Citizens, this delicious Finnish dessert is a tall cylindrical pastry that is soaked in Swedish punsch, rum or cognac flavored sugar syrup and topped with a dollop of raspberry jam or apple marmalade, lastly garnished with a ring of white or pink sugar icing.
Runebergintorttu is a traditional Finnish sweet named after the poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg, who wrote the country’s national anthem, Maamme.
The origins of this sweet are shrouded in folk legend. Apparently, Runeberg had asked his wife to bake him a cake, but the pantry was almost empty. His wife decided to make it anyway, using those few available ingredients, and drawing inspiration from a cake sold by by confectioner Lars Astenius from their hometown of Porvoo.
The recipe for runebergintorttu was published for the first time in 1850 in a book of homemaking advice and recipes written by Mrs. Runeberg.
From the poet’s table, these pastries gradually became popular in Poorvo’s cafés. They are now the town’s most typical dish, and are traditionally eaten from January until Runeberg’s birthday on February 5. Nowadays, they are found year-round.
My recipe is basically the fantastic version I found at dessertsforbreakfast.com, but with some special tweaks of my own (like using vanilla sugar, Chambord and Swedish Punsch).
Traditionally, the dough for these cakes is baked in special “Runeberg’s tart moulds”, sold in many Finnish stores.
The individual moulds for these cakes are bottomless cylinders about six centimetres tall and with a diameter of about five centimetres. When baked in these genuine moulds, the cakes are called by their proper name, “Runeberg’s tarts”. Try and make them in the traditional shape – these dariole moulds are perfect for the task!
Citizens, this is one dessert that I am fully confident you will absolutely love! )
Battle on – The Generalissimo