The 17th of May (syttende mai in Norsk) is a very special day in Norway: It’s the Norwegian constitution day. The signing of the constitution in 1814 declared Norway an independent kingdom from Denmark, and this event is celebrated big time. It’s very common to start the day with a champagne breakfast including lots of blueberries, strawberries and whipped cream, representing the colours of the Norwegian flag. Around midday it’s time to head to the castle, which is crowded in tipsy Norwegians wearing their traditional dress the bunad, to wave to the King and the Royal Family. There’s no other day where you’ll see so many Norwegians crowded into one space, so it’s quite the unique experience!
Since this is day is pretty much Norway’s birthday, this is an excellent opportunity for a unique birthday cake that I just have to take! When cut, every slice of this cake displays the Norwegian flag. Creating such a cake requires some careful planning and coordination, but it is actually not very difficult to make.
I like to make this cake as a red (and blue) velvet cake, since it is simple to make, but also very suitable for construction. We need one cake coloured in red and one cake coloured in blue plus around 1 kg of cream cheese butter cream icing. I use Wilton’s Colour Right food colours and mixed red and deep blue from the winter colour palette. I think they came out a little too dark and would in future go for red and blue from the summer palette.
Then we need a construction plan: Cut both cakes in half horizontally. Here I cut the red cake into two equal halves, while one half of the blue cake is a little taller than the other half. Take the taller half of the blue cake and cut two rings side by side. For a 20 cm cake the rings would have an outer diameter of 10 cm and an inner diameter of 7 cm. Discard the rest of that blue half. Leave the other blue half as it is and set them both aside. Both red halves are cut in the same way: Cut an inner circle of 6 cm diameter and set aside. Cut a circle of 11 cm and discard the resulting ring. Set the remaining outer rings aside.
To construct the cake pipe some icing onto your cake tray so the cake stays in place. Begin with a 6 cm red circle and place it in the middle. Place a blue ring around the red circle, fill the gap with icing and cover the red circle (but not the blue ring!) in icing, such that the icing and blue ring have the same height. Place a large red ring around the blue ring and again fill the gap with icing and cover the red cake with icing to an even height. Now place the blue disc on top. Take the second small red circle, ice it on the bottom and place it in the middle. The second blue ring follows (without icing), and ice the gap between red and blue. The next part is a bit trickier. Ice the top of the blue disc that is still visible and place the large red ring on top of it. Again ice the gap between red and blue and now ice all around your cake. I also finished with a thin layer of fondant. And that’s it! Now decorate to your liking. I like to keep the decoration simple and elegant and just added the Norwegian phrase for Happy Birthday (Gratulerer med dagen) and coloured macarons.