Home » Sweet » Runeberg’s Torte Cake | Recipe

Runeberg’s Torte Cake | Recipe

by Saara

It’s that time of the year again when Runeberg’s Tortes are everywhere here in Finland. Traditionally, the tortes appear as decadent individual pastries because they’re baked in small cake cylinders. Still, during the past few years, I’ve found that Runebergs Torte Cake is a gorgeous coffee table statement when you have more people to serve. 

Plus, baking Runeberg’s Torte as a cake is your choice whenever short on time.

Despite the multitude of brands and pastries in the grocery stores, I really love to bake my own Runeberg’s Torte every year at home. It has been one of my most loved pastry since my childhood. There’s something magical about the flavors of cardamom, almonds, tart raspberry jam, and sweet sugar frosting. I never get tired of these flavors.

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links*, meaning that I get a commission if you choose to make a purchase through the given links. Read full disclosure here.

Runeberg’s Torte Cake and its lost cousin

Baking Runeberg’s Torte as a cake is simple and easy. As I’ve mentioned in my previous recipe post about the classic Runeberg’s pastries, the ethos of this tradition is baking with whatever you have in your pantry and having fun.

The only constants are the raspberry jam and almonds, whereas the shape and additional flavor agents vary. It doesn’t matter if you bake the cake rectangular or use miscellaneous cookie crumbs. You can moisten the cake with traditional punch syrup or substitute it with whatever is sitting on your liqueur shelf. Or make it alcohol-free.

The story behind my cake adaption takes us a few years back when I was cooking with Yasmin Khan’s cookbook The Saffron Tales: Recipes from the Persian Kitchen*. Upon flipping the recipes, I noticed that the Persian Love Cake must be the lost cousin of Runeberg’s Torte! Both cakes celebrate cardamom and have a similar moist and dense texture.

But what are the differences? The Persian Love Cake has floral notes with rosewater and the zestiness of lemon peel. The hero of Runeberg’s cake is the tartness of the raspberry jam, which the sweet sugar frosting cuts eloquently.

To build more dialogue between these two cardamom cake cousins, I decided to substitute the ground almonds with unsalted pistachio kernels* to the cake batter. To moisten the cake, I used simple lemon water plus added a dash of Parfait Amour liqueur into the syrup mix to give a very cautious nod to rose water. The results are divine!

Runebergs Torte Cake | Recipe

The cake recipe yields 8-10 portions, depending on how big slices you serve. Because I like to honor the round and semi-tall design of the traditional Runeberg’s torte, I bake this cake in an 18cm springform cake tin. My 18cm cake tin is similar to this non-stick Abcsea 1 Piece Round Springform Cake tin* and this 7 Inch Springform Pan*.

If you bake the cake in a bigger cake pan, adjust the oven time and scale up the ingredients. Whatever tin you’re using, just make sure the bottom is removable because it makes it so much easier. Now let’s get baking!

Runebergs Torte Recipe

Runebergs Torte Cake | My Vintage Cooking

Print recipe
Makes/Serves: 8 Prep Time: Cooking time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat


The Cake

  • 200g butter (room temperature)
  • 185g sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 120g almond flour
  • 50g unsalted pistachios
  • 40g gingerbread cookies
  • 150ml cream (room temperature)
  • 200g wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground cardamom
  • 1/3 tsp vanilla powder
  • pinch of salt


Lemon Sugar Syrup

  • 150ml hot water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 50ml sugar
  • Dash of liqueur of your choice


Sugar Frosting

  • 130g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp cold water
  • juice of 1 lemon wedge



  • 150-200ml raspberry jam
  • 20g unsalted pistachios, crushed (optional)
  • Fresh raspberries (optional)



