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Icelandic Marriage Cake

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30-35 minutes
Total Time: About 50 min
Nutritional Information:
Servings: 12
Calories (approximate per serving): 300-350 calories


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Icelandic Marriage Cake

The Icelandic Marriage Cake, or Hjónabandssæla, is a delightful pastry that symbolizes love and companionship in Icelandic culture. Featuring a crumbly oat and butter crust with a sweet and tangy rhubarb or berry jam filling, this cake embodies Iceland’s tradition of simple, hearty, and comforting flavors. It’s perfect for cozy evenings, symbolizing “marital bliss” and the warmth of togetherness.


For the Crust and Topping:

  • Rolled Oats: 7 ounces (about 200 grams)
  • All-Purpose Flour: 7 ounces (about 200 grams)
  • Brown Sugar: 5 ounces (about 140 grams)
  • Baking Powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Unsalted Butter: 7 ounces (200 grams), cold and cubed
  • Egg: 1, beaten (for the crust)

For the Filling:

  • Rhubarb Jam or Berry Jam: 10 to 12 ounces (about 300 grams) – You can use store-bought or homemade jam. Rhubarb jam is traditional, but berry jams work beautifully as well.


  • Preheat Oven: Start by heating your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9-inch (23 cm) square baking dish or pan.
  • Make the Crust: In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, and baking powder. Add the cold, cubed butter and use your fingers or a pastry blender to mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pour in the beaten egg and mix until the dough comes together but is still slightly crumbly.
  • Assemble the Cake: Press about two-thirds of the oat mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish, forming a firm and even layer. Spread the rhubarb or berry jam over the crust. Crumble the remaining oat mixture over the top of the jam, covering it evenly.
  • Bake: Place the dish in the preheated oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the jam is bubbling slightly around the edges.
  • Cool and Serve: Let the cake cool in the pan before slicing into squares or bars. Hjónabandssæla can be served warm or at room temperature, often enjoyed with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra special touch.

Why Choose This Recipe?

Hjónabandssæla is not just a treat; it’s a taste of Icelandic tradition. Ideal for those embracing Healthy Eating with Eat Beat, this cake perfectly combines Delicious Nordic Meals and Nutritional Balance Recipes with cultural significance. It’s a comforting choice that fits well into Sustainable Meal Planning and makes a sweet addition to any Eat Beat Healthy Meals collection.