Cured Salmon Sandwich Cake (Smorgastarta)

Pumpernickel bread layered with cured salmon, egg salad, and marinated cucumbers, frosted with goat cheese icing, and garnished with fresh herbs and vegetables.

Smorgastarta is a Swedish layered sandwich dressed up like a cake. This recipe uses a mixture of goat and cream cheese for the icing, cured salmon, egg salad, and marinated cucumbers as filling, pumpernickel bread for the cake layers, and lots of fresh garnishes to decorate.

Building a smorgastarta is just like building a regular cake. Start with a cake (bread) layer and build on top. I used a very thin layer of cheese icing between the layers to keep the fillings in place. A thin layer because the exterior is coated with a generous amount, and it can be quite rich.

Continue building the bread layers, with filling in between, and then ice the cake. I like to spread on a crumb layer before applying the majority of the icing. The crumb layer not only traps crumbs but keeps the eggs salad from smearing and the salmon from poking out of the side.

Once your cake is iced, it is time for the garnishes. This is the fun part of making this sandwich. You get to use your creativity and imagination to make it beautiful. I chose veggies and herbs that would complement the fillings. I arranged them, starting with the sprouts as a base of color. Then I added each of the other garnishes in small portions all around the top and sides so that each slice of cake gets a variety of toppings. You can also serve extra garnishes on the side, giving your guests an assortment of options.

If cured salmon and pumpernickel aren’t your thing, then make this cake with bread and fillings you do enjoy. They can be anything from sourdough to pita and deli meat to tuna salad. I have even seen a taco version. Be creative and have fun with it!

Cured Salmon Sandwich Cake (Smorgastarta)

Course Brunch, Sandwich, Tea
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6


Goat Cheese Icing

  • 8 ounces goat cheese
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Egg Salad

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp chives chopped
  • 2 tbsp greek yogurt or creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 1 tsp whole grain mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Marinated Cucumbers

  • 1/2 cucumber peeled and sliced 1 cup
  • 1/2 tbsp dill chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/16 tsp pepper


  • 1 loaf pumpernickel bread
  • 4-5 ounces cured salmon
  • 4 cherry tomatoes sliced
  • 1 radish shaved
  • 1/4 red onion shaved
  • 2-4 ounces radish sprouts
  • dill as needed for garnish


Goat Cheese Icing

  • Cream the goat cheese and cream cheese. Season with salt and olive oil. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Egg Salad

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop the eggs into the water and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and cool the eggs. Peel off the shells, set aside one egg for garnish, and chop the other eggs. Mix the chopped egg with the rest of the ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.

Marinated Cucumber

  • Mix all of the ingredients and set aside until ready to use


  • Trim off all sides of the pumpernickel, making it an even rectangle. Slice the loaf into three pieces lengthwise. Begin building the sandwich by spreading a thin layer of the icing on all three of the bread slices. Top one with salmon and then cucumbers. Place another bread slice on top with the icing toward the cucumber. Spread the egg salad on the second slice and top with more cucumber. Place the final slice of bread on top with the icing toward the cucumber. Give the sandwich a gentle press.
  • Ice the sandwich like a normal cake starting with a crumb coat. Place the sandwich on a serving platter. Garnish the cake with radish sprouts, sliced tomato, shaved radish, egg slices, shaved red onion, and dill. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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