How to make the perfect Swedish chocolate cake for Easter

Worrying about Easter fika this year? Try this most chocolaty chocolate-cake you've ever tasted from Swedish food writer John Duxbury.

How to make the perfect Swedish chocolate cake for Easter
Layered chocolate cake for a great Easter fika. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

This is the perfect cake for Easter, with a really rich deep chocolaty taste and a wonderful luxurious creamy filling and glaze. Of course, you can have fun decorating the top and, if you want, the sides too. As it is very rich, make sure you serve it in small portions!


Makes 12 portions
Preparation: 35 minutes (5+ hours to cool)
Cooking: 60 minutes


For cake tin:

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp cocoa powder

Chocolate cake:

200 g (7 oz) dark chocolate
100 ml (7 tbsp) strong black coffee
200 g (1 ¾ sticks) butter, cut into small cubes
160 g (1 ¼ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
2 tbsp baking powder
50 g (1 ¾ oz) cocoa powder
100 g (1 cup) granulated raw cane sugar
175 g (3/4 cup) light muscovado sugar
pinch salt
3 eggs
100 ml (7 tbsp) milk

Chocolate cream filling and glaze:

400 g (14 oz) dark chocolate
480 ml (2 cups) whipping cream
4 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 175 °C (350°F, gas 4, fan 160°C). Grease a loose-bottomed 20 cm (8”) round cake tin and dust with cocoa powder.

2. Break the chocolate for the cake up into pieces and put them in a bowl.

3. Heat the coffee to boiling and then pour it on to the chocolate. Add the butter cubes and stir mixture until the chocolate and butter have melted.

4. Evenly mix all the remaining dry ingredients for the cake. (I find this easier to do in a food processor to prevent the cocoa powder going all over the kitchen!)

5. Lightly whisk the eggs together and then whisk in the milk.

6. Fold in the chocolate mixture and then the dry ingredients.

7. When evenly mixed, pour into the cake tin and bake in the oven for 60-70 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

8. Let the cake cool in the tin for 15 minutes or so and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

9. Break the chocolate for the filling into a bowl.

10. Heat the cream and 4 tablespoons of caster sugar in a saucepan until it boils and then pour it on to the chocolate and stir until evenly mixed. Leave to cool until spreadable (3-4 hours).

11. Cut the cake into three layers. Spread the chocolate filling between the bottom two layers, over the top layer and round the sides.

12. Decorate with chocolate eggs and/or baby chicks.


– If 12 portions is too much for your Easter party, remove the decorations and freeze the remainder for another celebration later in the year.

– If possible choose a chocolate with about 60% cocoa solids, but if you can’t find any use 70%.

– Don’t worry if the top of the cake cracks. It is probably because your oven was slightly too hot, but it doesn’t really matter. Cover the tin with a tea cloth, leave to cool in the tin for about 15 minutes, turn out upside down on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

– If the top is too rounded, trim a thin layer off the cracked surface when the cake is cold.

Recipe courtesy of John Duxbury, editor and founder of Swedish Food.

For members


Traffic jams and sold-out trains: the latest on Easter travel in Sweden

Easter is probably the busiest time of the year for travel within Sweden. Here's the latest on how to travel safely and where you might face delayed trains or ugly traffic jams.

Traffic jams and sold-out trains: the latest on Easter travel in Sweden

Travelling by rail

If you haven’t already booked your ticket, you may find it difficult to get a seat on some popular routes. 

“Some routes are already fully booked. This is particularly the case between the major cities,” Anders Edgren, a press officer for the national train company SJ, told state broadcaster SVT.

A screenshot of SJ’s booking site for Good Friday shows most morning trains between Malmö and Stockholm are already sold out.
Edgren said on Thursday morning that there were still a few seats left between Stockholm and Gothenburg and Stockholm and Sundsvall but that they were selling out fast. 
“What we’re trying to do is to double-up trains, which is to stick together two trains, and if we manage to do that we might be able to release some more tickets.” 

Sweden’s national rail company SJ often schedules engineering work for national holidays, as fewer people are travelling to work, and this easter there will be engineering work at around 20 sites across the country, meaning more than 1,000 trains will be partly or totally replaced with buses during the Easter break. 

The worst areas are on the routes between Gothenburg and Malmö, between Västerås and Stockholm, and between Karlstad and Växjö. Work on the new Västkustbanan will mean replacement buses between Helsingborg and Gothenburg throughout the Easter holidays. 

SJ has made a map showing all the routes where you can expect interruptions: 

Traffic interruptions over Easter: 

Karlstad C to Kristinehamn: 10pm April 14th to 5am April 19th 

Gothenburg going north and south: 10.35pm April 14th to 2pm April 18th

Varberg to Heberg: 2pm April 14th to 2pm April 19th 14

Ängelholm Helsingborg: 12am April 4th to April 25th 4.15am 

Frövi to Kumla: 10pm April 14th to 5am April 19th 

Skymossen to Motala: 12am April 14th to 5am April 19th

Stockholm Central platforms 3 to 7: 10pm April 14th to 10pm April 21st 

Huvudsta – Barkarby: 1.10am April 14th to 4.30am April 19th 

Travelling by car 

In its guide to travelling by car over Easter, the Swedish Transport Agency warns that weather conditions at this time of year can vary enormously as you drive north.  You may find, for instance, that you need winter snow tyres by the time you reach your destination, even seemed almost summery when you set out. You should also make sure you have clothing for all seasons. 

Here is the agency’s maps of roads which it expects to see heavy Easter traffic. 

A map showing which roads are expected to be busy over the Easter period. Photo: Swedish Transport Agency
These include: 

The E22 between Kalmar and Norrköping, the E4 between Norrköping and Stockholm, and then from Stockholm all the way up to Sundsvall.  The roads leading towards the ski areas around Sälen and Östersund also tend to get crowded. None of the roads in Skåne are expected to see heavy traffic. 

The Swedish Transport Agency has imposed a ban on overtaking on the E4 between Gävle och Tönnebro, on the 14th and 14th of April for travel in a northerly direction, and on the 17th and 18th of April travelling south. 

The agency also recommends choosing roads with central reservations and speed cameras, as these are safer, even if this might mean a slower journey. Here is the agency’s map of roads with central reservations.


If you’re coming to Sweden by air, you should be aware that companies have been cancelling a high number of flights in recent days, because many of their staff have Covid.

EasyJet and British Airways cancelled more than 80 scheduled flights on Thursday, blaming staff sickness. 


If your flight is running as scheduled, be aware of issues at several UK airports.

Airports including Heathrow, Manchester and Birmingham have been hit by disruption because of staff shortages caused by Covid, affecting everything from airport security to luggage handlers. Passengers risked missing their flights because of lengthy delays, according to reports in the UK press. 

Passport queues at Heathrow Terminal 2, from where SAS flies to Stockholm, were ‘stretching to 90 minutes’ on Maundy Thursday, The Independent reported. 

Passengers have been advised to make sure they are at the airport as early as possible to allow for delays, and unions have warned that the disruption could last for some time.

In the case of Manchester, the advice last week was to arrive three hours early.