Finnish Sour Cream Cake (Kermakakku)

We made this coffeecake in a bundt pan, but this probably work in a conventionally-shaped pan, too. The recipe comes from Melissa Naasko of Aurora, Colorado, in the holiday issue of Penzeys. She claims this came from her mother-in-law, who lived on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and was of Finnish descent. However, the recipe is almost the same as the one found in The Finnish Cookbook by Beatrice Ojakangas on page 53. Either version is excellent.

This recipe is relatively low calorie as it contains no butter or oil. Since there is no other fat source in the recipe, you can use reduced-fat sour cream, but don’t try non-fat sour cream.

2 eggs

2 cups sour cream

2 cups sugar

½ tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp almond extract

3 cups flour (cake flour works best)

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½-¾ tsp ground pepper

¾ tsp cinnamon

½-¾ tsp ground cardamom

powdered sugar for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Grease a tube or fluted tube pan and liberally sprinkle with sugar and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sour cream, sugar, vanilla and almond extracts and mix well. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Use the smaller amount of spices if this is your first time using this recipe. Add the dry ingredients in thirds to the wet ingredients and beat well until the batter is smooth and combined. Pour into the pan and bake at 350º for 50-60 minutes, until set in the middle.

3. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes and invert to cool on another rack. Dust liberally with powdereed sugar; the granulated sugar already on the cake will keep it from “melting.”

Prep time: 25 minutes

Baking time: 50-60 minutes

Serves: 12-16


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1 Response to Finnish Sour Cream Cake (Kermakakku)

  1. I hope you liked the recipe! Actually, the recipe came from my husband’s paternal grandmother, who was from the UP. I have the cookbook you referenced and it is similar but I believe that Ojakangas’ recipe is a little simpler in its seasoning with just cardamom, maybe with cinnamon as well, but definitely more Nisu-like. I have never tried it in anything but a bundt, and think I will have to do that!

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