Suksesskake: Norwegian Success Cake

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Suksesskake: Norwegian success cake recipe

It doesn't have to be a celebration or a special occasion in order to make a success cake, it can be enjoyed all year round. Learn how to bake one here.

In my first spell living in Norway, my food obsession in Stavanger was skølebrød/skolebolle. It's a soft, white brioche bun, topped with white icing and finely chopped coconut, with a small dip in the middle for a generous helping of custard.

This Scandinavian baked good often sent my taste buds into overdrive.

Introducing suksesskake

But one other Norwegian cake I’ve always been rather found of is the success cake or tart (suksesskake or suksessterte). A cake that has a moist almond base and a sweet topping that can vary in colour from golden cream to bright yellow. Are you drooling, yet?

Suksesskake Recipe: How to make Norway's success cake

The success cake is a popular choice for family celebrations in Norway and is often baked for occasions such as weddings and confirmations. It's also a very common sight in offices when there is a birthday or other occasion to celebrate.

It can be found in a lot of coffee shops up and down the country, and this is often where I chose to enjoy it. The success cake is a perfect accompaniment to a simple black coffee on a cold and rainy day.

Read on to find out how to make this Norwegian favourite.


For the base you will need:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 150 grams of confectioner’s sugar
  • 150 grams of almonds

Yep, that's a lot of almonds! They give the cake its distinctive look, flavour and texture.

Almonds provide much of the flavour in Norwegian suksesskake
Almonds provide much of the flavour in Norwegian suksesskake

For topping you will need:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100 mls of double (heavy) cream
  • 125 grams of sugar
  • 150 grams of butter
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract

Everything ready? Then let’s make and bake!

Egg yolks success cake

How to make the base

1. Preheat the oven to 160/170

2. Line the bottom of a round 24 cm cake tin. The sides can be greased with some butter for easy removal later.

3. Chop the almonds into very small pieces.

4. Place the egg whites into a mixing bowl and whisk until stiff peaks form.

5. Mix the sugar and chopped almonds and gently fold them into the egg whites. It is important to be delicate during the process.

6. Pour the mixture into the pre-prepared cake tin.

7. Place towards the bottom of the even to bake. This should take between 35 to 40 minutes, but each oven will be slightly different so keep a watchful eye on it.

8. When it's baked to perfection, remove from the oven and leave to stand on a cool surface. It can be removed from the tin later once it has cooled.

How to make the topping

1. Place the egg yolks, sugar, cream and vanilla extract into a pan. Stir until the ingredients come together.

2. Cook on a low heat until it starts to thicken, too much heat will ruin the mixture.

3. When it is done it should look like a really thick cream. Dip a clean knife into the mixture to see how well the cream sticks to it. If it is too runny, more heating is required; if is sticks well, it is done.

4. Once the cream reaches the required consistency, pour it into a bowl and leave until it reaches room temperature.

5. Next, add lightly chilled butter. Cut into small cubes and stir in until fully incorporated.

Success Cake

Final steps

Spread the cream topping over the cake. Sprinkle some sliced almonds on top to finish. Finally, place the success cake in the fridge and remove shortly before serving.

Serve and enjoy!

About Mathew Paul Gundersen

Mathew is a British (og litt Norsk) guy living in Stavanger, Norway. He is a journalist, a literature student and a keen runner (amongst other things).

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12 thoughts on “Suksesskake: Norwegian Success Cake”

  1. I was recently on the Viking Star, a Norwegian ship, and this was my favorite dessert! Thank you for the recipe. Also, I’m going to be in Norway in a couple of months– do you happen to know what the locals call heavy cream (whipping cream)?

    • Looking forward to presenting this Suksesskake to my Sons of Norway Lodge dinner dessert buffet tonight. The base and sauce are cooling.
      I’m quite certain this recipe was written in Norwegian, because it translates poorly into English. I have a feeling an advanced chef did not share explicit directions!
      Next time try to improve and perhaps teach a novice Baker and cook a few techniques. Especially your sauce instructions need to be improved. This sauce must constantly be stirred, which utensil is best used, give a better idea of how many minutes, should it come to a boil or not!
      I used toasted blanched sliced almonds that were pulsed to coarsely ground in the food processor. Toasting all nuts improves their flavor.

    • I whisked my butter, which has been firmed up in the refrigerator for 2 hours, into egg yolks, sugar and cream sauce after it had cooked to thicken and cooled to room temperature.
      Butter emulsified into mixture quite easily when whisked by hand. The finished texture was similar to a French ganache, but mine was spread on the meringue crust rather than poured.

  2. I also had this cake on a Viking cruise. Their version was better than this recipe produces. Not sure why.
    There is nothing special about this custard and it is tricky to get it to thicken properly. A disappointment.
    I wouldn’t bother making it again.


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