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Milk Street Bowtie Swedish “Sticky” Chocolate Cake

Swedish “Sticky” Chocolate Cake

10-12 Servings

45 minutes 20 minutes active, plus cooling

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This gooey-centered chocolate cake, a popular sweet in Sweden, is called kladdkaka, which translates as “sticky cake.” With only seven ingredients and an easy dump-and-stir mixing method, what’s not to love? For our version, we brown the butter to add a subtle nuttiness, and we use brown sugar for its molasses notes. The cake can be served warm or at room temperature. Top slices with whipped cream, ice cream or gelato.

10-12

Servings

Tip

Don’t whisk the eggs into the cocoa-sugar mixture while the mixture is still hot or the eggs may begin to cook on contact.

45 minutes

20 minutes active, plus cooling

1½ sticks (12 tablespoons) salted butter, cut into 12 pieces
½ cup (40 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more to serve
1¼ cups (250 grams) packed light or dark brown sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon table salt
¾ cup (98 grams) all-purpose flour
½ cup (75 grams) chocolate chips
Ingredients
  • sticks (12 tablespoons) salted butter, cut into 12 pieces

  • ½

    cup (40 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more to serve

  • cups (250 grams) packed light or dark brown sugar

  • 4

    large eggs

  • ¼

    teaspoon table salt

  • ¾

    cup (98 grams) all-purpose flour

  • ½

    cup (75 grams) chocolate chips

Directions

Swedish “Sticky” Chocolate Cake

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Reviews
Kate C.
November 17, 2022
Lovely
Simple, high-impact delicious.
Mia L.

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Patricia E.

Good, but the salt didn’t seem to integrate. I kept tasting it in concentrated form...

Ryan O.

If anyone is having trouble getting the sugar and cocoa smooth, keep whisking! It took me about 5-7 minutes before it got smooth

Stephanie O.

I agree with Ryan. I actually never got mine smooth, but after I started mixing in the eggs it was perfect! I baked in an 8" round regular cake pan and it worked fine I just increased baking time by 15 minutes.

Carolyn A.

What kind of chocolate chips are best? Semi-sweet or bittersweet?

Lynn C.

Hi Carolyn -

The recipe will work with either so choose whichever style chips you prefer!

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Caitlin H.

Are we meant to keep the butter, chocolate and sugar on medium high while we are whisking until smooth?

Lynn C.

Hi Caitlin -

Yes, the cocoa and sugar gets added while the pan is still over the heat. Once it's whisked in, you can remove it and transfer to the medium bowl to cool. Hope that helps!

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Kristin V.

Help! I have tried this recipe now twice and I end up with a hard lump of sugar that in no way would I be able to whisk eggs and flour into.

Lynn C.

Hi All -

It's OK if there are a few lumps in the mixture before you add the eggs. Once the eggs are added it will smooth out without much trouble, so don't worry! Make sure that your brown sugar is very fresh and soft and free of clumps or hard bits before you add it to the mixture. If you've measured it out ahead and it sits on the counter for a while the brown sugar can quickly dry out. We always add a damp paper towel over the top to keep it moist. Hope that helps!

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Catherine V.

Can I use cacao vs cocoa?

Lynn C.

Hi Catherine -

Cacao powder is made from cocoa beans that are fermented and processed at a very low temperature, whereas cocoa powder is ground from cocoa beans that are roasted at a higher temperature. This roasting mellows some of the bitterness of the cocoa beans. Because of this, you may find the cake more bitter than it's intended. As a way to combat this, I would definitely recommend using semi-sweet chocolate chips rather than bittersweet (either will work in the recipe). Depending on your chocolate preferences, you may find this is enough to balance the cake to your liking. We haven't tried it with cacao powder but let us know how it works!

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Dana T.

Is there a preference for natural or Dutch process cocoa for this recipe?

Karen O.

I am wondering this as well. Natural or Dutch process?

Lynn C.

Hi Dana and Karen -

Either Natural or Dutch-Processed Cocoa will work in this recipe.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Lynn C.

