Kladdkaka is a famous Swedish chocolate cake also known as the Swedish sticky cake. If you’re looking for a sticky and gooey chocolate cake, this is what you want. Ready in less than 30 minutes, this Swedish cake is perfect to quickly fix a chocolate craving without too much effort or kitchen equipment. You just need a bowl and a fork.
Kladdkaka is a very easy Swedish cake recipe. You obviously need an oven for it, but as for other equipment, it’s rather basic. All you need to do is to lightly whisk the ingredients with a fork, pour the batter into a pan and bake. The use of a hand mixer is not necessary, and not recommended either!
What’s so special about this cake is its unique texture. The name derives from the Swedish word kladdig which means sticky, messy. Kladdkaka means sticky cake – or messy cake. Uncut, it looks like a rather harmless low chocolate cake. But cut out a slice and you will understand its name. Under that slightly crispy skin kladdkaka hides a unique ooey gooey texture.
The Swedish chocolate cake
Kladdkaka is most likely one of the most famous Swedish cakes. Number one is probably Princesstårta (here as mini-prinsesstårta), a scrumptious sponge cake filled with whipped cream and covered in green marzipan. But the Swedish chocolate cake kladdkaka makes a close second.
In fact, prinsesstårta is more of a festive cake. It’s the kind of cake you buy for a birthday or some other sort of celebration. Kladdkaka, instead, is an everyday cake. Nobody whips up a complicated layered cake covered in marzipan to fix a quick craving. But kladdkaka comes together in 20 minutes. And tastes like chocolate. Actually, I think who tops the podium of Swedish cakes is in fact kladdkaka! Move over, princess cake!
A chocolate cake ready in less than 30 minutes that does not require an electric mixer. How do you like the sound of that? Here’s what you will need to make it:
- Cocoa powder
- Vanilla extract
- A pinch of salt.
As for the equipment, you just need a bowl and a fork. Well, and an oven, of course.
Step by step instructions
- Crack the eggs in a bowl and add the sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Whisk with a fork until homogeneous, 2-3 minutes.
- Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the egg mixture and start whisking by hand using the same fork.
- In the meantime, melt the butter. Then pour the melted butter into the mixture and stir until homogeneous.
- Do not overmix. As soon as the mixture is homogeneous, there is no need for extra stirring. You could use a hand mixer at low speed, but it’s not recommended.
- Transfer the cake batter to a springform pan (24 cm diameter) lined with baking paper.
- Bake in the preheated oven at 200°C (390°F) for 17 minutes, or until the sides look set but the centre is still wobbly.
- Take the cake out of the oven and let it set for 5 minutes before removing it from the pan. It should firm up just lightly.
- Top with a dusting of powdered sugar and serve it with some unsweetened whipped cream on the side (optional, but this is the traditional way of serving it).
Is kladdkaka a brownie?
To some extent, kladdkaka resembles a brownie. Yet, it’s not quite the same thing. First of all, brownies are square, baked in a rectangular sheet pan. Kladdkaka is always baked in a round cake pan, and sliced like a cake. This means that each and every serving of kladdkaka always features both the gooey centre and some of the drier sides. Unlike brownies, that can be cut from the sides/corners or from the centre and have different textures (what’s your favourite?).
Another difference is in the fact that brownies are made with chocolate, although variations of the recipe exist with cocoa powder. The first chocolate brownie recipe from 1899 calls for chocolate and baking soda (source). Kladdkaka is always made with cocoa powder. And no leavening agent. Legend has it kladdkaka was invented during World War 2, during a shortage of baking powder in Sweden.
Kladdkaka may not be a brownie but it’s surely closely related. Just like brownie, kladdkaka delivers a fantastic chocolate flavour in a rich and fudgy form. It’s not uncommon to find brownies topped with chocolate chips, chopped nuts or blondie swirls. Kladdkaka is mostly found in its classic form, dusted with powdered sugar on top. But if you fancy a nice variation, you should try this cheesecake swirl kladdkaka!
Tips and tricks
Do not overmix – in order to achieve the perfect sticky gooey texture you need to incorporate as little air as possible into the batter. This is why the use of a mixer is not recommended. Just whisk with a fork until the mixture is nicely homogeneous.
Do not overbake – The standard quantities in this recipe baked in a 24-cm round pan require about 17 minutes at 200°C in a static oven. Every oven is different, so in order to play safe I recommend to check your cake after 15 minutes. Take out your kladdkaka when the sides are set but the centre is still wobbly. The cake will set as it cools. Since this cake is meant to be gooey, the toothpick test in this recipe is useless.
Did you ever try kladdkaka? If not, you need to make yourself one soon, I’m sure you’ll love it! Pair it with:
- London fog ice cream – top your chocolate cake with this delicious earl grey tea ice cream.
- Homemade salted caramel – caramel sauce is a chocolate cake’s best friend.
- Cardamom cold brew latte – enjoy a delicious cup of flavoured coffee with a slice of this cake!
Kladdkaka, the Swedish chocolate kake
Quickly whisked by hand and ready in less than 30 minutes, Swedish chocolate cake kladdkaka is gooey and rich. It might become your favourite chocolate cake recipe.
- 350 g sugar
- 150 g butter
- 3 eggs
- 120 g flour
- 45 g cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
Crack the eggs in a bowl and add the sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Whisk with a fork until homogeneous, 2-3 minutes.
Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the egg mixture and start whisking by hand using the same flour.
Melt the butter and pour it into the mixture. Stir in until homogeneous. Do not overmix.
Transfer the cake batter to a springform pan (24 cm diameter) lined with baking paper. Bake in the preheated oven at 200°C (390°F) for 17 minutes, or until the sides look set but the centre is still wobbly.
Take the kladdkaka out of the oven and let it set for 5 minutes before removing it from the pan. It should firm up just lightly.
- Nutrition facts are an estimate based on the suggested serving size.
- Top your kladdkaka with a dusting of powdered sugar and serve it with some unsweetened whipped cream on the side (optional, but this is the traditional way).
- Do not overmix the batter. The use of a mixer at low speed is possible but not recommended, as the batter should be stirred as little as possible. Incorporating too much air may compromise the perfect gooey texture.
Originally published in 2016; updated December 2020 with new images.