Lagkage (Danish Layer Cake) with Berries & Vanilla Cream


Danish lagkage, or layer cake, is probably the most popular birthday cake in Denmark, but you’ll see it at all sorts of celebrations in Scandinavia. It’s simple, but oh so delicious, and very reliable. Lagkage is a vanilla sponge cake with layers of raspberry (or other berry) jam and vanilla pastry cream, all topped with icing as well as whipped cream along the edge of the cake.

And while I didn’t make this to celebrate a birthday, I was celebrating my friend Vanessa coming to visit me in Bergen!

The fun thing with lagkage is that you can make lots of little adjustments to the flavor while still getting the same type of lagkage that is always so delicious. You can change up the type of jam you use, you can combine the jam and vanilla cream in each layer or keep them separate, and you can change the flavor of the icing on top.

For this cake I used raspberry jam and an almond icing, which gives this lagkage a distinctly Scandinavian flavor. I also decided to skip the whipped cream, because to be honest I’m not a huge fan of whipped cream on cakes, and because the whipped cream doesn’t last quite as long as the other elements of the lagkage.

danish layer cake

This is one of those rare cakes that actually tastes better the next day, and the day after that. For parties, Danes will make this cake the night before so that the sponge has time to really soak up the vanilla cream and the jam. In fact it’s now been six days since I baked this cake and Vanessa and I are still enjoying it (I guess it was a pretty big cake for only two people).

This is also partly because I skipped the whipped cream decoration on the edge of the lagkage. I would include the whipped cream if you’re making the lagkage for a party where the entire cake will be eaten the same day, but if you think you’ll be eating this cake for several days, it will taste better without the whipped cream.

mixing lagkage batter

You don’t want to overwork the cake batter, so stir everything together just until it’s smooth.

I use a cake pan strip to keep the top of the cake flat, so it doesn’t dome up in the center as it bakes. Well, I actually don’t use a proper cake strip, I just tie a wet tea towel around the cake form, which works just as well.

tea towel cake strip

Prepare the vanilla cream while the cake is in the oven. Cover the vanilla cream with plastic wrap before letting it chill in the fridge, being sure the plastic wrap directly touches the top of the vanilla cream so it doesn’t form a hard shell.

vanilla cream with plastic wrap cover

When slicing the cake into the three layers, cut very slowly to ensure that the layer is even, which will make the cake easier to assemble. If you’re using a small cake pan, you could also cut the cake into four layers instead of three, as your cake will be a bit thicker. I’ve cut this cake into four layers, but it is a bit tricky to lift the thinner layers, so if you’re nervous maybe just do three layers.

spreading vanilla cream on lagkage layer cake base

You can decide if you want to do a separate vanilla cream layer and raspberry jam layer, or if you want both jam and cream on each layer. Here I opted for separating the two, but it’s completely up to the baker – both ways are delicious. Traditionally each layer of the lagkage has both vanilla cream and jam, with vanilla cream on the bottom and jam placed on top of the vanilla cream.

Try to really pile on as much jam as possible. It might look like a lot of jam, but the sponge cake is thick and can handle it.

spreading raspberry jam on lagkage base
spreading glaze on layer cake top

This time I made the icing with heavy cream, powdered sugar, and almond essence. You could use vanilla extract instead, or you could use juice instead of cream to change the flavor of the icing. Lemon juice also pairs nicely with the raspberry, or you could use berry juice to make a pretty pink cake.

I then decorated the top of the cake with fresh raspberries and sliced almonds. You can of course decorate the cake with whatever you like – berries, nuts, sprinkles, pieces of chocolate, etc.

layer cake with raspberries and almonds
danish layer cake slice with vanilla cream and jam

You can switch the recipe from US measurements to metric by clicking from “US Customary” to “Metric” under Ingredients.

danish layer cake

Lagkage (Danish Layer Cake) with Berries & Vanilla Cream

This lagkage is a Danish layer cake made with layers of vanilla sponge cake filled with raspberry jam and vanilla cream, topped with an almond glaze.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Danish
Keyword: almond, cake, raspberry, vanilla
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 10
Author: Silvia


  • spring cake form
  • piping bag (optional, if using whipped cream)


Cake base

  • 21 tbsp butter (softened)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 6 tbsp heavy cream

Vanilla cream

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla sugar (or extract)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch


  • raspberry jam
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • powdered sugar
  • 10 drops almond essence (optional)
  • sliced almonds (optional)
  • fresh raspberries (optional)
  • whipping cream (optional)


Cake base

  • Line the bottom of your cake form with baking paper and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F).
  • Stir together butter and sugar until smooth. Whisk in eggs until smooth. Add flour and baking powder and stir until smooth, but not longer. Add cream and stir a few times until combined. Do not over stir.
  • Pour the cake batter into the cake form. Optional: tie a wet tea towel or cake strip around the cake form to ensure the cake bakes evenly across. Bake for about 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out smooth.

Vanilla cream

  • Heat up the heavy cream and milk in a saucepan.
  • Whisk together the egg yolks, egg, vanilla, sugar, and cornstarch in a separate bowl.
  • When the milk first starts to bubble, remove from heat and pour half of it into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Then pour the mixture back into the saucepan and return to the heat, whisking constantly.
  • Continue whisking until the vanilla cream thickens (about three minutes). Remove from heat and pour into a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, placing the plastic wrap directly touching the top of the vanilla cream. Let it cool in the fridge.


  • Place the cooled cake on your cake platter. Carefully cut the cake into three equal layers. Spread half of the vanilla cream and jam on the bottom layer and add the next cake layer on top. Spread the rest of the vanilla cream and jam on the next layer and add the top layer.
  • Mix the cream (or juice) with enough powdered sugar so that it's thick enough to stick to the cake, but still thin enough to spread. Add the almond essence (or other essence), if desired.
  • Spread the glaze on the top of the cake and let it drip down the sides.
  • While the glaze is still wet, you can decorate the top of the cake with fresh raspberries and sliced almonds, chocolate pieces, or whatever you like.
  • Cover the cake with plastic wrap and let the cake rest in the fridge (preferably over night).
  • If using whipped cream, whip the cream until fairly stiff. Use either a piping bag or spoon to cover the sides of the cake with whipped cream before serving.



  • Rachel

    August 2, 2023 at 12:18 pm

    5 stars
    I was looking for a recipe like my aunt’s Danish layer cake and this was perfect! The almond drops in the icing was such a good addition as well, delicious.

  • Michelle

    August 12, 2023 at 10:59 am

    5 stars
    I like that you made a Danish lagkage it looks good and i am sure it taste good too 😊 But this i a basic lagkage, nothing fancy about it 😅 Most Danes would at least decorate it with whipped cream and some fresh berries or something like that, so it looked more festive for a birthday party or something else that requires a festive cake 😊

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