David Atherton’s recipe for Swedish crown cake


Potatoes are a great way of adding structure and moisture to a cake. They have been used in Swedish baking for centuries and a recipe for kronans kaka (crown cake) was first published in 1903. Cakes made with potato are moist due to the starch but can be rather dense. This version of a kronans kaka is light and delicate – more like a frangipane. It is the perfect dessert for people looking for a gluten-free treat. Adding potato enables you to remove some fat and provides resistant starch and nutrients such as potassium and vitamin C. If you want to make these cakes extra-decadent, spoon over a tablespoon of amaretto once baked and serve with yogurt and jam.

Makes 10 mini-cakes

150g potatoes (floury varieties work best)
75g unsalted butter (room temperature)
75g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
1 tsp almond extract
100g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
100g dried apricots (these need to be the plump sticky variety, ideally)
1 tin apricot halves (in juice)
20g flaked almonds
Icing sugar to dust

Peel, roughly chop and boil the potatoes until soft (approximately 10 minutes). Drain, leave to cool, grate and set aside.

Preheat oven to 200C (180C fan)/400F/gas mark 6.

Beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add in the eggs one at a time and the almond extract. Mix in the ground almonds and baking powder. Blend the apricots to a paste and mix this into the batter (it’s fine if it looks streaky). Then add the grated potato.

Grease either a mini-loaf tin or a muffin tin. Divide the mixture into 10 portions. Top with half an apricot, a sprinkling of flaked almonds and bake for 20 minutes. Once cool, dust with icing sugar.