How to make these Swedish ‘vacuum cleaners’ for fika

No, we're not suggesting you make a DIY vacuum cleaner. Food writer John Duxbury is back with another Swedish fika classic.

How to make these Swedish 'vacuum cleaners' for fika
Whether you call them punschruller or dammsugare, these Swedish cakes are a classic. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

This pastry is often called dammsugare (vacuum cleaner), in reference to how vacuum cleaners looked in the 1920s, but also because of the supposed practice of the pastry baker collecting crumbs from left over cakes or cookies.


Serves: 12

Preparation: 25 minutes

Cooking: 5 minutes

Total: 30 minutes


75g (⅓ cup) butter or margarine, softened

4 tbsp icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)

1 tsp vanilla sugar

2 tbsp cocoa powder

250g (1¼ cups) cake (muffins or any leftover cake)

4 tbsp Swedish punsch (or 1 tbsp of rum)

350g (12 oz) marzipan

1 tsp green food colouring (optional)

75g (2½ oz) dark chocolate (semi-sweet chocolate)


1. Put the butter, sugars and cocoa powder in a food processor. Whizz briefly until evenly mixed.

2. Add the cake and punsch and whizz until evenly mixed.

3. Cut two pieces of greaseproof about 37½ cm x 10 cm (15″ x 4″) each. Divide the mixture between the two sheets and roll into two long sausages, trying to ensure that each sausage is an even diameter, something that is easier said than done! Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

4. Optional: in a bowl gradually add green food colouring to the marzipan, mixing until it is the desired shade and evenly coloured. (Green is the most popular colour but sometimes they are pink or they are left uncoloured.)

5. Sprinkle the work surface with a little icing sugar and roll the marzipan out into a thin sheet, constantly rotating it as you roll it to prevent it sticking. Cut it into 6 cm (2¼”) wide strips.

6. Re-roll the arrack mixture to make sure it is a nice even sausage. Cut the arrack filling into 6 cm lengths so that you have 12 pieces.

7. Roll each one up with marzipan. Chill them for at least 30 minutes.

8. Break the chocolate into small pieces and then carefully melt it in a microwave (I found it took 5 minutes on a low (360 W) setting) or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.

9. Dip one end of each roll into the chocolate mixture and then transfer it to some greaseproof paper until the chocolate sets. Repeat with the other end of each roll. (I found that if I tried to do both ends at once the chocolate sometimes ran down the marzipan.)

10. Transfer to a tray lined with greaseproof paper and refrigerate until required. (Don't take them out too early because then they will become soft and easily mark or lose their shape.)


– Use any leftover cake for this.
– Use a ruler to ensure that are all the rolls are the same size.
– Use separate knives for cutting the cake mixture and the marzipan to avoid getting cocoa stains on the marzipan.
– Ensure your hands are free of cocoa stains when handling the marzipan!
– Green food colouring varies a lot. Add a small amount at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition, until you get the shade you like.
– They freeze well.

This recipe is published courtesy of John Duxbury, founder and editor of Swedish Food.