Copenhagen Cakes

Copenhagen Cakes

Photography by Columbus Leth

The food culture of Copenhagen is woven into the fabric of Chef Trine Hahnemann’s daily life; she has lived in the heart of Copenhagen for more than 40 years. There is no smorrebrod, hot dog, ice cream, or coffee she hasn’t tasted in this quietly gastronomic capital city.

Now, in this unique new book, Trine takes us on a tour of her hometown, introducing us to all the best spots to eat, drink, and catch up with friends. We learn about the old bakeries and food markets, the burgeoning street food scene, the coffee culture, and the world-famous restaurants—and along the way, Trine will offer 70 recipes for some of her very favourite dishes.

Copenhagen Food: Stories, Tradition and Recipes is available at and

Copenhagen Cakes

These are inspired by an iconic cake they make at La Glace called ‘sports cake.’ It has nothing to do with sports, but there has always been a tradition in Copenhagen of naming cakes after famous people and events. This one was named after a late-19th-century political play called Sports Men. Here, I have focused on the choux pastry and a very simple cream, so they are easy to make at home, but they don’t take the place of the real thing.

Makes 8

For the choux pastry

100g  [7 Tbsp] salted butter, plus more for the baking sheet

200ml [3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp] water

100g [3/4 cup] plain [all-purpose] flour

1 tsp caster [granulated] sugar

Pinch of fine sea salt

3 medium eggs, lightly beaten


For the filling

150g [3/4 cup] caster [granulated] sugar

300ml [1 1/4 cups] double [heavy] cream

2 Tbsp icing [confectioner’s] sugar, plus more to dust


Start by making the choux pastry. Put the butter in a saucepan with the water and let it melt over a gentle heat. Now increase the heat and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, sift the flour, sugar and salt into a bowl. Take the pan off the heat, add the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until a smooth paste is formed. Beat until it comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball, then remove from the heat and cool for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.

Add the eggs to the dough a little at a time, beating well after each addition, until the mixture is smooth and glossy. You may not need all the egg. Put the dough in a piping [pastry] bag fitted with a 1cm [⅜in] star nozzle [tip]. Pipe several 5cm [2in] lines of choux pastry on to a baking sheet lined with buttered baking parchment until you run out of dough. Make sure you leave some space between the lines of dough.

Bake for 20–30 minutes; do not open the oven door for the first 10 minutes, or the pastry may not rise. The pastries are done when they are golden brown and firm. Transfer to a wire rack and, with a sharp knife, pierce holes in the side of each, to let the steam out. Leave to cool.

For the filling, heat the sugar in a heavy-based saucepan until it is melted and golden brown, then pour out on to a piece of baking parchment. Allow to cool and set, then break up into small pieces. Whip the cream until light and fluffy, then mix it with the icing sugar and caramel pieces.

Cut each choux pastry in half lengthways and pipe the cream over the bottom halves. Lightly press the tops over the cream, dust with icing sugar and serve.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Quadrille

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.