Voileipäkakku Cake From Finland

Voileipäkakku Scandinavian Sandwich Cake

Voileipäkakku Cake From Finland

The delicious Voileipäkakku- a much loved Scandinavian sandwich cake

Have you ever heard of a sandwich cake?  This savory cake, called Voileipäkakku in Finnish literally translates to sandwich cake and is popular amongst Scandinavian countries. This sandwich cake symbolizes summer get-togethers using traditional Nordic flavors with hints of lemon and delicious shrimp all well balanced with creamy textures from cream cheese and créme fraiche.  

To many, this reminds them of their childhood or a time of celebration as it is often eaten during spring and summer during special occasions like birthdays, christenings and other parties. Summer in Finland is a time to dance barefoot in between the wildflower meadows and eating slices of voileipäkakku, while watching the summer sky stay bright throughout the night as the evening progressed. The cake brings a sense of warmth and tradition, these flavors are comforting to many Nordics. 

Voileipäkakku Cake From Finland

Origins of Sandwich Cake

 The cake’s origins go back to the early 1700s to Denmark when Ludvig Holmberg introduced a sandwich cake in his play. It was introduced to Sweden in 1940 and then a decade later it landed in Finland too. More specifically, it was introduced to Finland in 1956 when a local magazine (called kotiliesi) aimed towards housewives published a recipe for the first time. From one housewife to another, it then spread to cafes and from 1961 onwards, it was introduced in the annual Finnish Independence Day party in the president’s house  and has been a festive tradition ever since. 

This cake is often made out of fish, such as cold smoked or cured salmon and/or shrimps. It is sometimes made out of smoked reindeer/ham as well, but the fish version is the most popular. Much like a semi-naked layer cake, this savory cake uses slices of toast (instead of sponge cake) in between the filling to create layers. The bread used can either be regular wheat toast or sweet rye bread. The recipe that I will be sharing with you takes a spin from the traditional toast Skagen, with a simple filling made from delicious shrimps, cream cheese, creme fraiche, dill and red onion. The recipe can be tweaked by adding smoked salmon slices in between or whatever ingredients one likes. The cake rests in the refrigerator at least four hours or even overnight to merge the flavors and allow it to properly set.

Voileipäkakku Cake From Finland

Now, without further adieu, let’s begin to bake. For this cake you can use a 16cm one. Taller cake pans make the cake more visually appealing. 


For the base

  • 500g wheat toast
  • ½ dl lemon juice
  • 1/2dl water
  • Pinch of salt 

 For the filling

  • 3 gelatin leaves (soaked in cold water)
  • 300g good quality shrimps 
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 bunch of dill
  • 2 jars (150g each) of crème fraiche
  • 1 packet (200g) cream cheese (can be herb flavored or natural)
  • Black pepper
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the garnish

  • Herbs of choice (thyme, dill)
  • Lamb’s lettuce or any type of delicate micro leaves 
  • About 100g cream cheese
  • 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice


Begin by placing a parchment paper on the bottom base of your cake tin and it does not matter if the paper is a bit too large from the sides. Cut the edges into a rough frame of your base. 

Trim the edges away from your toast. On a plate, add the water/lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Dip the bread slice into the liquid and press the bread into the base of your cake tin. Repeat this process so the base is covered with toast. The bread is easily shaped by pressing it down so it covers all the surface area. 

Place the gelatin leaves into a cold bowl of water while you cook the filling. 

Meanwhile, create the filling – In a large bowl, add the shrimps (note: self-peeled shrimps are always more flavorful than ready peeled ones), finely chopped red onion and the chopped dill. 

In another bowl, add in the créme fraiche and cream cheese (you can also use a herb flavored version) and whisk until frothy. Pour this bowl with the shrimps and mix well. Add in the lemon zest, and a generous amount of black pepper. 

In a small pot, heat up the tablespoon of lemon juice. Squeeze the excess water away from the gelatin leaves and place into the heated lemon juice. Immediately stir with a wooden spoon, turn of the heat and allow the gelatin leaves to dissolve. Pour this into the filling and mix well. 

Now you are ready to layer the cake. Add a few large scoops of shrimp filling on top of the bread. Then gently dip the toast into the water/lemon liquid and create another layer. Add a round of filling. Add another layer of bread. Repeat the process until the filling and bread runs out. Once ready, place some kitchen foil on the cake tin and leave into the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or even overnight. 

Ready to serve. After four hours, gently remove the cake tin. Add a bit of “frosting” to the side by whisking crème cheese with a bit of lemon juice to thin it out. Depends on what type of look you are going for with the cake, but not all sides are covered, just like with a semi-naked layer cake. With the help of a knife, spread some of the cream cheese on top and to the sides, to smoothen the surface. Garnish with microleaves (such as lamb’s lettuce) and fresh herbs like dill and thyme. You can also use the flowers from the thyme as well. 

Voileipäkakku Cake From Finland

Overall, the beauty of this sandwich cake is that it can be modified to your liking with many different ingredients and it is easy to make, even if you are a beginner at cooking. Not only does it look impressive, but it can also be a delightful first to many, while for Scandinavians it holds a long history of summer memories. The comforting sandwich cake is a visual statement that lures you in with its delightful fresh flavors. 

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