Sandwich Cake is my new casual summer entertaining go to. What a fun way to entertain in summer when you don’t want a hot meal. They are also awesome for baby or bridal showers, garden parties etc.
Can you tell I am totally enthusiastic about these things? Sandwich Cake originated in Sweden as part of a ‘Smorgasbord’ and have been around since the 60s. They tend to be elaborate affairs topped with a mountain of ingredients like smoked salmon, hard boiled eggs, cucumbers, radishes, ham slices.
The American recipes had an egg salad layer, a ham salad layer and a chicken salad layer. Whoa! Way too much going on in one sandwich slice there! They really get a bad rap if you Google Sandwich cakes.
So I have ‘edited’ it down to 3 complementary layers – 2 egg salad layers and 1 roasted vegetables layer with pesto sauce. This version also happens to be vegetarian. And my decorations I like to think of as ‘understated’! LOL!
It takes a bit of fussing to put it all together -but just a bit!
I made mine in my loaf pan which is about 4 1/2″ X 9″. It fits 3 sandwich bread slices pinched end to end perfectly. Look for true Sandwich bread – it is more uniformly square than regular bread. I used Wonder Bread Thin Sandwich bread. Remove the crusts carefully to keep the edges straight and size of slices as uniform as possible.
You are going to line the loaf pan both length-wise and width-wise with plastic wrap. Use enough that you can use the excess to cover the loaf securely while it rests in the fridge.
Pinch 3 slices of bread overlapping slightly, end to end. Repeat with remaining bread slices. Place 2 bread rectangles in the bottom of the loaf pan. Then add 1/2 your egg salad filling and spread it to cover the bread rectangle. Top the first filling layer with 2 more layers of bread. Lay out your roasted eggplant and roasted pepper to cover the bread rectangle. Spread the basil topping over the roasted vegetables. Top with 2 more layers of bread. Spread the last 1/2 of the egg salad, top with the last 2 bread rectangles. Press the loaf lightly but uniformly.
Seal the loaf with the overhanging plastic lining the loaf pan. Let it sit in the fridge at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
Then you are going to remove the sandwich loaf to a tray and ‘ice’ it with a cream cheese/mayonnaise mixture.
Decorating them is really fun. The Swedish ones have smoked salmon, hard boiled eggs slices, cucumber slices and a host of other condiments piled on top. They are really busy too!
I have toned it down a bit… quite a bit in fact! I used cucumber slices and fresh dill to complement the fillings. And I piped some of the cream cheese topping to give it a bit more oomph.
One of the things I learned was to make a double layer of the sandwich bread between the layers. If you are using store bought sandwich bread (recommended) the slices are pretty thin and they almost get lost among the layers.
Here is what it looks like when it is cut.
- This loaf risks being soggy so only use as much mayonnaise as needed to bind the egg salad layer and only as much as you need to be able to spread the basil over the roasted vegetable layer.
- I made 3 layers since I was following the format of the classic sandwich cake. You may consider halving the egg salad quantity and just going with 2 layers- 1 egg salad and 1 roasted vegetable.
- Hardboiled eggs and roasted vegetables can be made a day ahead of assembly if desired.
- Use your imagination to decorate. I chose fresh dill in the decoration to complement the dill in the egg salad. You could use olives or capers or roasted red pepper strips if you want to highlight a different flavour.
If you find the idea intriguing as I do you might want to check out my Salmon and Shrimp Sandwich Cake which was absolutely delicious too!
- 24 slices sandwich bread crusts removed
Egg Salad Layer
- 5 hard boiled eggs
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 1 tsp yellow mustard
- 2-4 Tbsps mayonnaise just enough to hold the egg mixture together
- 1 dill pickle minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
Roasted Vegetable Layer
- 1 small eggplant
- olive oil for brushing
- 1 large sweet red pepper
- 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 clove garlic
- 1 Tbsp pine nuts
Cream Cheese Icing
- 20 oz light cream cheese at room temperature I used Kraft Light Spreadable
- 2 Tbsps light mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice fresh if possible
- 1 English cucumber
- fresh dill weed fronds
- Carefully remove crusts from bread. Try to make slices as square and uniform as possible. On a flat surface lay 3 slices of bed end to end with about 1/4" overlap. Pinch down the overlap to secure the pieces together to make a rectangle about 4" X 9". You will have 8 bread rectangles when you are done.
- Line a large loaf pan (about 4 1/2 " X 10") with plastic wrap lengthwise, with several inches overhang. Repeat lining width-wise with several inches over hang. You are going to use the overlapping wrap to seal the sandwich cake.
Egg Salad Layer
- Click on the hard boiled egg ingredient for instructions on making perfect hard boiled eggs. When they are cool, peel and chop them. Combine the chopped egg with the other remaining egg salad ingredients. Only use as much mayonnaise as it takes to bind the egg mixture together. Too much will risk a soggy cake layer.
Roasted Vegetable Layer
- Preheat broiler or BBQ grill.
- Wash the whole eggplant. Remove the bulk of the peel on the long sides. Cut strips lengthwise about 1 " thick. The number of strips it will take to cover the loaf will depend on the size of your eggplant.
- Wash and seed red pepper. Cut it into quarters lengthwise. Press it or trim curved ends to get it to lie as flat as possible.
- Brush the egg plant slices with oil. Place red pepper sking side downand eggplant slices on pan or grill. Cover if using the BBQ. Grill about 5 minutes. Turn the egg plant slices over. Leave the red pepper with skin side down. Grill another 5 minutes or so. Add pine nuts in a separate oven proof dish and toast during the last 5 minutes. Watch carefully so they don't burn.
- Eggplant will be soft and translucent when done. Red pepper skin should be black and blistering. When done remove them from the grill. Seal red pepper in a bag and allow to cool about 10 minutes.
- When you can handle the pepper take a small sharp knife and remove the skin.
- Blend the mayonnaise, basil, garlic and pine nuts in a blender till the sauce is uniform.
- Pinch 3 slices of bread overlapping slightly, end to end. Repeat with remaining bread slices. Place 2 bread rectangles in the bottom of the loaf pan.
- Then add 1/2 your egg salad filling and spread it to cover the bread rectangle. Top the first filling layer with 2 more layers of bread.
- Lay out your roasted eggplant and roasted pepper to cover the bread rectangle. Spread the basil topping over the roasted vegetables. Top with 2 more layers of bread.
- Spread the last 1/2 of the egg salad, top with the last 2 bread rectangles. Press the loaf lightly but uniformly. Seal the loaf with the plastic wrap overhand.
- Allow loaf to rest at least 4 hour and up to 24 hours. When ready to decorate, remove loaf from fridge and unwrap carefully. Transfer the loaf to a serving plate.
- Beat the cream cheese, mayonnaise and lemon juice til smooth.
- Cut about 9 thin slices of cucumber. Then cut each slice in half to get 18 half slices. The exact number you will need will depend on the size of your cucumber.
- Cut the remaining cucumber in half lengthwise. With a vegetable peeler make 4-6 long thin strips of cucumber.
- Cut off some tips of fresh dill fronds.
- Reserve about 1/2 cup of the cream cheese mixture. Spread the remaining cream cheese evenly over the top and sides of the loaf.
- Using a piping bag and tip, take the reserved 1/2 cup of cream cheese mixture and pipe florettes around the upper edge of the loaf.
- Position cucumber half rounds along the base of the sandwich loaf. Curl the long strips of cucumber and center them along the length of the loaf. Position dill fronds decoratively like branches coming off the cucumber curls.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- To serve cut about a 1" slice at a time. Support the slice with a cake server so it doesn't fall apart when transferring to a plate.