Runebergintorttu – Runeberg Cakes
These cakes were named after Johan Ludvig Runeberg (1804 – 1877), the national poet of Finland. Every year on and around his birthday, 5th February, these cakes are sold all over Finland and are hugely popular.
Traditionally, they are baked in cylinder 5cm diameter shapes, around 6-7 cm high. You can of course get your hands on these all over Finland, but a good alternative can be found online in silicone 5 cm diameter and 5cm height. You can also use other shapes, such as muffin tins, but your baking times and yield will vary slightly.
Recipes for Runeberg often specify the use of breadcrumbs. I actually use finely ground breadcrumbs made from Leksands rye crispbread – but you can use any dry breadcrumbs – but I find the lovely rye adds a lovely nutty flavour to the finished cake. This is our version of the little cakes.
Baking tin: Cylinder 5 cm x 5 cm holes or similar sized muffin or other shapes.
125g softened butter
80g caster sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
50g ground almond
100g plain flour
50g finely ground Leksands crispbread (or other breadcrumb)
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp vanilla sugar
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
50ml water or orange juice
Topping and filling
Good quality raspberry jam (1 tsp per cake)
Turn the oven to 180C
Whisk the butter and sugar until fluffy, the add the egg and egg yolk and mix again until completely combined.
In a bowl, add dry ingredients except the crispbread breadcrumbs – and then sift into the egg mixture – add the breadcrumbs and cream and fold again until smooth. Add 50ml of juice or water and mix – the mixture will still be quite thick.
Lightly butter the cylinder baking tins and then fill just over half with mixture. If you use tins with holes around 5cm x 5cm, you will get 8 cakes from this batch.
Bake for around 12-15 minutes or until done – the little cakes will rise quite a bit during baking.
Remove from the oven. Brush the most level ends of the cakes with a bit of Amaretto, for extra flavour.
Level out any wonkiness so the cakes can stand. Cut a hole in the middle to fit approx. 1 tsp jam into each.
Mix the icing sugar with a bit of hot water until you have a thick paste. Put it into a plastic bag and snip off the corner and pipe a line around the jam. Leave to dry.
By Bronte. Photo by Pete Cassidy.