This is one of the Finnish desserts that probably every single Finn has had in their life. It is eaten on Runeberg’s Day on the 5th of February. Usually these cakes start to appear in the stores in January. The bought cakes are nice, but naturally nowhere near as good as self made ones. First of all they rarely have rum in them!
If you don’t like the flavour of rum, you can as well leave it out and replace it with lemon or orange juice. The Finn Crisps used in the recipe are a type of thin rye crispbread that is found everywhere in Finland. I’m not sure how common it is in other countries, but I know it is found at least in Germany. If you can’t get it anywhere, you can also replace it with gingerbread, speculoos or dark breadcrumbs.
Traditionally the cakes are baked in special Runeberg’s cake tins (cylinder shaped) but you can use a muffin silicone form or dessert rings. As you can see on the pictures I used different shapes for my cakes but I think the cylindrical ones looked the best.
The cakes should be really moist despite the amount of different crumbly ingredients. This is why they are moisturized with a water/sugar/rum mixture, and if you’re not eating the cakes on the day of the making, you should give them a small bath before serving.
Runeberg’s Cakes (6 pieces)
50 g almonds
45 g Finn Crisps
45 g breadcrumbs
90 g plain white flour
100 g butter (room temperature)
90 g sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cardamom
100 ml heavy cream
2 drops bitter almond aroma
100 ml water
25 g brown cane sugar
1 tbsp rum
powder sugar and water
Crush the almonds into a rough crumble with a food processor. Do the same with the Thin Crisps, but process them into a fine flour. Set them aside for later use.
Whip the butter and sugar into a foam and add the egg while whisking.
Mix the dry ingredients together and add them to the batter. Pour in the cream, add two drops of bitter almond and whisk just until everything is evenly incorporated.
Pour the batter into a muffin pan or your desired tins. Bake at 200°C for 20-25 minutes. While the cakes are in the oven, make the rum/water/sugar mixture. Heat up the water in a pan, dissolve the sugar in it and add the rum.
When you take the cakes out of the oven, pour some of the water mixture on them immediately and let them cool down in the pan. You can smooth out the tops with your fingers to give them a flatter look.
To make the sugar ring take a few spoons of powder sugar and add just enough water to make a paste. Don’t let it get too thin! Pour into a piping bag and decorate each cake with a sugar ring. Add a spoonful of raspberry jam in the middle.