Lingonberry & Cardamom Cake with Sour Cream (Gluten, Nut & Sugar Free)

In Sweden it’s very traditional during Christmas season to eat gingerbread cake. We call it “Mjuk Pepparkaka” meaning soft gingerbread cake. It’s traditionally made with lingonberries and is packed with seasonal spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and of course lots of ginger. It’s a very soft cake, and has a bit of a grownup taste to it, and can be accompanied with whipped cream, or cherry sauce , however many people (myself included) love this cake on its own with a nice cup of coffee. The spices balance out the sweetness so it feels more like a warm cozy evening by the fireplace rather than dancing and prancing around with sugary sweetness. If you understand my metaphor that is, lol! It’s easy as 1,2,3 to bake, and can be whipped up in a jiffy if your expecting guests. Plus it’ll fill your home with seasonal scents which you will for sure revive many compliments for.

Here’s how you bake it!

INGREDIENTS : (For those in Sweden, you can purchase gingerbread spice mix from any store instead of adding all the spices individually – I recommend Santa Maria Pepparkakskrydda)

  • 100g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g sugar
  • 150g crème fraiche
  • 50ml cream
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground clove
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100g lingonberry jam (unsweetened if you can find)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate
  • 350g flour
  • Preheat the oven to 200C (390F) and line a loaf tin with baking paper.
  • Melt your butter and let it cool.
  • In a medium sized bowl, using a hand mixer (or a stand mixer) whisk the eggs and sugar until pale in color and fluffy in consistency.
  • Then add in the butter, crème fraiche, cream, lingonberry jam and the spices and whisk until incorporated.
  • Mix in the flour and bicarbonate, until combined. Then pour into prepared pan and bake in the oven for 40-45 min (or until a cake tester comes out clean).
  • Then let rest until cooled, slice and enjoy with whipped cream or on its own. Optional: dust some icing sugar on top for that seasonal touch!

Lingonberry Blondies have plenty of brown sugar caramel flavor, chewy almond texture, and tart lingonberry swirls.

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Blondies are one of my very favorite treats. I have to admit that I would always go with vanilla or caramel flavors over chocolate (yikes!), so blondies have always taken precedence over brownies for me! I love the caramelized brown sugar flavor that blondies have, but sometimes they come across a bit too sweet. These Lingonberry Blondies have just the right amount of sugary sweetness with a beautiful Scandinavian contrast of tart, bright lingonberries. They are also made with almond flour which not only makes them gluten-free, but extra moist and gooey 🙂

Ingredients for Lingonberry Blondies

I used my basic blondie recipe that I have been baking with for decades and tweaked it to work with almond flour. It was necessary to reduce the amount of butter due to the fat content of the flour, plus add an extra egg to create structure. The d’Arbo brand of lingonberry preserves is nice, as the berries are left whole. Light brown sugar gives the best flavor in this recipe.

The Process

What I love about this Lingonberry Blondie recipe is that everything is mixed by hand in under 5 minutes! Combine the melted butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, salt, and almond flour.

After oiling the baking pan, cut a piece of parchment so that it will hang over 2 of the sides. These will act as “handles” for lifting out the blondies after baking.

Spread the batter in the prepared pan, then dollop teaspoons of lingonberry preserves evenly on top.

Use a small, thin knife to create swirls in the batter.

Finally, sprinkle on the sliced almonds. The baking temperature is low enough that they will not burn during baking.

Bake the lingonberry blondies for 25 minutes, until golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool the blondies completely, then use the parchment to easily lift out from the pan.

Cut the blondies into squares (I think 16 is a nice size), and finish with confectioner’s sugar, if desired.

The lingonberries add a lovely color and wonderful tart flavor.

Lingonberry Blondies are perfect for Fika time and would be a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift for someone you love!

  • unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • packed light brown sugar
  • finely ground blanched almond flour
  • Preheat oven to 325° Fahrenheit.
  • Oil an 8 x 8-inch baking pan and line with parchment paper to overhang 2 of the sides (this is for ease of lifting out after baking).
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted butter and brown sugar. Mix until smooth.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and mix well.
  • Add the vanilla, salt and almond flour and mix until smooth.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Drop teaspoons of the lingonberries evenly on the top of the batter. Use a small sharp knife to gently create swirls.
  • Sprinkle the almonds evenly over the top.
  • Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown and a tester inserted comes out clean.
  • Cool the Lingonberry Blondies completely, then use the parchment as handles to lift out of the pan.
  • Cut into 16 squares and sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar, if desired.

Brunch, Dessert, Fika, Snack

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This is a tender, moist, fresh and incredibly delicious lingonberry and cardamom cake with sour cream inspired by Scandinavian flavors. It is made with staple ingredients, include a few different but easy steps but only takes about 15-20 minutes to make. Serve this lovely and moist lingonberry cardamom cake as an afternoon snack or dessert. It is gluten, nut and sugar free.

Lingonberries are so strongly associated with my childhood, Scandinavia and even more with fall and winter. They’re widely used for both sweet and savory purposes in Sweden. We eat them with meatballs, with råraka (hash brown), kroppkakor (Swedish potato dumpling), fried herring and many more. Using them in savory dishes might be the most common way of using lingonberries, either fresh or in jam form. But when Christmas comes they’re a common ingredient in sweet treats as well. Swedish gingerbread cakes often include lingonberries, but also sugar cookies, desserts and breads. This lingonberry and cardamom cake with sour cream is however not a traditional Swedish recipe, expect for the flavors and ingredients. This cake has a tender and soft cake base made with Swedish filmjölk (sour milk) which adds a wonderful mild and slightly buttery taste compared to regular yogurt. It provides both moist and flavor to this cake, without giving it a too distinct flavor. The cardamom adds a warm, sweet and slightly spicy taste that makes a lovely contrast to the buttery mild filmjölk. On top you have a home cooked lingonberry sauce and a sour cream batter. The sourish lingonberry jam together with tangy, tart and creamy sour cream makes the cake feel fresh, not too heavy and combines so well with the tender cardamom cake. This cake is not only great to bake during Christmas but already during fall. Have it as an afternoon snack or serve it for dessert with some ice cream or whipped cream.

A few tips

  • I made my own lingonberry sauce/jam but you can use a store bought one as well.
  • You can adjust the amount of sweetener for the lingonberry sauce depending on how sweet you prefer it. Taste to check if more is needed before you add it to the cake.
  • If you don’t have filmjölk you can also use Kefir or a plain yogurt. Just make sure it’s not a thick one, it should be pourable.
  • The amount of sweetener for the sour cream batter can also be adjusted according to taste. Taste to check if more sweetener is needed depending on how you prefer it.
  • The cake is ready when an inserted skewer comes out just clean, so make sure not to over bake it.
  • Let the cake cool completely, preferably over night, before serving it.

Ingredients for this Lingonberry & Cardamom Cake with Sour Cream:

Other recipe you might like:

This is a tender, moist and delicious cake with Scandinavian flavors that is great to has both as an afternoon snack or to serve for dessert.

Afternoon Snack, Dessert, Healthy Dessert, Sweet Snack, Sweet Treat

Easy, Gluten-Free, Healthier, Low Fat, Nut Free

For the lingonberry jam

  • Sugar free granulated sweetener
  • Filmjölk (sub for plain yogurt or kefir)

For the sour cream layer

  • Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Line or grease a 16 or 18 cm spring form.
  • Making the lingonberry sauce by placing all ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer until it has thickened and the lingonberries are soft.
  • Meanwhile combine oat flour, rice flour, sugar, cardamom, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  • Combine filmjölk, egg, vanilla extract and mashed banana until smooth.
  • Fold in the dry ingredients to the wet. Mix until you have a smooth mixture.
  • In a separate bowl add the ingredients for the sour cream topping and whisk until smooth.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Dollop lingonberry jam and sour cream batter over the cake and make big swirls using a knife. Sprinkle with the offset crumble evenly over the cake.
  • Bake in the middle of the oven for 38-45 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let it cool completely before slicing it.

