for the kind words about my blog, I appreciate it! These comments brighten my day!

      1. gemma

        Thanks! 🙂

  19. Kay

    I love the sound of this as it looks very similar to one they serve in the restaurant at IKEA! I’ve always loved its tasty simplicity.
    Just one question – what weight is a ‘stick’ of butter? It’s not term we are familiar with in the UK.

    1. bakedbree

      4 ounces or 1/2 cup.

      1. Kay

        Thank you!

  20. Jenny

    I am not a big fan of lemon, but love almond and this recipe looks so delicious. Can I skip the lemon zest, or will that effect the texture of the cake? Thanks!

    1. bakedbree

      It should be fine if you leave it out.

  21. Carol Van Alen

    I have been making a slight variation of this cake for nearly 50 years and if I had a dime (as the saying goes) for every one I’ve baked I would be rich indeed! Everyone loves it and wants more!

    1. bakedbree

      It’s the best, and so easy to make.

  22. Marcy

    Hi, Just made this cake for my daughter, she requested it for her 17th birthday!I have made it several times since I met you in person at Ft Leavenworth, KS ! You prepared this recipe for us at the hunting lodge at night – lucky group of folks! Your website is amazing, thanks for sharing all your tips, and ideas! Hope you and your family are well!

    1. bakedbree

      Hello Marcy! I love this cake so much. I’ve made it hundreds of times and it is always perfect. Thank you so much for your sweet words.

  23. Jen

    This looks fantastic! Do you think I could make it into little cupcakes instead of one cake? If so, any suggestions/advice? Thank you!

    1. bakedbree

      I’ve never made it that way, but I’m sure you could try it and see it.

  24. Tricia

    I’m a long time fan of Dorie G, and have owned The Book for years (and love everything in it), but I’d never made Swedish Visiting Cake until yesterday. WOW is it good! And the more you eat of it, the better it tastes! I was a little concerned about the height/flatness, but I see by your pictures that that’s the way it should be. I was wondering if I should use a hand mixer, just for a minute, to add the eggs… I’ll definitely make this again, maybe for Easter brunch.
    Thanks for sharing!

  25. Sherri

    I made this with 2/3 cup regular flour and 1/3 cup almond flour, mixed in cardamom and ginger as well as the vanilla extract and almond extract and used about 20% less sugar. Turned out great! This is a fantastic, easy recipe! Thank you for sharing this with us!

    1. bakedbree

      Thanks for sharing.

  26. Sherri

    I tried another variation that worked perfectly (I love this recipe, so I am experimenting with variations). I used both orange and lemon peel, but again only 80% of the sugar (4/5 cup). I used 1/3 cup all purpose flour, 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour, and 1/3 cup almond flour, blending them gently by hand before adding them to the peel/sugar/egg/salt/extract mix. I added in 1/4 teaspoon (yup, a really small amount) of baking powder because I was concerned that the almond flour and whole wheat pastry flour would make the cake too flat. And because I had some dried fruit on hand, I diced (tiny dice) dried apricots (about 4) and dried pears (3 slices, peel and core remnants removed), dusted them in flour to prevent them from sinking, and mixed them into the batter. The result was really yummy! Thank you again for sharing the original recipe. I purchased Dorie’s “Baking” cookbook after trying it.

  27. Stephanie Brady

    I made this recipe for the first time today. I only had sugar in the raw, and no lemon. However, it came out beautifully!!

    1. bakedbree

      Glad you liked it.

  28. Patty

    Hello,
    I’d like to know if I can make this cake without the almond extract and only use the vanilla and of course the lemon. Do you think it would have enough flavor this way. Please email me with your answer. I’d appreciate it very much.
    Thank you,
    Patty

    1. bakedbree

      You can, but this is an almond-flavored cake.

  29. Erika A.

    I’ve made this cake twice in one week now; first using the original recipe (except for 20% less sugar), and the second time adding tiny pinches of nutmeg and ginger. I like it both ways and have to say the cake is just as good the second and third day after it’s baked (I had the last piece for breakfast two days later). The lemon zest is crucial for me because it counterbalances the sweetness of the cake just enough.I love how simple it is to make, but how delicious the result is! Thanks for the recipe…it will be in my regular rotation even when I’m not visiting and it’s only for me and my family.

    1. Bree Hester

      I’m so glad that you like it so much, it is one of my favorites. Just a word of caution, when you are playing with ratios of sugar in recipes, it can often alter the outcome. The sugar provides structure and is what makes the crumb in the cake. I totally get wanting to reduce sugar, but just know that the cake will not be the same in the end.

  30. MRM

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe! I’ve made this several times now and it’s always a huge hit. I tried making it gluten free last night by substituting almond flour and adding one extra egg. The consistency was slightly custard-ish but still very good. Thank you again!

    1. Bree Hester

      I would try using a cup for cup instead of almond flour in this recipe. But it’s one of my favorites, I make it all the time.

  31. Lynnette Massengill

    This looks delicious! To make it dairy free would it be better with almond milk or coconut milk. I always share with my daughter and she can’t have dairy products. Thank you!

    1. Bree Hester

      I’d go with almond since everything else is almond.

  32. Kim

    Do you think it would also bake well in a ceramic loaf container? I don’t have any of the circular pans right now.

    1. Bree Hester

      It might? Honestly, I’ve never tried it. It doesn’t have any leavener so it isn’t really going to puff up. It might be dense.

  33. Betsy

    Hello. I have made this cake once before and it was delicious! I am about to make 2 to take to a family gathering. The trip is a couple of days away so I’m wondering if I can freeze this after baking? Thank you.

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