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Suksessterte: The versatile Norwegian cake that delights with every bite

Suksessterte: the Norwegian cake that does it all

Suksessterte, a delicious Norwegian tart, has gained popularity for its unique name and delicious taste. This article explores the origins, recipe, variations and cultural significance of suksessterte, providing you with a comprehensive guide to this delightful dessert.

Where does suksessterte come from?

The origins of suksessterte are somewhat obscure, but it is believed that it was first baked in either Vardø or Vadsø, two small towns in the far north and east of Norway. These towns were historically located on a shipping route that connected the continent with Russia and possibly Asia. It is speculated that a ship docking at either port may have brought a baker or a recipe from countries such as Austria or France, where similar pastries are common. The adoption of suksessterte as an official dessert for important occasions remains a mystery. However, its rich ingredients, including sugar, butter, cream and eggs, may have made it a luxurious treat at a time when food was scarce.

How to make a suksessterte

Suksessterte consists of two main components: a cake base and a custard topping. The cake base is made from egg whites, icing sugar and almonds, which provide flavour and texture. Almond extract can also be added to enhance the nutty flavour. Once baked and cooled, the almond cake is topped with a custard frosting made from egg yolks, sugar, butter and heavy cream. The topping is usually flavoured with vanilla and may be garnished with sliced almonds. Suksessterte is usually a single-layer cake, but for special occasions a two-layer cake can be made using the custard as a filling.

Variations on Suksessterte

Although the recipes for suksessterte share common elements, there are several variations to explore. Some bakers prefer to bake the cake in two layers instead of one, adding an extra dimension to the dessert. Whether or not to frost the sides of the cake is also a matter of personal preference. A drizzle of melted chocolate over the top is a popular addition, and some bakers even substitute hazelnuts for almonds. The custard can be flavoured with ingredients such as orange zest instead of vanilla extract. Decorations on suksessterte vary widely, from candles for birthdays to chocolate eggs for Easter. Marzipan flowers and candied almonds are also popular, giving the cake a lovely and festive look.

How to eat Suksessterte

Suksessterte is enjoyed in offices, homes and coffee shops all over Norway. It goes well with a cup of black coffee, which helps to balance the sweetness of the cake. Tea, especially rose hip tea (nype-te), is also a good accompaniment due to its slight acidity. Suksessterte comes with a rich custard topping, but some people like to add whipped cream for an extra indulgent touch. For the ultimate treat, suksessterte can be served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or Norwegian flavours such as chocolate or almond brittle.

Where to buy suksessterte

In Norway, suksessterte is easy to find in bakeries, especially during the spring and festive seasons. Outside of Norway, however, finding suksessterte can be a challenge. There are rumours that bakeries in states such as Minnesota and Wisconsin, where Norwegian communities thrive, occasionally offer suksessterte. However, specific instances are hard to come by. Alternatively, Viking, a cruise line founded by Norwegian-born chairman Torstein Hagen, offers suksessterte on its cruises. However, these cruises can be quite expensive. A more accessible option is to bake a suksessterte yourself. If that’s not possible, try an Ikea almond cake, which has similarities to suksessterte.


Suksessterte is a delicious Norwegian cake with both cultural and culinary significance. Its origins remain somewhat mysterious, but its unique name and delicious combination of flavours have made it a popular dessert for various festive occasions. Whether you make it at home or seek it out in a bakery, suksessterte is sure to impress with its almond cake base, creamy custard topping and customisable decorations. Embrace the Norwegian tradition of celebrating success with this delicious cake and enjoy the flavours of a truly unique dessert.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does “suksessterte” mean?

“Suksessterte” is a Norwegian word that translates into English as “success cake”. The name reflects its purpose as a cake to congratulate and celebrate special occasions.

Is suksessterte only eaten in Norway?

Suksessterte is most commonly eaten in Norway, where it has cultural significance and is readily available in bakeries. However, its popularity has spread beyond Norway’s borders and you may find variations of suksessterte in Norwegian communities or speciality bakeries in other countries.

Can I make suksessterte without almonds?

Traditionally, suksessterte is made with almonds, which contribute to its unique flavour and texture. However, if you have allergies or prefer to avoid almonds, you can experiment with substituting other nuts, such as hazelnuts or walnuts, to achieve a similar result.

Can I make Suksessterte ahead of time?

Yes, Suksessterte can be made ahead. The cake base can be baked the day before and stored in an airtight container. The cream topping can also be made ahead and refrigerated. When you’re ready to serve, assemble the cake by spreading the custard over the cake base.

Can I freeze Suksessterte?

Yes, Suksessterte can be frozen. Wrap the cake tightly in cling film or place in an airtight container before freezing. Thaw frozen suksessterte in the fridge overnight before serving. It’s important to note that freezing may slightly affect the texture of the cake, but the flavours will still be delicious.

Can I customise the decorations on the suksessterte?

Of course you can! Suksessterte allows for creative and customisable decorations. You can decorate the cake with sliced almonds, marzipan flowers, chocolate drizzle or even candles for special occasions. Let your imagination run wild and make the Suksessterte uniquely yours.

Can I make Suksessterte gluten-free?

With a few adjustments it is possible to make a gluten-free version of Suksessterte. Replace the regular flour in the cake base with gluten-free flour and make sure that all other ingredients used are gluten-free. Be aware that the texture and taste may be slightly different from traditional suksessterte, but it can still be a delicious gluten-free dessert option.

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