This traditional Buckwheat Cake with Cranberries (Lingonberries) comes from the region called “Lüneburger Heide”, which is in the north of Germany, just south of Hamburg. It is a rather rustic recipe with a very unique taste.

About Buckwheat

picture: Maryna Osadcha

Buckwheat is mostly grown in the East of Europe and in China but also in smaller amounts in parts of Germany since medival times. It is a minor crop in the US, grown in North Dakota, Washington, Minnesota and New York. It is a pseudocereal (like Quinoa and Amaranth) and needs soil temperatures above 10°C (50°F) to grow and it is also sensitive to cold temperatures. Buckwheat is a good crop to grow on fields where a previous crop has failed i.e. due to bad weather. It grows fast and it’s also very tolerant to poor, sandy soils. Buckwheat usually doesn’t need fertilization and even suppresses most weeds.

The triangular kennels, that result from the flowers, must be hulled and should not be fed to livestock with the hull. However, the hulls can be used in little heat pillows. While Buckwheat can be milled into different colors (more milling results in a whiter flour) and made into noodles, pancakes, and cakes, it is often also used as a kind of porridge or like rice.

Lüneburger Heide, picture: Gabriele Rohde

The taste of buckwheat is very unique and one might need to get used to it since the taste expectations are set from wheat flour.

How to bake Buckwheat Cake

I mention in my video that there is currently a shortage of wheat on the world market. This is caused by the war in Ukraine and results in hight prices for wheat. While we are probably doing OK here in the USA and other rich countries, poorer countries like many regions of Africa cannot afford it any longer. But those countries rely on cheap wheat to feed their population. Now, reducing the demand for wheat in rich countries can help to reduce prices for wheat. So, Buckwheat is one alternative, even if we mix it in part with wheat flour it can help.

For those who are gluten intolerant and used to eating a gluten-free diet, buckwheat is probably not new to their pantry. There are plenty of recipes using buckwheat for gluten-free cooking and baking.

It is also healthy with plenty of protein and essential amino acids. It contains many important vitamins and also Calcium, Potassium, Iron, Zink, and Magnesium.

Cranberries / Lingonberries

Since we are already talking about healthy food: Cranberries aka Lingonberries contain plenty of Vitamin C, also Vitamin A and B, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, and Phosphor.

Cranberries are not consumed raw but make a pretty delicious jam and compote and are very well known in the US as a side for the turkey at Thanksgiving. I got my Lingonberry jam at IKEA, that’s why I write both names in this recipe since you might need to know that name, too, to find it.

Baking with Buckwheat

As I noted, buckwheat is gluten-free and therefore often not ideal for baking. But you can make a perfect sponge cake with it. If you want to use it in let’s say a bundt cake, you’ll need to mix it with some wheat or spelt flour to succeed. But there are also ways to make a gluten-free bread with buckwheat like THIS RECIPE.

The Taste of Buckwheat Cake

I’ll be honet with you: The first time I had some buckwheat cake in the 90’s, when there was a hype for it, I did not like it very much. My expectation was for that cake to taste like any other cake but it didn’t. The fact that my sister, who baked the cake, also reduced the sugar to an absolutle minimum didn’t help. But over time, I tried it again and with different recipes and I started to like it. Especially the combination with the tart cranberries is very interesting and delicious. If you want to be on the safe side when you first serve it to someone unfamiliar with the taste of buckwheat, maybe use a bit more sugar (Mary Poppins style) to ease people into the taste.

