This soft cake with rum pastry cream and a tiny bit of apricot is seriously delicious and absolutely kickass. In reality it’s translated to a Turtle Cake (Skilpaddekake) and I guess with a really good imagination it could look like a turtle. Hmmm, nevertheless, it is seriously delicious. Extremely creamy, with a subtle fresh flavor of apricot, perfumed and woody taste of delicious vanilla, rum and a soft cake with a thin layer of sweet frosting.
I just couldn’t tell you how excited I am about this one. This is a highly local cake, only a few bakeries here in tiny Ålesund make it. But it is popular. Let me tell you; my friends, family and boyfriend were so excited that I managed to replicate it so well. *pat on the back*
To be completely honest, I found the cake part of the recipe online – here, in Norwegian – but it lacked the rest of it. I have tweaked the cake a bit too, but it was a wonderful base. The secret really lies in the apricot, my friends, it makes the cake more fresh, more moist, more yummy. Ahh, can you tell how excited I am.
My boyfriend is one of those turtle cake fanatics – he buys one at least monthly. So naturally, I needed to try to replicate it for his birthday. Guess what? It was simple.
May the Norwegian party month
I am sharing this with you now because May is the cake month of the year here in Norway. It’s the party month and party = cake. First, it’s all the ‘konfirmasjoner‘, which is a coming of age day when you’re 15. It’s traditionally a religious ceremony, but mine was not. It’s a party, with lots of cakes and presents.
And then there’s 17th of May – Norway’s national day, which is a huge day for us. 17th of May 1814 the Norwegian constitution was signed and we became an independent kingdom. It’s our birthday! We celebrate by wearing our traditional costumes – bunads (here’s a picture of my type of bunad) – walking in parades, listening to marching bands playing the national anthem, waving the Norwegian flag.
People just finishing high school has a 17 days celebration, which ends on May 17th. They party, wear red overalls and drive red buses, and then party some more and do stupid stuff. It’s fun, but some take it a little too far.
The Norwegian Party Food
But the most important thing – the food – aah yes. It’s said to be the kids’ perfect day, filled with ice cream, hot dogs and cakes. That’s true, but which adult doesn’t like that too? I love a holiday meant for eating… naturally.
We also eat a sour cream porridge, which as I write it, make it sound really disgusting, but it’s not. It’s a sour and sweet porridge with cinnamon, sugar and raisins as a topping. Very, very delicious. Maybe I should add that to my list of Norwegian food to show you? Not a bad idea, just need to find a delicious name for it. If you’ve got any ideas, I’m all ears!
Cakes are the centerpiece on the food table on this day. I live in the area called Sunnmøre, and here we have something called the Sunnmøre cake table. A cake table is a gathering where everyone invited brings a cake, and then you can have a taste on a lot of different cakes. It is heaven. You get a chance to try so many things, and you are so, so full when you are done.
Seriously Delicious Soft Cake with Apricot and Rum Cream (Skilpaddekake or Turtle Cake)
You might have gotten an overload on learning about Norwegian traditions and culture by now, so let us just go back to the cake in question, the turtle cake.
Rum Pastry Cream
Vanilla pastry cream is my favorite way of eating cream. Regular whipped heavy cream has neverrr been my jam, but vanilla pastry cream or vanilla custard are completely different stories. Vanilla pastry cream is used in my Lemon Ricotta Cake with Dreamy Creamy Vanilla Pastry Cream and vanilla custard in these Vanilla Custard and Coconut Sweet Buns.
The vanilla pastry has another dimension to it by adding rum essence. You need a lot of rum cream on it, because that’s a huge part of the cake. It is not supposed to be just a thin layer of filling as in a cake. This is the cake. I am not a huuuge frosting and filling kind of girl, it needs to balance nicely. So just bear in mind that – put more on than you think you want.