  1. Leave butter and cream on the table for 30 minutes. Grease 7 inch /18cm cake tin, line the removable bottom with parchment paper and then sprinkle almond flour on the greased surfaces. Let the tin wait in the fridge while you prepare the batter.
  2. Pre-heat oven 175°C/ 347°F. Measure all the ingredients.Mix spices and baking powder with wheat flour. Crush gingerbread cookies and pistachios with a sharp knife on a cutting board. Set aside 20g of pistachios for decorating the cake. Grind cardamom pods in a mortar.
  3. Cream butter and sugar together in a large baking bowl until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time into the batter (to avoid curdling, add one tablespoon of flour in between the eggs). Finally, mix and fold the dry ingredients in by alternating with the cream. 
  4. Pour the batter into the cake tin. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes on a lower rack and until the test stick comes out dry. 
  5. Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before removing the ring. Let the cake cool completely before moistening and decorating it. If the top of the cake has a high profile, you can slice it to even it out when cooled. And you can turn the cake upside down onto your serving plate.
  6. To prepare the lemon sugar syrup, dissolve sugar, lemon, and the liqueur of your choice with hot water. With a spoon, moisten the cake evenly using all of the syrup. You can now either decorate the cake or store it in the fridge overnight and decorate it the next day.


Decorating the Runeberg's Torte Cake

  1. Mix the icing sugar with lemon juice and water. The icing should be smooth so that it's easy to pipe but not too thick or stiff so that it doesn't set immediately. When you make a swirl with a spoon, you should see it hold its shape loosely. Adjust the mixture with extra water and sugar until you find the perfect consistency.
  2. Place a small saucer in the middle of the cake (approximately 14cm/5.5 inches in diameter). Pipe the icing around it, letting it drizzle on the sides a bit if you wish. Quickly remove the plate from the center and let the icing set. 
  3. Carefully spoon raspberry jam into the middle and spread it evenly. Finally, create a thin rim of crushed pistachios where the jam and icing meet. Garnish with raspberries just before serving. The cake is ready to be enjoyed!


Runebergs Torte Cake is easy to prepare a day in advance, store the cake air-tight in the fridge. You can freeze the cake in any point in time.

Did you make this recipe?
Tag me on Instagram @myvintagecooking

Runebergs Torte Recipe

How to perfect the Runeberg’s Torte Cake

If you want to perfect the flavors with this cake adaption, there are few key points.

Always use freshly ground cardamom. This makes such a big difference. For example, SPICE TRAIN, Organic Green Cardamom Pods (100g / 3.53oz)* is similar to the organic brand I use from Sonnentor. When the cardamom is in the original seed form inside the pod, the aromas are safe for a longer time. For the 1 tablespoon of cardamom used in the recipe, you’ll need approximate 15-16 green cardamom pods.

Choose quality raspberry jam. For example, St. Dalfour Red Raspberry Fruit Spread, 10 Ounce* has 51% raspberries; it is sweetened with juices and does not include any artificial ingredients. You can add and mix in frozen raspberries if your jam does not have the best berry consistency.

Look for unsalted pistachio kernels. The pistachio kernels add luxury to the cake, both flavor and price-wise. However, you don’t need much. The recipe requires only 70 grams of kernels. If you would like to use pistachios more in your baking and cooking, of course, bulking with a bigger bag of pistachios makes more sense. For example, Fiddyment Farms 1 Lb Unsalted Pistachio Kernels*. Using roasted pistachios is fine, too, as long as the kernels are unsalted. For example, Trader Joe’s Dry Roasted and Unsalted Pistachio Nutmeats Halves and Pieces, 8 oz*.

This cake only gets better with time. I prefer to bake and prepare the cake a day in advance to let the flavors set. But it’s essential to store the cake airtight so that the cake doesn’t get any extra flavors inside the fridge. 

You can also freeze the cake in any point in time: when cooled, when moistened or when finished with the decorations. Officially, the cake is enjoyed on the 5th of February to celebrate our national poet but the pastries are sold all January and February. I take this as a sign that it’s okay to bake Runeberg’s Torte Cake more than once. :)

If you want to learn more about Runeberg’s Torte and bake it the traditional way in small cake cylinders, please follow this recipe.

Did you bake Runeberg’s Torte Cake? Please share!


Love, Saara

You may also like

Leave a comment

Thanks for leaving a comment. We respect your privacy and your email will NOT be published. All comments are moderated for the safety & quality of the site. By using this comment form, you agree with the handling of your data as per the privacy policy.

Hello! This website uses cookies to improve site performance, statistics and manage personalized content including ads. Learn how to manage cookies, please click read more. Okay, thanks! Read More