Brunsviger = The Poor Man’s Birthday Cake

For very special occasions in my family, I make Brusviger. Also known as the Poor Man’s Birthday Cake on the island of Fyn, where I was born.

For the dough:
1 cup milk, lukewarm
2 tbsp. fresh yeast
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 egg

2 – 2 1/2 cups flour

6 2/3 tbsp. melted butter

1 tsp. cardamom

For the topping:
7 1/8 tbsp. butter (random size I know, taken from Danish recipe and converted)
7 1/8 tbsp. soft brown sugar

1 tsp. Molasses

  • Dissolve the yeast in the milk. Add sugar. Mix. Slowly add egg, salt and flour, holding back a couple spoonfuls of the flour – beat well. Add the melted butter, beat again. Add more flour as necessary, kneading until you have a glossy, slightly sticky dough, a lot like the dough for cinnamon rolls. I do all of this in my Kitchen Aid, but it can of course be done by hand just as easily. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl and leave to rise for 1½-2 hours.
  • Grease your brownie pan with butter. Deflate the dough and push it into the brownie pan – make sure you cover the entire pan – it will rise again, so it’s okay if it’s only a centimeter thick to start. Leave to rise again, ½-1 hour.
  • Bake at 375 degrees.
  • Topping: in a small saucepan melt the butter with the sugar. Let it come to the boil, then take off the heat. Dimple the now risen dough, so you’ll have lots of holes to be filled with sugar. Pour the sugar-butter mixture over the dimpled dough and put everything in the oven.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes (making sure to put an empty baking sheet underneath the rack with the brownie pan!)
  • Decorate: Traditionally, we put little liquorish candies but have found Swedish Fish are a nice addition.

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