No it’s not regular rum
Yes, it’s rum, but just the flavor of rum, it’s rum essence (I think rum extract can work too). It’s different from just pouring rum into a cake – do not do that, because you will need a lot more just to get the right flavor, and then the rest will not be proportionate. If you can’t find rum essence, just don’t add anything in. It will be a tasty traditional vanilla custard, but it will lack that luxurious flavor and feeling of rum.
This turtle cake was traditionally served with jelly candy on top, it was always some kind of highlight. I served with rose petals because it’s pretty, but also the traditional way – because of the jelly candy. We wouldn’t want to miss it. So here you’ll see two different kinds of decorations. You can decorate it however you like, but I recommend at least trying one with a jelly candy.
The turtle cake is supposed to be very soft, so the first day the cake is not at its best. The cake is a little crispy and hard, but the second day – ooooh man! Soft, creamy, indulgent.
This post has gotten so long now because I am so excited about this, so I’ll leave the directions for the cake just in the recipe card below. I hope you’ll love it as much as we do!
Other cakes for party:
- Tiramisu Cake with White Chocolate Mousse
- Chocolate Orange Layer Cake with Buttercream Frosting
- Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes with Irish Baileys Frosting
- Black Forest Cake with Chocolate Buttercream
- Lemon Ricotta Cake with Vanilla Pastry Cream
Please tell me what you thought of this recipe, either in the comment section below or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later!
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Soft Cake with Apricot and Creamy Rum Curd (Skilpaddekake)
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups sugar 250g
- 1 1/4 cups potato flour 200g, cornstarch can be used*
- 1 1/4 gr all purpose flour 175g
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
Rum Pastry Cream
- 3/4 cup sugar 150g. Divided!
- 1 1/2 cups milk 360ml. At least 1.2 % fat.
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream 360ml. Divided!
- 1 1/2 vanilla beans
- 5 egg yolks
- 5 tbsp cornstarch
- rum essence/extract to taste. I had a teaspoon of essence
- 10 tsp apricot jam heaping
- 2 cups powdered sugar 220g + water to desired consistency
- jelly candy/rose petals for decoration, optional
- Whisk eggs and sugar until it's white and airy (eggedosis). Around 10 minutes, not less than 7. Sift in the rest of the ingredients. Fold it in until you get a lump free batter.
- Add parchment paper to a baking tray. Preferably use a piping bag (or a spoon) and distribute a thin layer of cake batter. Form a circle of about 4in (10 cm) in diameter. You'll get around 22 circles of batter, 2 for each cake.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven of 400F (200C) for 9-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Rum Pastry Cream
- Pour the milk, 1/3 of the heavy cream and 1/2 of the sugar into a saucepan. Cut open and scrape out the seeds of the vanilla beans. Place everything into the saucepan. Heat up to the point of boiling, constantly stirring.
- In another bowl, whisk together 1/3 of the heavy cream, egg yolks, cornstarch and the rest of the sugar.
- Cool the milk mixture a little bit before slowly pouring it into the egg mixture while constantly whisking.
- Pour this mixture back into the saucepan, make sure you bring with you the vanilla seeds. Heat the mixture back up, until it is thickening. Remember to stir.
- Place the saucepan into a tub of cold water. Add in the rum essence and give it a taste. You want it to taste a little stronger than you would like (see next step).
- Take the last 1/3 of the heavy cream and whip it. Once the rum custard is cold, fold in the whipped cream.
- Once the cakes are cold, take two cakes that are similar in shape and place them together. Turn one the other way around (so the bottom is showing) and spread 1 heaping tsp of apricot jam on it. Do this on half of the cakes.
- Take the rum cream into a piping bag and spread rum cream over the apricot jam, generously. Do this on half of the cakes.
- Mix powdered sugar with a little bit of water to make a glazing. Take the other half of the cakes and spread this glazing thinly over. Decorate while still wet. I decorate with either dried flowers or jelly candy.
- Serve the next day, as the cakes need time to soften.