Swedish Flop

October 11, 2011

Have you ever had swedish flop?  It’s a coffee cake with a crumble top, powdered sugar and cream filling.  If you’re lucky, you can find it with a fruit layer added to the cream filling, usually strawberry.  When I was a girl, it was one of our favorite desserts.  Our local grocery store sold it in the bakery section.  It always reminds me of my younger brother because he always requested it for his birthday.

I had forgotten about it until recently when I saw it at the grocery store.  I’m not sure how I came across it because I rarely go into the bakery section, but there I was and I bought it.  I thought that Meeshie would enjoy the crumbly filled goodness of this dessert, and she did.  Then once I got it home and ate it, I knew that I had to make it.

Except I had a hard time finding a recipe.  Apparently swedish flop is a regional thing.   Every where I looked, people were looking for the recipe but not many out of the Chicagoland area had heard of it.  In my quest, I found a recipe that sounded close to what I wanted so I used it as a starting point.  I don’t even remember where I found the recipe, so I can’t even link you back to the page.  The crumb topping smelled heavenly, but wasn’t quite what I was looking for.  No recipe mentioned fruit, and since I didn’t go to the store for this, I used some strawberry jam.

The filling reminded me of a frosting from my childhood.  Have you ever made frosting which requires you to cook some flour and milk on the stove to form a paste before adding sugar and butter?  I have.  We call it French Cream and I’ve made so many times I’ve lost count.  It’s a denser frosting that when whipped properly tastes light but works well for decorating instead of buttercream.  It was always our go to way to frost any cake and was super easy to adapt for other flavors.  I’m talking orange or strawberry Wyler’s instead of sugar for a flavorful frosting.

Well this filling incorporates that method.  The key to the filling (or frosting) is to make sure that the flour and milk mixture incorporates itself into a paste, much like mashed potatoes.  Then you must make sure that the paste is cold, stick it in the fridge or freezer if needed before incorporating it into the rest of butter mixture.

Swedish Flop

  • Cake
  • 1 package Dry Yeast (2 1/4 t)
  • 1/2 C Milk
  • 1/2 C Butter, cold
  • 2 C Flour
  • 1/2 t Salt
  • 2 Egg Yolks, beaten
  • 1 t Vanilla
  • Topping
  • 1/4 C Butter, cold
  • 1/3 C Brown Sugar
  • 1 t Cinnamon
  • Filling
  • 3 T Flour
  • 1/4 t Salt
  • 1/2 C Milk
  • 1/2 C Butter, softened
  • 1/2 C Powdered Sugar
  • 1 t Vanilla
  • Additional Powdered Sugar for dusting

In a small sauce pan, scald the milk and set aside for 20 minutes to cool.  While the milk is cooling, sift the flour and salt and then cut the butter into small pieces.  Cut the butter and flour mixture together until incorporated into pea sized pieces.  Add the yeast to the milk and let sit for 5 minutes or until frothy.  Mix the eggs and vanilla together.  Add the yeast mixture to the eggs and then combine that into to the flour mixture.  Form into a ball, leave in the bowl, cover and refrigerate for one hour.

While the dough is resting, combine the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon together until crumbly.  After an hour, remove the dough from the bowl and spread into a well-greased pan.  I used a 10×7 inch pan, but you the recipe called for a 8×8 inch one.  I’ve always had sweedish flop in the shape of a long coffee cake not a square one so that’s why I used the longer pan.  Spread the topping over the dough.  Cover and let rest in a warm place for one hour.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.  Remove and cool.

While the cake is cooling, prepare the topping. Mix together the flour and salt in a small sauce pan over low heat.  Add the milk and stir constantly until the flour mixture has thickened to a paste.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.  Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together until light and fluffy.  Gradually add the cooled flour mixture.  Mix until creamy.  Split the cake in half length-wise and spread the filling on the one layer.  Add the top layer and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  You can add a layer of fruit such as jam on top of the filling before adding the top layer if you like.



  1. Karen, I thought I had commented on your post last week after reading it…I am totally intrigued by this dessert. I’ve never heard of it, but oh, it sounds lovely. I’m so impressed that you were able to track down a recipe and recreate it for your family. Your photos are perfect for showing off the layers.

    • It would
      Be nice if you could
      add print the recipe!

      • June
        I agree, but I’m somewhat technology challenged. I do know that if you highlight the recipe and right click you can print just that section..

    • I used to make these when I worked for IGA in Dundee, Illinois back in the 70’s. They were so popular we couldn’t keep them on the shelf. I’m gonna make one again. Seem very popular in the Chicago are.

    • I used to make these at the bakery in worked at in Dundee, Illinois at the IGA. Didn’t matter how many we made we sold out every single day… they are incredible.

  2. I HAVE to try this recipe! I remember going to Clark Street in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago with my Grama when I was a little girl. We would go to her favorite Swedish grocery store for her crackers, meats and cheese, then to The Sweden Shop to buy a gift for someone special and FINALLY to the Swedish Bakery! Swedish Flop was one of my favorite treats! (well either Flop or a (Marzipan) Princess Cake). I have searched for years for a good Flop recipe – can’t wait to give this one a try! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Krissy-
      Please let me know when you make it!

      • Thanks for your comment. I too love that Swedish Andersonville neighborhood and the Swedish Flop coffee cake is delicious! I once had it shipped to CA!

