Smörgåstårta Recipe (Savory Swedish Sandwich Cake)

Not everyone needs a Smörgåstårta recipe in their life. A savory Swedish sandwich cake? Maybe not the Platonic ideal of cake.

I only have one thing to say about that, and here it is: leaves more for the rest of us. If you're so inclined, learn how to make Smörgåstårta below.


To be honest, Smörgåstårta is just a really good, party-ready sandwich. What's not to love?

Something of a Swedish fetish

Having already shown you how to cure your own gravlax and promised you the recipe for a savory Swedish birthday or tea cake called Smörgåstårta, I probably don’t need to spell out in further detail that I have something of a Swedish fetish. It’s a good thing, too, because Smörgåstårta is kind of a nightmare to spell.

And even once I’d wrangled those umlauts and crazy A’s into submission (or wised up and made Command + S the Smörgåstårta key on my computer, because what could go wrong there?), I still wouldn’t be able to enunciate the term “Swedish fetish” with any accuracy, replicability, or lack of projectile saliva.

Smörgåstårta challenges

Finally, I doubt many of you have tried to style a Smörgåstårta for a photo shoot. If you have, please get in touch with me privately to pass along any suggestions you may have for post-traumatic-stress recovery. At any rate, I’m grateful at least that I don’t have a Finnish fetish, because that would be even harder to say, and people might think I’d said I have a spinach fetish, which I do. I have no idea where that would leave us, but I’m certain it wouldn’t be anywhere good.

Smörgåstårta solutions

Despite all of that, the moment I first became aware of Smörgåstårta, I knew I wouldn’t be able to rest until I’d made one. (That was even before I realized it would give me an opportunity to say things to the toddler such as, “Finish your Smörgåstårta and then you’ll have your nap,” and “No, this is not your birthday cake.”) Anyway, I first laid eyes on a Smörgåstårta six months ago, so I’m pretty exhausted at this point. That could explain a lot, actually.

Smörgåstårta Recipe (Savory Swedish Sandwich Cake)

Smörgåstårta Recipe

Prep Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Serves 6


For the smoked salmon filling

  • 4 ounces smoked salmon, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup whipped cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh dill (or 1/2 teaspoon dill weed)
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh horseradish or prepared horseradish sauce
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and finely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the shrimp filling

  • 1 pound cooked shrimp, shelled and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh dill (or 1/2 teaspoon dill weed)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons whipped cream cheese, at room temperature
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

To assemble the Smörgåstårta

  • 8 slices firm white bread, crusts removed, and 3 of the slices cut in half crosswise
  • 1 cup whipped cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves


  1. To make the salmon filling, combine the salmon, mayonnaise, cream cheese, dill, horseradish, eggs, and pepper in a medium bowl and stir to combine well.
  2. To make the shrimp filling, combine the shrimp, dill, mayonnaise, cream cheese, and pepper in a medium bowl and stir to combine well.
  3. To assemble the Smörgåstårta, lay 1 1/2 bread slices on a cutting board to form a long rectangle. Top with half the salmon or herring filling. Layer another 1 1/2 bread slices on top, and top with half the shrimp filling. Repeat with the remaining bread and fillings, ending with a layer of bread. You will have half a slice of bread left over. Press gently on the sandwich from the top and sides to compress the layers a bit.
  4. To "frost" the Smörgåstårta, spread the top and sides with a thin layer of cream cheese. (Stir in up to a couple of tablespoons of milk or cream if the cream cheese is too thick, since texture varies by brand.) Sprinkle with the chopped parsley, cut into slices, and serve. Can be refrigerated for up to a day, either before or after frosting.


Adapted from Lotta Jansdotter's Handmade Living. For a more time-intensive version with homemade bread, check out the beautiful book Very Swedish by Annica Triberg.

Nutrition Information

Amount Per Serving:

Calories:: 410 Total Fat:: 32.4g Carbohydrates:: 19.2g Fiber:: 1.1g Protein:: 11g