weather icon Clear

Make Mother a sandwich that she will never forget

Meet smörgåstårta, your new favorite party recipe. Smörgåstårta (pronounced SMORE-gas-TOR-ta) is simply a beautifully decorated savory sandwich cake. It’s popular when celebrating special occasions in Sweden. To celebrate Mother’s Day and honor the influential women in your life, may I suggest serving a smörgåstårta?

The sandwich cake is more of a technique than a recipe, a blank canvas ready for whatever creativity you would impart upon it. You can make a cake any size or shape you wish, round, square, or rectangle. There are no rules when it comes to fillings or decorations. The decoration can be as simple or elaborate as you desire. You can use one filling or choose several for color and flavor contrast (just be sure the flavors are complimentary). This cake uses cream cheese so if you’re lactose intolerant, keep walking. Nothing to see here.

Typically, the smörgåstårta would be brimming with smoked salmon, shrimp and garnished with caviar. If you can afford that, please indulge! I chose economical options to be sure it’s within most people’s budgets. If you can afford to serve sandwiches and salad, then you can afford to make this spectacular cake.

The cake is made by layering bread with fillings, then decorating, like regular sweet layer cake. It’s wonderful because you don’t have to be particularly artistic to create a masterpiece. Using sliced veggies as decor, the beauty of nature takes care of that.

To begin, you cut the crusts off the bread (make breadcrumbs!) Use any bread, French loaf, round “boule”, even sandwich bread. It gets covered so don’t stress the bread (hello day old rack!). Spread each side of the bread with a mixture of cream cheese and butter to act as a moisture barrier to keep the bread from getting soggy.

Place a layer of bread, cover with filling, and repeat as desired. When you’ve built your giant sandwich, pop it in the fridge to firm up, ideally overnight. Use the “frosting” recipe below to frost the cake and decorate as desired. Use Google to search spectacular images of sandwich cakes for inspiration.

Some helpful tips – Make the smörgåstårta the day before your party as it gets better as flavors marry but save decorating for right before your event. Prepare this on the platter you intend to serve upon, it won’t transfer well. Make sure it fits in your fridge because it’ll be there overnight. Add loads of texture to your fillings with celery, nuts, and apple to avoid making an unappetizing cream cheese sandwich. If you make a tall cake, use skewers to stabilize it but don’t forget to remove them before you serve because perforated trachea.

Since we don’t know how big your sandwich will be, these recipes make approximately 3 cups each. Adjust them accordingly. Err on the side of too much, rather than have a skimpy sammie. Worst case you have cracker toppings and salad bits for the week. The recipes used in the photo are below. All vegetable components are chopped or minced as you wish.

Whipped Cream Cheese – for every pound (two 8-ounce packages) add one tablespoon cold water and whip with a stand mixer or hand mixer for about 10 minutes. To flavor this for “frosting” add 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, ½ teaspoon each: garlic powder and onion powder.

Zesty Salmon – In a small bowl, blend ¼ cup whipped cream cheese, ¼ cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard or horseradish. In a mixing bowl, place 1 (14.75 oz.) can salmon – flaked with bone and skin removed, ½ cup celery, ½ cup cucumber, ¼ cup green onion, ¼ cup red pepper, 1/8 cup dill pickle, 1 tablespoon parsley, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Combine the cream cheese mixture with the salmon mixture and mix thoroughly.

Shrimp Salad – In a small bowl, blend ½ cup whipped cream cheese, ¼ cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning. In a mixing bowl, place ¾ of a pound (12 oz.) salad shrimp, ½ cup celery, ½ cup yellow pepper, ½ cup panko breadcrumbs, ¼ cup green onion, 2 tablespoons purple onion, 1 hardboiled egg, chopped. Combine the cream cheese mixture with the shrimp mixture and mix thoroughly.

Green Goddess – In a small bowl, blend ½ cup whipped cream cheese, 1 avocado, 2 tablespoons parsley, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon each – garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and black pepper. In a mixing bowl, place 1 cup cucumber, 1 cup celery, ¼ cup green onion, ¼ cup yellow or green pepper. Combine the cream cheese mixture with the vegetable mixture and mix thoroughly.

This is what happens when white bread dares to dream. Happy Mother’s Day!

Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is the recipe developer and food writer of the website “Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!” Visit Patti at www.divasonadime.com and join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Email Patti at divapatti@divasonadime.com

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Vegas prepares for return of massive NYE fireworks show on the Strip

Seven additional hotel-casinos will participate in this year’s 8-minute New Year’s celebration, the first after a haitus in 2020 because of pandemic-related restrictions. The theme is Deuces Wild.

Lawsuit aims to pre-empt CCSD COVID-19 vaccine mandate, end testing

The federal lawsuit filed this week argues that both the vaccination mandate and a requirement that unvaccinated workers be tested for COVID-19 are unconstitutional.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Wednesday, August 4 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $14 million.

DIVAS ON A DIME: Spoil dad with gourmet hamburgers at home

With Father’s Day just around the corner, may I suggest giving dear old dad what he really wants, an amazing hamburger. Seriously, who doesn’t love a big, tender, juicy burger? Except for a few vegetarians, every dad I know would agree.

California lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Saturday, June 12 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $55 million.

DIVAS ON A DIME: Start grilling season with a twist on burnt ends

Memorial Day weekend fills my heart with gratitude as we honor those who made possible, the freedom we so often take for granted. It’s a weekend of recognition, remembrance, and thanks. For many families, this weekend also signals the official beginning of grilling season. Care to join me in a patriotic foodie-licious happy dance?

DIVAS ON A DIME: Celebrate strawberries and cream with a vintage cake recipe

Each year on May 21st we celebrate a dessert that just squeals Spring! National Strawberries and Cream Day brings together two favorites, fresh ripe strawberries, and homemade whipped cream. While that alone makes a divine dessert, let’s add a mildly sweet, vanilla fragranced, easy to make from scratch cake and we’ve just won at life.

DIVAS ON A DIME: Meet the underrated and versatile baked potato

Remember baked potatoes? I was chatting with friends about food (because what else do I talk about?) and none of us could remember the last time we had stuffed baked potatoes for dinner. We’ve been so busy with our quinoa we forgot about the King of Carbs. Good carbs, naturally.

DIVAS ON A DIME: Easy pork carnitas are perfect for Cinco de Mayo

Melt-in-your-mouth, flavorful and juicy with irresistible caramelized crunchy bits, this pork carnitas is brimming with classic flavors like Mexican oregano, cumin, chili powder and a surprising bright note of citrus. I’m so excited to share this divine recipe, just in time for Cinco de Mayo.