Hjónabandssæla – Icelandic Happy Marriage cake

This is one treat that I always make sure to get a slice of when I travel to Iceland, and on my last trip I picked up a couple of jars of homemade rhubarb jam so I can make my own. I like to think of old folks having this cake for afternoon tea, reflecting on their long, blissful lives together as they watch the sheep graze in the fields and the birds wheeling overhead.

Hmmmmm… perhaps I tend to romanticise Iceland a wee bit? 😉


It may not be particularly beautiful to the eye, but this cake is just delicious. Rich and moist, it goes wonderfully with a cup of tea.

If you can’t get (or don’t like) rhubarb jam, you can use blueberry, which would be in keeping the wild fruit that grows in the Icelandic countryside in summer.

Makes 1 x 30cm (12″) cake
Note: a smaller diameter baking dish will yield a taller cake, but will take an extra few minutes to cook through
Preparation: 10 minutes
Baking: 25 minutes
Keeps for several days in an airtight container in the pantry


200g (2 cups) oatmeal
250g (2 cups, spooned and scraped) all-purpose (plain) flour
200g (1 cup) granulated sugar
1 tsp baking (bicarb) soda
pinch salt
225g (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
230g (3/4 cup) rhubarb jam


Preheat oven to 200°C / 390°F / Gas Mark 6, and butter a 30cm (12″) pie dish.

Whisk together the oatmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

Add the butter bit by bit and use your fingers to mix it into the flour until well combined.

Stir in the egg and vanilla extract. It’s easiest to just keep using your fingers.

Press 2/3 of the dough firmly into the pie dish.

Spread the jam over the dough in the pan.

Take the remaining 1/3 of the dough and drop it in lumps all over the jam.

Bake in centre of oven for about 25 minutes, until golden.

Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool.

Serve on its own or with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

This entry was posted in cake, dessert, icelandic, sweet, tart&pie. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Hjónabandssæla – Icelandic Happy Marriage cake

  1. Anne says:

    Yummmm this looks so good! I think it looks really pretty ❤

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