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Buckwheat Cake with Cranberries (Lingonberries)

  • (maybe a bit more)
  • the zest of it
  • or 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • aka Lingonberry Jam
  • 2 to 3 or 2 tbsp. corn starch if you serve the cake later
  • fruits, berries, edible flower petals

baking, Cake, glutenfree, sweet, vegetarian

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from reviews

Hello my friends.  You’re undoubtedly familiarized with blackberries, strawberries, and cranberries, but lingonberries are not all that common. What’s the deal with this sweet and addictively tart fruit? Let me tell you a bit more about my affair with lingonberries and why we have a bunch of lingonberry recipes on this site.

If you’re curious about how lingonberries taste, one “famous” recipe using lingonberries is Swedish meatballs which we also made the recipe for you. If you’ve ever been to the little restaurant at IKEA then you know what we’re talking about.

What is Lingonberry?

Lingonberries are part of the heather family of plants and grow in America, Europe and Asia, but only up north in the Arctic cold, where no other berry thrives. Lingonberries have grown in the wild in northern Europe but most famously in the lands of Scandinavia.

They look very similar to huckleberries or cranberries, and you might have heard people call lingonberries foxberries, bearberries or mountain cranberries, but they’re all the same brightly colored fruit.

What does a lingonberry taste like?

When you think about the taste of lingonberries, think of tart cherries and cranberries. Lingonberries have a sour acidic taste, but they’re slightly sweet as well. You’ll find them fresh in late summer and fall — the longer the berries hang, the sweeter and less bitter.

Is Lingonberry Jam the way to go?

Since finding fresh lingonberries is not particularly easy, the best way to treat yourself to the Nordic fruit is in Lingonberry jam. After lingonberries are picked, they are cooked like cranberries and sweetened to reduce the tart flavor. The fruit is mashed with sugar to preserve their nutrients. Although we don’t sell lingonberry jam here at Spoonabilities, we do have a few resources below to help you find some, and our favorite is Lingonberry Fruit Spread from Scandinavian Delights.

Video of Interesting Lingonberry Facts

Lingonberry jam, just like any other jam, is easy to incorporate into a wide variety of cakes. Cake baked in a tube or Bundt pan is the perfect means to give lingonberries a stage to shine. My favorite? I like the lingonberry taste in mildly flavorful cakes, like pound cakes and sponge cakes.

Below, you’ll find a fun recipe for lingonberry cake, and you don’t need any special ingredients besides the lingonberry jam. Eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla extract – you know the drill. The jam, though, will turn a regular cake into something else entirely!

When to Make Lingonberry Cake?

Lingonberries’ flavor is deliciously compatible with seasonal food, especially fall specialties. A lingonberry cake can be a great way to end Thanksgiving dinner on a sweet note.

Having said that, the vibrant fruit in a light, fluffy bread is also great in warm weather. Serve lingonberry cake dusted with confectioners’ sugar and a pitcher of iced tea, especially if it’s sunny outside, and you’ll see what I mean.

And if you don’t feel like baking today, know that having lingonberry jam around is not such a bad idea. It’s a fantastic spread for toast, and even a topper for ice cream, but that’s another story.

If you love lingonberries too, another dessert recipe to try are Coconut Cream Lingonberry Pops.

Carlos LeoYour Recipe Concierge


Hazelnut Lingonberry Cake brings out the best lingonberry taste from the crunchiness of the hazelnut crumb mix and lingonberry jam center, to the different layers of flavor in the cake.

