Maria Lönnrot's Cake ‒ Maria Lönnrotin kakku

Random facts about Finnish coffee culture #10: During the Swedish govern (and again during the second world war) coffee was on prohibition several times. It was an expensive import product,  which was totally unacceptable in the mercantilist ideology of the time, plus it was thought to have negative effects on public health. The smell of forbidden fruit of course only made coffee even more desired and also a profitable target for smugglers. Since Finns aren't easily convinced so they later repeated the prohibition experiment with alcohol and nowadays cannabis, with similar effects.

In the 20th century there were (and still are) a lot of rivaling lemon cake recipes. This one is from Maria Piponius aka. Maria Lönnrot, the wife of Elias lönnrot best known for compiling our national epic Kalevala. The recipe doesn't call for any special veganizing, just adding the word soy in front of cream. Since lemons weren't always readily available, it gives the option of using cardamom instead, but because I'm weird I like adding them both simultaneously. Here is by the way a video of grandma Leena baking this very cake, plus on the same site many other grandams from Finland, Belgium, Netherlands, Italia and Turkey baking their traditional recipes. Yay for grandmas!

Notice the cups here don't mean cups of the English speaking world but Finnish coffee cups of the time. Somewhere between 1,25-1,5 dl is usually a close enough estimation, as long as you stay coherent. As for the soda, I suspect the cream of the time was the sour part of the recipe and vegetable-based cream necessarily isn't, so just to be on the safe side I add some lemon juice as well. The recipe contains well enough sugar to cover that.

- 3 coffee cups whippable soy cream
- 2 coffee cups sugar
- 4 coffee cups wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 grated lemon rind or 1 tsp cardamom (plus half the lemon juice)

Whisk the cream and the sugar until foamy. Add the rest of the ingredients. Pour into a greased cake mold. (You can sugar the mold after greasing if you wish, but don't use breadcrumbs.) Bake in 175°C for an hour or so. Turn out onto a plate when hot.

Enjoy the aromatic creaminess with coffee and good company.

Nutritional values / 1145 g:
energy 3512 kcal
fat 99 g
protein 54 g
carbohydrates 593 g
fiber 17 g 


  1. That looks delicious and I'm enjoying learning about Finnish coffee culture.

  2. Seriously. The crumb on that is amazing.

  3. so amazing that coffee was forbidden! don't take away my coffee! That cake looks so supremely perfect.


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