Hi Dana and Karen -

Either Natural or Dutch-Processed Cocoa will work in this recipe.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Dorion F.

Milk Street- for those of us not familiar with the behavior of sugar when heated this part from Lynn's reply above should be emphasized more clearly in the actual recipe :" the cocoa and sugar gets added while the pan is still over the heat. ONCE IT'S WHISKED IN, YOU CAN REMOVE IT and transfer to the medium bowl to cool. " I had burnt lumpy sugar as I tried to make it SMOOTH. On the second try I realized the sugar/cocoa just needs quick mixing in, and removal from heat. Not trying to melt the sugar smooth.

Carol W.

I made this today for a friend who was coming for coffee. I am curious though, I baked it for 30 minutes and it was done, but I am wondering if I baked it too long. It was not gooey in the center and it is fairly dense. Maybe I whisked it too much? I tried not to over mix. Super yummy though. I love chocolate and cake and chocolate so it was perfect for me.

Lynn C.

Hi Carol -

It's possible that your oven runs slightly hot and it was done before the time range in our recipe. I always recommend checking baked goods at least 5 minutes sooner than called for in a recipe and following the visual clue (in this case, "when the cake springs back when pressed") rather than times for this very reason. Everyone's oven is different - some run a bit hotter, others cycle differently causing things to cook faster, etc. I'd try checking it sooner next time and you will probably find it's gooey in the center. Good luck!

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Thom M.

If I'm using an instant read thermometer (Thermapen), do you have a target temp for the center to remain gooey? Thanks.

Lynn C.

Hi Thom -

Since we want the cake to still be gooey in the center when we remove it from the oven, we don't recommend taking a temperature for this cake. The gooey center will throw off the temperature. Instead, check to make sure the edges of the cake spring back when pressed. This visual clue is a much better indicator of doneness.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Brenda R.

This tasted great but the middle was really gooey and the edges seemed to well done. Help!

Lynn C.

Hi Brenda -

Is it possible that your springform pan is smaller than 9 inches? This would make the cake thicker and cause the center to be undercooked.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Glorianne W.

I used black cocoa power and dark chocolate chips...it was delish. So good, friends and I kept on eating it. Great recipe

John B.

Excellent cake - followed exactly - no worries about mixing chocolate to smooth. It will be grainy when the sugar and chocolate is whisked in but the eggs smooth it out. Also used GF flour - Better Batter brand - and it worked very nicely. Rave reviews and the whipped cream suggestions added a nice touch.

Victoria B.

Hey, Did you use the flour 1:1 or reduce it a little? Just curious because I would love to do this too!

John B.

My recollection is that we use the flour 1:1 - that is what we always do with that brand so I don't think we did it any differently. Good luck!

John B.

My recollection is that we use the flour 1:1 - that is what we always do with that brand so I don't think we did it any differently. Good luck!

Anne W.

A bit frustrating that video calls for browned butter over low heat, but recipe says med-high heat, 1-3 minutes.

Lynn C.

Hi Anne -

We are so sorry the recipe was confusing. Rosie Gill, our Director of Education, was making this recipe for our "Milk Street at Home" series. In this series our team is cooking at home with their own equipment and their own cooktops. Rosie may have found that cooking it slowly (she says "slowly" in the video, but I don't think she specifies a stovetop temperature) is better for her using her equipment and stovetop. She is using a nonstick saucepan and sometimes slower is better to be able to read the color of the butter since it's a bit more challenging to see the color changes against the dark background of a nonstick pan. We love to hear that you are watching the Milk Street at Home videos, but we always recommend following the written version of the recipe for the most accuracy.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Victoria B.

Hi, This recipe looks amazing and quick! Can I substitute GF flour or some other flour alternative? Would I need to reduce the amount too? I have a wheat issue. I would love to see more GF options coming from you guys I love your site so much!

Lynn C.

Hi Victoria -

We haven't tested this recipe with gluten-free flour. If you do decide to try it, make sure to use a GF flour blend that also includes Xanthan gum, which will help maintain the cake's structure. You should be able to do a 1:1 substitution.

Best,
The Milk Street Team