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  • +¾ cups flour
  • buttermilk
  • sugar
  • vanilla
  • baking soda
  • chopped hazelnuts or almonds
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • room temperature butter
  • +½ teaSpoons cinnamon
  • beaten eggs
  • Lingonberry Fruit Spread
  • Heat oven to 350 F.
  • Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt into large bowl.
  • Cut butter into small pieces. Then using two knifes, cut the butter in the flour mixture until it is coarse crumbs. Split the crumb mixture in half.
  • To one half of the mixture, add beaten eggs, buttermilk and vanilla and beat with electric mixer until well blended.
  • To the other half of the mixture, stir in chopped nuts, 1 Tablespoon sugar, and cinnamon.
  • Spoon ⅓ of the batter into greased 9 or 10-inch tube pan.
  • Spoon ½ of the jam over center of batter and sprinkle with ⅓ of the crumb/nut mixture.
  • Repeat layers.
  • Top with remaining batter and sprinkle with remaining crumb/nut mixture.
  • Bake 45 to 50 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

bundt cakes, cake with jam, jam filled cake, lingonberry recipes

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About Carlos Leo

This is needed:

  • Eggs (3 pieces)
  • Milk or cream (1,5 dl)
  • Wheat flour (3 dl)
  • Sugar (2 tbsp)
  • Salt
  • Corinthians or
    currants and saffron
  • Any blowing agent (Baking powder 1 teaspoon or yeast package).
  • A funnel to wind the batter through, a funnel with two or more pipes is especially referred to as “iron”
  • A pot for the float batter, note that you should have a pot lid ready if the oil gets too hot.
  • Something that keeps the dough threads in place e.g. rings for egg frying. Cans without lids and bottoms are widely used in many recipes, but the best is probably if they are quite low. There are old copper pans with depressions in the bottom and perhaps these are those that are meant by the fact that there were special straw pans.
  • Hole spoon or equivalent to get the throats up.
  • Sheet metal or grill where the fried throats can drain off.

The batter is fried in oil to a nice brown color, drained on paper, turned in powdered sugar

Falustruvor and Valborgsmäss

Old records of people’s lives in the city of Falun describe that they ate strudel with currants at Valborgsmäss and the first of May:

Miss Margareta Ljusdal (born 1856) says that on Walpurgis Eve and the first of May they ate struvels. Another lady has said that “On Walpurgis Night, you would eat struvels. They were eaten for coffee and made at home. There were special pans, which were used to make struvels. There would be currants in them. Refers to the end of the 1890s. Announcer: Mrs. Maja Carlsson, b. Runnvik, born 1888, Vasagatan 6, Falun. From the age of 4 and throughout her upbringing, she lived at Gettorget. ”

Falun’s most legendary struv seller – Struv-Eva lived in Gamla Herrgårn. In the museum’s operations, “Struv-Eva” has served its struv. Dalarna Museum’s educator Annacari Jadling-Ohlsson says that they rolled the batter in the hot oil, no iron was used.

A forgotten Falut tradition

It is time to change the fact that this type of straw is today better known as Finnish straw (tippaleipä) than as Falust straw. Considering that Gustav Vasa figures in the Finnish tradition and also considering all Finnish-Swedish rule through the centuries had assignments in Falun – including as governors – the traditions probably belong together, but are now quite forgotten in Falun!

In the spring, Maja at Gettorget, Valborgsmäss and Första maj, it is high time to revive the struv tradition in Falun. Feel free to tell us about the results!

Selma Lagerlöfs Stöpaforskaka

  • 4 dl tailor-made or wheat flour
  • 5 dl wheat flour
  • 3 cup sugar
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 300 grams of butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 dl lingonberry jam
  • 3 dl oatmeal
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla sugar
  • 100 grams of melted butter

Heat the oven to 200 degrees.

Mix all dry ingredients. Crumble in the butter and add the eggs and work together into a dough.Press the dough into a long pan, 30 x 40 cm, lined with parchment paper.Spread the lingonberry jam over the dough. Mix the sprinkles which you then sprinkle over the jam. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Take out the cake and let it cool slightly. Cut the cake into 40 insanely good squares.

The recipe comes from the book “A scent of Mårbacka”, by Malin Fransson and Maria Olsson.

Selma Lagerlof

Selma Lagerlöf lived between 1897 and 1910 in Falun and had Lagerlöfsgården, which she bought in 1907, for the rest of her life and visited it often after she moved back to her beloved Mårbacka.

