Swedish Almond Cake

Paired with a cup of coffee and shared with a friend, Swedish Almond Cake makes any occasion sweeter! Dense cake with sweet almond topping.

Love almonds? These sweet Almond Bars are a favorite, for the holidays and all year long! For a chewy bar, try baking a batch of Coconut Almond Bars!

Slice of almond cake on a white plate with striped blue linen, remaining cake on a white cake platter.

Cake for Breakfast

I love a perfect cake to go with my afternoon coffee. This friends, is that perfect cake. It’s super moist, dense, and has a hint of lemon and almond.

In Sweden, there’s a custom I love called “Fika.” It translates to “have coffee” but means a little more than that.

The practice of Fika involves sitting down with a friend to chat over a cup of coffee and a snack. It’s considered an essential part of each day; don’t you love that? 

I think we could all do with taking more time out of our busy lives to enjoy uninterrupted time with our friends–especially if cake is involved!

A slice of this Swedish Almond Cake or a plate of Swedish Heirloom Cookies are ideal accompaniments to that afternoon coffee and conversation. 

While other coffee cakes are airy with a crumb topping, Swedish Almond Cake is closer to a cookie in texture and crusted with sugared almonds.

The moist dense texture and not-too-sweet almond flavor make it a delightful afternoon pick-me-up or tea party treat.

I’ve even been known to sneak a slice or two with my morning coffee for breakfast! Best of all, this tasty almond cake recipe is one of the least complicated cakes to make. There’s no messing with frosting or toppings, just mix the batter, bake and enjoy. 

Slice of almond cake on a pie server.

Vanilla Sugar – Secret Ingredient

This Swedish Almond Cake gets its great flavor from vanilla sugar and almond extract. Lemon zest brightens everything up while using melted butter in the batter is key for achieving the texture that makes this cake irresistible. 

If you’ve never baked with vanilla sugar before, you’re in for a treat. Vanilla sugar is sugar infused with vanilla beans.

It’s typically made by letting vanilla beans sit in a jar of white granulated sugar for a long period of time.

While not as common in the U.S.A., it’s a central ingredient to many Swedish, Hungarian and German recipes, like this almond cake. 

NOTE: Vanilla sugar is NOT just sugar mixed with vanilla extract! Using vanilla extract in this recipe will affect the texture and may overwhelm the almond and lemon. Vanilla sugar brings a light vanilla taste and aroma to the cake in a way that vanilla extract can’t quite acheive. 

You can purchase vanilla sugar at some specialty food stores but it’s also easy to make your own!

The process takes a little time, as you leave fresh vanilla beans straight from the pod in a jar of sugar for at least a week to infuse it with flavor.

But once you have it on hand, you’ll be ready to make so many delicious recipes, including Swedish Almond Cake. (also delicious in your coffee!)

How to Make Swedish Almond Cake

Step by step photos showing how to make swedish almond cake.

My almond cake recipe comes together in just three steps. 

STEP 1. Make the cake batter

In a mixer, blend vanilla sugar with zest from one lemon. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add in salt and almond extract then mix in the flour and melted butter.

STEP 2. Top with Almonds

Pour the cake batter into a greased and floured 9 inch cake pan (You can also use my homemade cake release for the pans).

Sprinkle the top with coarse sugar and sliced almonds. You can get fancy with a pattern here or just sprinkle free form. Either way the cake will look elegant and taste wonderful. 

STEP 3. Bake

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven, cool several minutes before turning out of pan.

Swedish Almond Cake can be enjoyed warm or cooled to room temperature. I love it served both ways! 

Almond cake on a white cake platter with a slice removed.

More Cake recipes

Yield: 8 servings

Swedish Almond Cake

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Paired with a cup of coffee and shared with a friend, Swedish Almond Cake makes any occasion sweeter! Dense cake with sweet almond topping.


  • 1 cup vanilla sugar
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp sliced almonds
  • 1 Tbsp coarse sugar (pearl sugar)


  1. In mixer, blend vanilla sugar with zest from one lemon. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add in salt and almond extract.
  2. Mix in the flour and melted butter.
  3. Pour batter into a greased and floured 9 inch cake pan. Sprinkle coarse sugar and almonds on top.
  4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven, cool several minutes before turning out of pan.
  5. Enjoy warm or room temperature!


