By Vida Gustafson

Contributing Writer

We produce some of the most fabulous strawberries in the country, here on the Central Coast and this is yet another great way to showcase them. Plums, blackberries, peaches or any other summer fruit would be just as delicious.

Part Pavlova, part Victoria Sponge, this traditional recipe is claimed by many Nordic countries. Brita Kakku in Finland, Kvæfjordkake in Norway, Brita Kook in Estonia and Britatårta in Sweden. What these all have in common is the revolutionary (to my insular baking experience) method of baking the cake batter and meringue layer simultaneously on a sheet tray. The cake is then cut in half or quarters and layered with cream and fresh fruit. Almonds are usually baked onto the meringue layer as well, enhancing the texture and adding a great depth of flavor.



For the cake

  • 5 tbsp butter (softened)
  • ½ C sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ¾ C flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ C milk

For the meringue layer

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 C sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt

¾ C slivered almonds

For the filling

  • 1 C heavy whipping cream
  • 1 lb fresh strawberry


Preheat oven to 350 F°. Butter and line a sheet pan (roughly 15’’ by 10’’) with a parchment paper. Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the egg yolks one by one, mixing thoroughly in between. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and add it to the cake batter, alternating with the addition of the milk until you have a smooth batter. Spread onto your baking sheet evenly using a spatula.

In a clean mixing bowl beat the egg white, sugar and salt until glossy and approximately doubled in size. I’ve found that simply putting the sugar in the bowl before the whites helps it disolve in gradually as the meringue fluffs up. Spread this mixture over the cake batter and sprinkle with the almonds.

Bake the cake for 20 minutes, or until the meringue is lightly browned and crispy to the touch. Remove from the oven and let cool thoroughly while you whip the cream and slice the fruit. 

When the cake is cool, cut it into 2 or 4 pieces, depending on how many layers you’d like and proceed to build your finished cake. Assemble the finished desert by stacking cake, cream and berries, in that order.