Throughout her life, she was an enterprising woman in many areas. In Värmland, she started a company with oatmeal, so-called tailor-made flour. It is said that Selma herself started the day every morning with a plate of “Värmland gruel” decorated with cream roses.

Stöpafors mill, north of Sunne, has been supplying stone-ground tailor-made flour since 1917. It is gratifying that today it is possible to get tailor-made flour in grocery stores around the country.

Selma Ströms berry cake

  • 1/2 l boiling water
  • 7 dl coarse rye flour
  • 50 g yeast
  • 1 dl film milk
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons syrup syrup

Pour the boiling water over the rye flour in a bowl. Mix well.Cover with a cloth and leave overnight or 2-3 hours, until the mixture has cooled.Add the yeast stirred in film milk, salt and syrup. Work in wheat flour to a firm dough. Let the dough rise covered for about 30 minutes.Take the dough on a floured baking sheet and work it smoothly.Roll out the dough just over 1 cm thick. Take out rounds, about 10cm in diameter, will be about 16 rounds.Place them on greased baking sheet or on parchment baking paper.Let the breads rise for about 40 minutes.

Bake the breads in an oven at 225 degrees until they have taken on color and appear to have been baked through, about 13 minutes.

Sour berry puree: Black / red currants, lingonberries or whatever is available. Boil with a little sugar for 5 minutes. Mix to a puree. Wide on the bread, as thick as you want. Drizzle over syrup. Eat. Wonderfully good!

The children’s favorite bread in Elsborg

An improvised recipe for the children’s favorite bread, in the miners’ and craftsmen’s residential area Elsborg in Falun, at the end of the 1800th century.

From the book Hemma på Elsborg by Selma Ström:

“In the autumn, we were very careful to look at the chimneys, if there was a good smoke from them. Then we knew what it meant to something. Then they baked bread in the cottages. Over the kitchen stove they had a large baking oven which they fired up and baked the cakes in. It was part of the order that they would bake some really thick rye bread cakes, which would be eaten soft. On top, they spread fresh, sour berry puree. A thick layer. Then they dipped a spoon into the syrup spill cum and rolled a little syrup in fine crumbs over the berry puree. It was berry cake there. – – –

And think, what berry cake was good for the stomach. Then you did not have to do as it said in the old rhyme, as the people here in Falun used to know in the world:

“If you have a stomach ache,

so you can go to Pippi Hagan

on the other hand, put dough on a stone

to gnaw on e legs,

so bi you better in the stomach. “”

1600th century cakes

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 runic piece crushed coriander or green anise
  • 1 bowl pound, 0,425 kg, crushed sugar

First, cut 8 eggs into a bowl and beat them well. Mix out there for a runic piece of crushed coriander or green anise and a bowl pound (0,425 kg) crushed sugar.

Which when it is stirred together, you add a chip (about 210 grams) of fine wheat flour to it and knead it very well until the dough is completely shiny or white. For the much better the dough is worked, the more pleasant the loaves become.

When the dough of the kneading is glossy, it should be laid out in shapes that are made of tin and before he puts it in, it should be greased with sugar and put just in the oven. You can test one or two loaves first before putting them all in the oven or making them ready

For this pastry is difficult to prepare. Steel and the heat in the oven should be quite light, such as when bread is half-baked in it. Should also be open to everything that can usually ensure how the breads want to be. For first they will ferment and then turn brown, which can all happen in half a quarter of an hour.

If the breads turn black in the oven, the signs are that the fire is too strong, you should therefore take her out as long as the heat is moderate. But if before that she was pale and did not absorb any color, the oven was too little fired and the heat too weak. Therefore the furnace shall be shut up and the fire multiplied, though it be not burned.

Then when the breads have turned brown and stood in the oven for a quarter of an hour, you should take one out of the oven and try slowly with your hand if it is fully baked and if it does not give way but is firm enough, you should take them all out. Because they are baked.

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