Brunsviger (Danish Caramel-Topped Cake)

I’ve been killing time lately in a chat room that’s mostly people scattered across Europe (and one American desperate to get out of the US forever, and me, really looking forward to returning). One of them gave me his recipe for Brunsviger, which I had never heard of, but immediately had to try. I had to do a tiny bit of interpreting (apparently they only ever have fresh yeast in Denmark?), but it came together really easily, and has a delicious crunchy sugar top!

IMG_1310Because it came in metric measurements, but is pretty easy to convert, I’ll give both for once.

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 1/4 liter (8.5 ounces) warm milk
  • 50 grams fresh yeast or 5 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 100 grams (7 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 500 grams (4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon (my addition, but I recommend it)

Topping (can be doubled):

  • 150 grams (10 1/2 tablespoons) butter
  • 150 grams (2 1/2 cups) brown sugar

The first challenge here is pan size. The pan I used is a bit bigger than a 9 x 13″ (possibly 40 x 27cm, but I don’t have a measuring tape to check), and the dough was thick enough that it rose so high it was pushing some of the caramel over the sides. I can’t really think of a larger, but still standard, sized dish you would have in the US that has high sides, so I guess I suggest using a 9 x 13″ and also a bread pan? Sure. Whatever pan(s) you find, grease them well and set aside. Potentially also line a sheet pan with foil and put your greased pans on that, to catch any drips? Never a bad idea.

Stir the yeast into the warm milk in a large bowl. Stir in the remaining dough ingredients, and knead until smooth and shiny. I felt at first like it was going to need additional flour, but it actually became a nice dough pretty quickly.

IMG_1302Pat your dough into the bottom of your greased pan(s). Cover, and set aside to rise for 20 minutes. During this time, preheat your oven to 200 C/390 F.

IMG_1303In a medium saucepan, combine the topping ingredients over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring increasingly frequently as it heats.

IMG_1304Remove the boiling mixture from the heat and set aside just long enough to poke holes all over the dough with a finger or spoon for the topping to go into.

POKE POKE

POKE POKE

Pour the hot sugar mixture evenly over the dough.

IMG_1306Bake 25 minutes. When it comes out of the oven, you can eat it pretty much right away. The dough holds together well, and the top hardens quite quickly, so you can take out pieces without worrying it will fall apart.

IMG_1307If you want to make this quickly in the morning, you can prepare the dough the night before, using 1/2 the amount of yeast, and get it as far as spread out in the pan, then whip up the topping and throw it in the oven in the morning just in time for breakfast.

sugar close up

sugar close up

The cake turns out fluffy, big, and nice. Oh, the person that gave me the recipe suggested doubling the topping, for extra deliciousness. I didn’t have enough brown sugar to do it, which in retrospect turned out to be a very good thing, since mine already overflowed without twice as much, but if you’re not alarmed by that much butter (it’s over a huge amount of baked good, it’s fine, you’ll share, really you will this time), go for it!

Brunsviger

Dough:

  • 1/4 liter (8.5 ounces) warm milk
  • 50 grams fresh yeast or 5 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 100 grams (7 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 500 grams (4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon, optional

Topping (can be doubled):

  • 150 grams (10 1/2 tablespoons) butter
  • 150 grams (2 1/2 cups) brown sugar

Grease a large baking dish well and set aside.

Stir the yeast into the warm milk in a large bowl. Stir in the remaining dough ingredients, and knead until smooth and shiny. Pat dough into the bottom of the greased pan. Cover, and set aside to rise for 20 minutes. During this time, preheat your oven to 200 C/390 F.

In a medium saucepan, combine the topping ingredients over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring increasingly frequently as it heats. Remove the boiling mixture from the heat and set aside just long enough to poke holes all over the dough with a finger or spoon. Pour the hot sugar mixture evenly over the dough, then bake for 25 minutes.

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About sparecake

My name's Corinne, and I like cake, cookies, and chocolate! Also, non-c-things such as ponies, Star Trek, and biking. I write a food blog and a blog about life, wide open spaces, and museum work. Nice to meet you!
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