  • Make a batch of homemade Vanilla Sugar for this recipe, and all baking.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 290Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 182mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 1gSugar: 27gProtein: 4g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Take a break from the hustle and bustle to enjoy a slice of almond cake and a cup of coffee with a friend. This traditional Swedish cake is easy to make with a one-of-a-kind texture and delightful almond flavor.

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on February 21, 2020

Comments & Reviews

  1. I started out making the vanilla sugar several months ago, but it took me longer to get around to making the cake. Now I have made this cake several times in the last few weeks. It goes together so quickly and the flavor gets great raves. I love using Orange Zest instead of the lemon, so fresh and lovely! I also have started using a silicone dish for baking so I can skip the grease and flour step.

  2. I just made this cake. After i have found it today. Had no vanilla sugar so i used 1/2 cup of raw sugar and two little bags of vanilla sugar and 1/2 lime (had no lemon)..
    This cake is so delicious. I love it and will make it again. Thanks for this amazing recipe.

  3. Thank you, Aimee. This sounds wonderful and I know it will go wonderfully with our brunch menu for next week. I have 2 Swedish cookbooks but have not seen this recipe. The recipes you share and the ones I have tried are to “die for”. Thank you , thank you, thank you.

    1. Her recipe says how you can make it, or you can purchase it from a variety of specialty places or online. I used to make this all the time. Love the lemon hints!

      1. AMAZING Almond cake recipe!!! I substituted half the butter for unsweetened cinnamon applesauce and whipped the eggs and sugar on high speed for 5 min to achieve a light and tender crumb. Thanks!

  4. I would like to use cake flour is there anything else I would need like baking soda or baking powder? If so I much would I need would like to make for Christmas
    Thank you for your help

  5. This was awesome! Tastes just like one of my favorite breakfast treats, Panera’s Bear Claws!  I lightened it up a bit by subbing half the butter with non-fat Greek yogurt and it produced a very light and delicate texture.  

  6. I have not made this yet but I can’t wait to try it because of all the wonderful comments. I’m sure it is going to be great, can’t wait. I think I will make it right now. Bye

  7. I just made this cake tonight, it turned out delicious! I actually made 2 one for my family and one for my friend! I used cake flour and it is super airy and light! Love the lemon zest, definitely a great recipe!

  8. I made this cake tonight and it was so delicious! It reminded me of a bear claw in cake form. I didn’t have vanilla sugar so I used normal sugar along with 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and it was perfect. I love the crunchy top that forms on the cake, it was wonderful with a cup of coffee. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  9. Sweet, somewhat gooey with a delightful crunch on the top. I made 1 1/2 times the original recipe and baked it in a 11×7 glass pan. Baked it for 30 mins. Cut it in 12 Approx 2×2 1/2 squares.

    1. You can totally make it a day ahead, no need to refrigerate (just cover in a cake saver or with plastic wrap. ENJOY

  10. Made this to bring to work on my “breakfast and coffee” day of the month. SO GOOD that my coworkers gobbled it down so quickly. I made it again today. Same result. I love this coffee cake!!!!!!!!

    1. So glad to hear it Debbie! I’ve also added some fresh blueberries and fresh raspberries to the top (with the almonds). ENJOY 🙂

  11. I just made this and am eating it while posting this… It’s fantastic! I actually made it gluten free by subbing 1/3 cup almond flour and 2/3 cup Bobs Red Mill gluten free baking mix. It came out perfect, I had no problem removing it from the pan which I greased with butter and dusted with almond meal. Tank you for sharing this, it’s a treasure!

  12. Hi, I have a couple of questions, how much vanilla exrract and what is pearl sugar and what can be used instead.

    1. Hi Jill, it’s almond extract not vanilla, listed above in the recipe. As for pearl sugar, it’s a coarse Swedish sugar. You can use any coarse sugar you like.

      1. Hi,
        I meant instead of the 1 cup of vanilla sugar, you said to use regular sugar and vanilla extract, but how much vanilla?
        thanks again,

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