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4 warm, comforting and delightfully Danish dessert recipes

Wanderlust logoWanderlust 07/10/2019 Wanderlust
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Æblekage (apple cake with macaroons & cream)

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  • 100 g marzipan or almond paste, grated 
  • ¼ teaspoon each of ground cardamom and cinnamon 
  • 60 g icing (confectioners’) sugar, sifted, plus 1 tbsp 
  • 1 egg white 
  • 1 kg fragrant apples, peeled and diced Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice 
  • 50 g unsalted butter 
  • 100 g golden caster sugar 3 lemon verbena sprigs or 1 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 200 ml double cream 
  • 100 g crème fraîche 

(Serves 6 • Preparation: 1 hour • Cooking time: 25 minutes)


Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F). Put the marzipan in a bowl and beat in the spices with an electric whisk. Gradually add the 60 g icing sugar, alternating with the egg white until a batter is formed. Place heaped tablespoons of batter on two baking trays lined with baking paper, spacing them well apart.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Leave for 10 minutes, then cool on a wire rack. 

Meanwhile, mix the diced apples with the lemon zest and juice. Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the apples and mix to coat with butter.

Add the caster sugar and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon verbena and cook until the apples are tender, but not mushy. Cool. Discard the verbena. Put the cream in a bowl and sift in the one tbsp extra icing sugar. Add the crème fraîche and whisk gently to mix, then more vigorously until thick.

Divide the apple sauce among six bowls, crumble up two macaroons per bowl, then top with two heaped tbsp of the cream mix. Serve with Rosehip Preserve. 

Karameller (homemade caramels)

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  • 180 ml (¾ cup) double cream
  • 1 vanilla bean or ½ tsp vanilla bean paste, or ½ tsp sea salt flakes (such as fleur de sel)
  • 1 liquorice stick or 1 tsp liquorice granules
  • 160g golden or corn syrup
  • 225g granulated sugar
  • 60g salted butter
  • cubed Freeze-dried berries (optional), to garnish

(Makes 48 • Preparation: 15 minutes, plus 30 minutes standing • Cooking time: 45 minutes, plus 8 hours cooling)


Heat the cream in a saucepan to just below boiling point, then remove from the heat and add your chosen flavour. Leave for at least 30 minutes to infuse. 

Meanwhile, in a deep, heavy-based saucepan, add the syrup and sugar and heat gently for the sugar to dissolve completely. Bring to the boil and bubble until the syrup reaches 115°C (239°F). Remove from the heat and add the cream, it will bubble. Stir well to mix and return to the heat. Leave it to bubble until the mixture reaches 127°C (261°F). 

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter until smooth. Pour into a 20cm square tin lined with foil and brushed with oil. Sprinkle with extra salt or freeze-dried berries, if liked. Cool on a wire rack for four to six hours or overnight. 

Remove from the tin, then the foil and cut the caramels into small rectangles. Wrap in baking paper. Store in the fridge. 

Rabarberkage (rhubarb and marzipan cake)

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  • 500g rhubarb, sliced into 5cm long pieces, about 2.5mm thin 
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1 tbsp Demerara sugar 
  • 150g unsalted butter, softened 
  • 150g (2⁄3 cup) soft brown sugar
  • 150g marzipan, chopped 
  • 4 eggs (about 150g) 
  • 5 tbsp plain flour 
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon 
  • Crème fraîche, to serve 

(Serves 10 •  Preparation: 30 minutes • Cooking time: 40 to 50 minutes)


Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F). In a bowl, toss the sliced rhubarb with the cinnamon and sugar, then leave for at least 20 minutes. 

Meanwhile, mix the butter, sugar and marzipan in a food processor until smooth. Gradually add the eggs, then the flour and lemon rind.

Spread the batter into an oiled 20cm cake tin lined with baking paper and top with rhubarb.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until set and the fruit is caramelised. If the fruit is browning too much, cover with foil and cook the cake until set in the centre. Cool for one hour 

Serve warm or at room temperature with crème fraîche. 

Wienerbrød (plaited fruit danish)

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For the dough...

  • 150 ml milk  
  • 50g sugar 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 250g (12⁄3 cups) strong white bread flour 
  • 250g (12⁄3 cups) plain flour or pastry flour 
  • 7g (2 tsp) dried yeast 
  • 1 medium egg 
  • 250g lightly salted butter, cut into 8 slices,  
  • firm but not cold
  • 225g puréed apples (recipe on page 38 of the cookbook) 
  • 225g apples, peeled and sliced about 1cm thick 
  • 100g almonds or pecans, chopped 
  • 2 tbsp soft brown sugar 
  • 1 egg yolk beaten with 2 tbsp milk 

(Serves 8 •  Preparation: 1 hour 45 minutes, plus 1½ hours rising •  Cooking time: 30 to 40 minutes)


Gently heat the milk, sugar and salt. Combine the flours and yeast in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Pour in the milk, then the egg and knead for  one to two minutes, adding one to two tbsp flour if needed. Leave the dough in an oiled bowl in a warm place for one hour. 

Roll the dough out to a large rectangle, one cm thick, with the short side facing you, then arrange the butter slices in the centre third, from left to right. Fold the left third of the dough over the butter, then right third of dough to enclose. Seal the edges. Turn the dough 90° clockwise and roll out to a 50 x 30 cm rectangle. Fold in three as before. Cover and chill for 15 minutes. Repeat three more times. 

Roll the dough out to a 50 x 30cm rectangle. With the short side facing you, spread the puréed apples from top to bottom, in the centre third of the dough. Arrange the sliced apples on top. Mix the nuts and sugar together and set aside. 

Cut the pastry either side of the filling into two-and-a-half cm-wide strips, leaving them attached at the centre, close to the filling. Brush the pastry with water, then plait the dough so that the filling is covered. Rest in a warm place for 30 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Brush the pastry with egg wash, then sprinkle over the nut mix. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until risen and golden. Cool. 

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Susie Theodorou and Christine Rudolph are the authors of Copenhagen: Cult Recipes, journey to the heart of Copenhagen's culinary traditions and enviable lifestyle. It is published by Murdoch Books and can be ordered on Amazon now.

Gallery: Move over Denmark! Italian-inspired desserts for you to try (Delish)

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