Sweet • Sour • Savory

Food blog on scandinavian style food done right.

Smørkage - Danish Butter Cake

Brunch, CakeTove Balle-Pedersen4 Comments
 Smørkage - Danish Butter Cake

Smørkage - Danish Butter Cake

Smørkage, or butter cake is another traditional Danish pastry. We have this cake in two versions, one made with real pastry dough and this one made with a sweet yeast dough, resembling the American cinnamon rolls.

This recipe is by far easier than making real pastry, and the taste is still really good. My cake turned out a bit darker than I expected.

Makes one 9 to 11 inch cake.



  • 40 g yeast
  • 100 ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (114 g) butter, salted & room temperature
  • 350 g all-purpose flour


  • 100 g sugar
  • 100 g butter, salted & room temperature
  • 50 g marzipan (almond paste), grated
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon


  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla paste
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons cornstarch 
  • 300 ml (≃1⅓ cups) milk



Beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale in color. Whisk in the cornstarch and vanilla paste.

Heat the milk to a slow boil, set aside. 

While whisking vigorously drizzle the warm milk into the egg yolk mixture, just a tiny bit at a time at first. Once you’ve added about ¼ of the milk, you can add the rest in a thin stream, whisking constantly.

Pour the mixture back in the saucepan and reheat it over medium heat. Whisk constantly until it thickens, and let it get to a boil. Remove from heat and chill the custard in a bowl in the refrigerator. Sprinkle with sugar or press a film of plastic wrap against custard so it doesn’t form a pudding skin.


Mix the ingredients to a brown paste, set aside.


Dissolve the yeast in the finger-warm milk, add the sugar and let it sit for a few minutes. Add the eggs. Mix flour salt, cardamom and pour into the yeast-mixture with the butter. Knead the dough until it's elastic and shinny. Let the dough rest in a bowl covered with a tea towel for about 30 minutes.

Butter a 9 or 11 inch springform and set aside.

Take about ⅓ of the dough and roll it out in a circle 9 or 11 inch in diameter. Lay it in the bottom of the springform, and spread remonce and custard on top.

Roll the rest of the dough into a rectangle 8x12 inch (20x30 cm). Spread the rest of the remonce and custard on top. Roll up the dough spread like a roulade. Cut the roulade in 8 pieces and place them on top of the dough in the springform, cut side up.  

Let the cake rise for about 30 minutes. Preheat oven for 400℉ (210℃).

Brush with egg-wash and sprinkle with slivered almonds. Bake for about 15-18 minutes, cover cake with a piece of aluminum foil, and bake for another 18-20 minutes.

Take the cake out of the springform, and let the cake cool completely, before you decorate with white icing (hot water and confectionary sugar).