  3. I love Swedish flop, will try the filling recipe. The way I make the cake is dry

    angel food cake mix mixed only with a can of lemon pie filling, mix together and put in greased jelly roll pan .. Bake 350 degrees for 20 min.cool. Flip onto a powdered towel..split down center .then use your filling…

    • Joy-
      Wow, I’ve never thought to use angel food cake mix with anything really. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I can’t wait to try this. My Grandma use to bring us one every Friday morning when we were kids. Haven’t had one in at least 40 years. Thank you for the memories!

    • Kris-
      I hope it lives up to your memory!

  5. When I was a little girl in Chicago we would buy a Swedish Flop coffee cake and have it for breakfast…..delicious. It was quite thin, filled with a light buttercream and topped with powdered sugar. I believe it is still available at the Swedish Bakery on North Clark St. Just like Krissy (above) I have great memories of all those Swedish stores. A couple of years ago I stopped in at the Swedish American Museum, also on Clark. It was very interesting.

    • Barbara-
      Now I need to take a road trip…

      • also try riverside bakery in mc henry, il

  6. […] and the cake. If you prefer you could use strawberry jam instead of raspberry. Many thanks to Meeshiesmom for this […]

  7. I grew up in the Buffalo, NY area. And I would say in the 1960’s and early 1970’s we would enjoy “Flop” in our family. However, this Flop Coffee Cake was purchased in German bakeries. From looking at your photos…the Flop we had the filling was much thicker than your photos. There was never a fruit layer. There was also a summer and winter version. When it was not hot summer months the filling was a whipped cream filling. The bottom and top of the coffee cake was a lovely German Crumb Cake. The better the German bakery the better the crumbing on top. It did have the powder sugar. It the hot summer months…you could still get it with the lighter whipped cream filling, but they warned you to keep it refrigerator until ready to eat. But the other version was not filled with anything a thick as a regular frosting. What that filling was I do not know. We were also told by the bakeries…it got the name because as you bit into the Crumb Coffee Cake/Flop the light whipped cream filling would squeeze out the opposite end and FLOP onto your plate or napkin. Hence…the name “Flop”. We had quite a few bakeries in Buffalo and surrounding towns. Not all made Flop but many did. So I am surprised to hear it being called Swedish. And looking at the top of the Swedish it does not appear to be the large crumbs you would find on German Crumb Coffee Cake. If you ever find a German version let me know please.


    • Kate-
      Thank you! Interesting that it sounds similar, yet different from my memories. Although not the flop part, I recall the squeeze of the filling many times as a child. They also sold a version with or without the fruit layer. The fruit layer was always my brother’s favorite, so we always had it that way. The filling was always heavier than a whipped cream.

      • the filling is NOT whipped cream but a fluffy buttercream

  8. This is the best stuff ever!

  9. Lovin’ Oven (Bakery) in Round Lake Beach IL has it….LOVE IT!!!

  10. Riverside bakery makes THE best Swedish flop… I didn’t know
    that it is a Chicago goodie… LOL that’s why I couldn’t find it in VA or AZ now I am in LA and know I have to make my own …nothing like it
    I love you for finding creating the recipe

  11. Made this for a birthday party and everyone raved about it! I have never had swedish flop, but guests who had said this was so very good! I doubled the amount of powdered sugar in the buttercream filling though, it tasted a bit floury to me at first. Thanks so much for the recipe!

    • Sara
      So glad you enjoyed it!

  12. Would it make sense to add a little flour to the crumble topping, maybe about 2 Tbs? Otherwise it seems to melt. Also to wait until just before baking to spread it over the top of the dough? Otherwise, this is an excellent recipe.

    • Fran
      Give it a try, but it shouldn’t melt if you allow the cake to cool completely. I’m glad you like it.

  13. It has been a few years for a post on this subject but I thought everyone who was talking about the Swedish Bakery in Chicago would like to know that they are closing the doors the end of February 2017. I have also had the Swedish Flat: Thin, light dough filled with sweet & creamy buttercream, topped with streusel and a generous amount of powdered sugar from Jarosch Bakery in Elk Grove Village, IL. (I think they ship) and Old World Bakery in Lake Zurich, IL. Both were really good. Hope this helps you in your search for places that are pretty close to Chicago… Will need to try this recipe version but with more of a butter crumb on top…

  14. Can this be frozen?

    • Jarosch bakery in Elk Grove Village has the most decadent Swedish Fjatl It is my favorite bakery item,. Theirs is Just a crumble top, cream filling and crust. There isn”t any cake.

  15. Sorry for misspelling Flat. i hope people know that you haven’t closed! I would like to know if the Swedish Flat can be frozen and do you ship? Thanks for your wonderful bakery!

  16. This is the most list of comments I’ve ever seen for a recipe! Thanks to whoever posted it! This recipe seems most true to the bakery version, not the ones made with cake mix!!
    We used to get it at Logan Bakery in Logan Square on Milwaukee Ave at the time, right across from Klaus Dept. Store. The bakery catered more to the Polish community for some things but it’s the only place we’d get Swedish flop. Sliced in long skinny strips and could keep eating more and more. There is a bakery up on Touhy near Pulaski that sells it by special order only. Schlagel’s (spelling?).
    I’ll try this recipe instead. But, never remember fruit filling or cinnamon in the topping from Logan Bakery. Would use lt. brown sugar instead. THANKS!

  17. I made this and it was amazing, thanks so much!


  18. Thank you so much! My mom used to love swedish flops and since shes been gone, I like to get them every once in a while to celebrate her. I dont live near good bakery and I’m always disappointed at the ones in the major supermarkets. I look forward to making this soon! Your descriptions on the filling were spot on! It’s not a regular buttercream but it’s not a whip cream either. Best wishes!

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