Mondlukaka – Icelandic Almond Cake Dessert

"Most Icelanders have an enormous “sweet tooth” and an Icelandic afternoon tradition called “Kaffi og Kaka” (coffee and cake) is 1 way they indulge their craving. At first I expected something simple, but I quickly realized K&K is the Icelandic version of an American tradition ... “pig out till you seriously hurt yourself!” For some, it’s daily and casual. For others, it’s less frequent ... but a very formal, put out your best china, fill a table w/all manner of taste sensations and eat for 2 hrs while pouring coffee so strong it would make you gasp w/terror. A favorite treat for such occasions is Iceland Almond Cake. Again my source is my “Classic Scandanavian Cooking” cookbook by Nika Hazelton. Part of the intro says “This cake is good & easy, & it will keep well if wrapped in aluminum foil – without the filling & topping, of course.”"
photo by Tisha D. photo by Tisha D.
photo by Tisha D.
Ready In:
8 Cake Wedges




  • Set oven temp at 350°F.
  • Cream butter and gradually add sugar. Beat in egg yolks (1 at a time), beating well after ea addition. Stir in vanilla and almonds.
  • Sift together the flour & baking powder and gradually add to batter. Beat egg whites till stiff (but not dry); fold into batter.
  • Bake in three 8-inch buttered & floured layer pans for about 30 minutes or till golden brown. Cool at least 5 minutes before removing from pans.
  • Spread strawberry jam between cooled layers and cover top and sides with swirls of whipped cream. Serve immediately and watch as it disappears.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Ginger Rose
    This is a delicous cake! In the end I only did 2 layers...but that was just because I was too lazy to find another tin ;-)!
  2. Chef Kate
    I brought this to an open house on Sunday--it disappeared so fast I was very grateful that I had made a 'mini-version' that stayed at home. So pretty! So easy! Thanks, Mary Pat!
  3. Dreamgoddess
    This cake was delicious, easy to make and presented beautifully. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
  4. lauralie41
    This is a wonderful cake! I could not find my round cake pans, think DD "borrowed" them when she moved, so I used a bundt pan. When the cake was cooled I sliced the cake to make three sections. Used strawberry preserves and doubled the amount of whipped cream. So pretty and tastes so good! Thank you tsissis for posting this recipe!!
  5. evelynathens
    I was definitely the most popular at work today. This is a fabulous cake recipe! The actual cake layers are very thin and oh-so-flavourful with the ground almonds. Because of the use of almonds, I preferred to use a homemade sour cherry preserve between my layers and made a bit more whipped cream (can you ever have enough?) - using 1 1/2 cups. This was GORGEOUS before and after cutting. My colleagues are at my beck and call and, twissis, this is a KEEPER!


I am an American transplanted from Dallas to Iceland by marriage to a native Icelander & I retired to become his "Kitchen Queen". We love to entertain our family & friends, so I have an eclectic collection of recipes. I especially love simple, easy-fix, flexible & make-ahead recipes - BUT also like challenging myself on occasion. I enjoy baking & food photography. I am devoted to the "More is Always Better Principle" & apply it liberally to bacon, butter & garlic. I can have ingredient issues due to availability here in Iceland & my DH is medically diet-restricted from some ingredients as well. Either situation might require me to modify a recipe, but I will do my best to be true to your recipes & fair/honest in my reviews. Mary Pat (aka twissis)
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