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Boston cake slices A standard Finnish Boston cake consists of cinnamon rolls baked side by side in a round cake pan.

The rolls are usually stuffed with sweet, cinnamon-flavoured cream and almond mixture and the top is sprinkled with chopped almonds before baking.

This variation of the cake is stuffed like regular cinnamon rolls and topped with sugar and caramel icing. To make this cake more "authentic", leave out the icing.


1 portion of basic sweet yeast dough
80 - 90 g butter
½ tsp almond essence
powdered cinnamon
cream toffee icing (optional):
100 ml cream
50 ml sugar
50 ml soft brown sugar (firmly packed)
¼ - ½ vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla sugar
almond-sugar icing (optional):
150 ml icing sugar
¼ - ½ tsp almond essence
½ - 2 tbsp milk or water

Prepare a basic sweet yeast dough according to the instructions given here. Let the butter for the filling become soft and mix the almond essence in it.

After the dough has risen, punch it down, lightly knead it and leave to rest for a few minutes. Roll out the dough into a rectangle, about 30 × 40 cm in size and no more than ½ cm thick. Spread the almond-flavoured butter evenly on the dough and sprinkle over a thin, even layer of sugar and cinnamon.

Starting with the longer side, roll up the dough into a tight cylinder, like a jelly/Swiss roll. Using a sharp knife or scissors (or clean, unflavoured dental floss), cut the roll into 3 to 7 cm long slices  —  cut the slices a little less thick than the depth of the cake pan in which the slices will be baked. You may need two pans (à Ø 20 cm).

Place the slices cut side down in the buttered cake pan(s)  —  one slice in the middle and the rest around it in a circle, so that they just barely touch each other. Leave to rise, covered, for about 20 minutes.

Glaze the tops of the rolls with lightly beaten egg and bake at 175 - 180 °C for 30 - 40 minutes, or until the cake is baked through and its top is golden brown (see the picture below).

Baked Boston cake

If you like, you can drizzle the cake(s) with cream toffee and/or almond-sugar icing for added sweetness. However, traditional Boston cake is not iced or drizzled with any frosting, so you may as well leave this bit out.

First prepare the cream toffee icing. Place the cream, sugar, brown sugar and the piece of vanilla bean in a small saucepan. Do not slit the vanilla bean open. Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring continually. Lower the heat and let the mixture simmer slowly, uncovered and stirring every now and then, for about 15 - 20 minutes or until small amount of the mixture dropped into cold water can be formed into a pliable, soft ball (the "soft-ball stage").

Turn off the heat, but do not remove the pan from the stove. If you are using vanilla sugar, mix it in the icing just after cooking. If the icing gets too stiff after it has cooled down, just add a dash of cream and reheat it.

Gently unmould the cake(s) and place on a wire rack to cool. Prepare the almond-sugar icing by adding almond essence to the icing sugar and enough milk or water to get a thickish paste-like mixture. Add more liquid if necessary.

Drizzle both the sugar and the caramel icing on the top of the still slightly warm cake(s) in a criss-cross pattern (see the picture below).

Decorated Boston cake

Let the icing set. Serve the cake cut into wedges. The cake is best eaten on the day it was baked.
Yield: 1 to 2 cakes.

Recipe source: adapted from traditional Finnish recipe.


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