Today, the 6th of June, is Sweden’s National Day. The Swedes started celebrating their special day first in 1983. Sweden's National day is not an independence day like it is in many other countries. The significance of the day comes from the election of Gustav Vasa as king which happened on the 6th June 1523. 

Gustav Vasa became famous for abolishing the Medieval Sweden's elective monarchy and replacing it with a hereditary monarchy. He was labelled the founder of modern Sweden, and the “Father of the Nation". 

The 6th of June did not become a public holiday until 2005 and that is when the celebrations of the day became more popular. Many people like to celebrate with a picnic or a BBQ during the day or celebrate with a traditional "Smörgåstårta" (Sandwich Cake). 

The sandwich cake became popular in Sweden after the 2:nd World War when the availability of quality food increased and people could start to enjoy life again. The Swedes liked to use a wide variety of toppings on their bread and made the everyday sandwich luxurious with seafood, charcuterie and dairy products, such as cream and cheeses. The decorations were important to add to the luxury and hence the word "Cake" was incorporated with the word "Sandwich".

Today the “smörgåstårta” often replaces hot food at special occasions; it looks amazing and is practical as it can be made in advance and cater for many guests. Please see recipe below. 

If you would like to celebrate the day like the Swedes, The Swedish Church in Melbourne is hosting an event at 7pm tonight. The celebrations include a performance by the Swedish choir Skutan, a speech by honorary consul Benjamin Sandqvist and the opportunity to enjoy some “smörgåstårta” and bubbles. 🇸🇪

Swedish Church Toorak House

Smörgåstårta Recipe 

Serves: 6-8 people
Over 60 mins | Advanced 

Salmon mixture

  • 3 eggs
  • 300 g smoked salmon
  • 150 ml sour-cream
  • 1 tbsp lemon rind (grated)
  • 50 ml finely chopped chives
  • salt and pepper

Shrimp mixture

  • 300 g peeled shrimps/prawns
  • 150 ml mayonnaise
  • 50 ml finely grated horseradish
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 50 ml finely chopped dill
  • salt and pepper

Horseradish cream

  • 200 ml sour-cream
  • 2 tbsp finely grated horseradish
  • 1 tbsp lemon rind (grated)
  • 1 pinch salt

Avocado filling

  • 4 avocados
  • juice from 1 small lemon


  • 2 loaves of white block bread cut on the length into 8 long slices
  • 5 spears of asparagus
  • 1/2 fennel
  • 1 red beetroot
  • 1 yellow beetroot
  • 100 g pea sprouts
  • 4 slices smoked salmon
  • 50 g black or red kaviar
  • pinches of dill
  • pickled red onion


Salmon mixture: Hard boil and chop the eggs. Cut the salmon in small dices. Mix eggs, salmon, sour-cream, lemon rind and chives. Add salt and pepper. Refrigerate
Shrimp mixture: Save 50 ml of the shrimps for decorating. Coarsely chop the rest of the shrimps and mix with mayonnaise, horseradish, mustard and dill. Add salt and pepper. Refrigerate. 
Horseradish cream: Whisk sour-cream with horseradish, lemon rind and salt with an electric whisk for a few minutes until thickening (at first it gets runnier).
Avocado filling: Cut the Avocado and remove the stone. Scoop out the flesh and slice it. Squeeze the lemon juice to cover the avocado (to prevent it from going brown).
Pickled red onion: Bring 50 ml white vinegar, 100 ml sugar and 150 ml water to the boil. Cut the red onion into wedges. Mix in with the liquid. Let stand for at least 4 hours or over night. 



1. Cut off the bread crust. Place 4 slices as shown on the picture.
Cut off 1/3 on 2 of the slices. 


 2. Place the slices as above.


 3. Spread the shrimp mixture on the bread.


4. Place two full slices on top. 


5. Cut the avocado and remove the stone. Scoop out the flesh and slice it.
Squeeze the lemon juice on top to cover. Divide the slices evenly over the bread.


6. Cut the 2 last bread slices as point 1. Place as on the picture in point 2. 


 7. Spread on the salmon mixture. Finish off by adding 2 whole bread slices as the picture in point 4. 


 8. Spread the "cake" with the horseradish cream on top and around the edges. 



9. Refrigerate for a few hours or over night. Place toothpicks in the cake before covering it in glad wrap to keep the look.


10. Slice the fennel and the beets thinly on a mandolin slicer. Place separately in cold water.  


 11. Cut the ends off the asparagus so 10 cm remains and slice it into long slices with a potato peeler. Place in cold water. Refrigerate all vegetables. This far everything can be prepared. 


12. Now the fun starts - the garnish! Drain the vegetables. Place them on paper towels to dry. Carefully press the pea sprouts and asparagus slices to the edge of the cake but save some asparagus for the top garnish. 


13. Top the cake with fennel, beet root, asparagus, pickled onion, shrimps, salmon, caviar and dill. 


14. Now the cake is ready. It will keep well in the fridge for several hours until your guests arrive . Enjoy!


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