Finland based best-selling cookbook author and recipe designer Virpi Mikkonen is specialized in healthy vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free recipes. She created us a modern recipe of a traditional finnish rolled cake with antioxidant-rich lingonberries.
A Finnish gathering is never complete without a rolled cake. For me they bring back so many memories - weddings, name days, birthdays, family visits for coffee – whatever the occasion my grandmother would always make a roll filled with strawberry jam. As a kid I loved it each and every time, and I still do, but now I make it my own way. I’ve updated our much loved traditional roll to be gluten, dairy and sugar free for an entirely wholesome and delicious treat – replacing the strawberry jam with skin loving lingonberries.
Lingonberries grow wild in Finland and are often found in our winter dishes, together with apples they give a really nice spark to a sweet dish, perfect for any festive occasion. For sweetness add just a trifle of local organic honey and xylitol sugar (a sugar alcohol made from birch, the national tree of Finland). I used lingonberries picked from my parent’s forest in Northern Finland, but if you can’t get your hands on any fresh you can use thawed or frozen ones too. The apples were bought from my local farmers’ market, I try and use this seasons harvest, the newer the apples the more nutrients. Using lingonberries raw without white sugar and gluten means that each bite is full of anti-inflammatory goodness, great for you on the inside and the outside.
Start with the filling. Add the oat milk, half the berries, two apples and the honey into a blender until smooth. Have a taste and add a bit more sweetness to your palette. Stir in the chia seeds and the other half of the berries and leave to sit for about an hour until thick.
Preheat your oven to 225 Celsius degrees. Whilst that’s warming up whip up your eggs and xylitol sugar with a beater until white and fluffy. In another bowl mix your oat flour, potato starch, baking powder and vanilla powder then add it to your fluffy egg mixture.
Spread oil or butter on the surface of baking paper on a baking tray, sprinkle on cinnamon and sugar. Slice your apples as thin as you can, place the slices over your spice mixture. Then pour your dough over until all your apples are covered. Be careful of is not to over cook the base or it’ll go dry and crack when you roll it. The trick is to cook it for about 8 minutes until it’s nicely tanned.
Coconut whipped cream:
Whilst your base is cooking take your coconut milk out of the fridge, scoop all the solid white stuff into a bowl. Mix the cream in a bowl with a beater until fluffy then add in your honey and vanilla. Place it in the fridge.
Sprinkle some xylitol sugar on a baking sheet. Flip your base from the tray on top and carefully remove the baking sheet that was in the oven. Place a damp kitchen towel over to keep your base moist. Once it’s a little cool spread your lingonberry filling on top, leaving about 2cm space along the edges. Now with the help of your parchment paper roll it as tightly as possible, cover and leave in the fridge for half an hour. Once your roll is cooled frost it with the coconut whipped cream and sprinkle on some lingonberries. Serve and enjoy with your friends and family.
What I love about this cake is how simple it is to make, it’s the perfect go to if you have people coming to visit and want to serve something sweet and healthy. I serve it with warm herbal tea or fresh lingonberry juice, with winter flowers and twigs for decoration.