Authentic Finnish Alexandertorte Recipe - Sweet Raspberry Dessert


Authentic Finnish Alexandertorte Recipe - Sweet Raspberry Dessert
Region / culture: Finland | Preparation time: 1 hour | Cooking time: 40 minutes | Servings: 12



Alexandertorte, also known as Alexander Torte or Raspberry Torte, is a classic dessert that originates from the Baltic region, particularly Latvia. This delightful pastry is known for its unique combination of sweet raspberry preserves sandwiched between two layers of shortbread-like dough, topped with a simple yet elegant icing. The contrast between the tartness of the raspberry and the sweetness of the icing makes Alexandertorte a beloved treat among many. This recipe guide will walk you through the steps to create this exquisite dessert, along with providing tips, nutritional information, and variations to suit your taste.


The Alexandertorte is believed to have been named after Tsar Alexander III of Russia, symbolizing the historical ties between Latvia and Russia. It is a dessert that has stood the test of time, with its origins tracing back to the 19th century. Over the years, it has become a staple in Latvian celebrations and is enjoyed by people all around the world. The simplicity of its ingredients and the elegance of its presentation have made Alexandertorte a timeless classic.


How to prepare

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chilled butter, 3 cups of flour, and the sugar. Use your fingertips to rub the mixture until it resembles flakes of coarse meal.
  2. Beat in the egg and continue mixing until the pastry is smooth.
  3. Shape the mixture into a ball, wrap it in wax paper, and refrigerate for 1 hour or until the dough is firm.
  4. Using the back of a spoon, strain the preserves through a fine sieve set over a 1 qt (946 ml) saucepan. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes or until they thicken into a thin purée. Set aside off the heat.
  5. Preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C).
  6. Cut the chilled pastry in half and shape each half into a rectangle.
  7. Roll out each half of the pastry between two sheets of lightly floured wax paper into a rectangle approximately 10 inches wide and 15 inches long.
  8. Using a pastry brush, coat each of 2 cookie sheets with 1 tbsp of butter and sprinkle them with flour. Tilt the sheets from side to side to evenly coat them. Then invert the sheets and tap them against a hard surface to remove any excess flour.
  9. Peel off the top sheets of wax paper and use the bottom ones to lift the 2 rectangles of pastry onto the 2 cookie sheets. Peel off the remaining sheets of wax paper.
  10. Bake for 40 minutes or until the pastry begins to turn a pale gold. Watch carefully for any signs of burning and adjust the heat accordingly.
  11. Using a metal spatula, spread the raspberry purée evenly over one sheet of the pastry, covering it completely and smoothly. Slide the second sheet of pastry gently onto the first.
  12. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, water, and lemon juice to form a thin paste.
  13. Spread the icing over the top layer of pastry with the spatula, and set the cake aside to cool to room temperature.
  14. Using a small, sharp knife or pastry wheel, slice the aleksander torte into strips 1 inch wide and 2 inches long, cutting the ends on the diagonal.


  • For a twist on the traditional raspberry filling, try using apricot, blackberry, or lingonberry preserves.
  • Add a layer of finely chopped nuts between the preserves and the top pastry layer for added texture.
  • Experiment with different icing flavors, such as almond or vanilla, to complement the raspberry filling.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the best results when making Alexandertorte, consider the following tips:

- Keep the butter cold for the pastry dough to achieve a flaky texture.

- Roll the dough between sheets of wax paper to prevent sticking and ensure even thickness.

- Strain the raspberry preserves to remove seeds for a smoother purée.

- Allow the baked pastry to cool completely before assembling to prevent the preserves from melting.

- The icing should be thin enough to spread easily but thick enough to set on the cake.

Serving Suggestions

Alexandertorte is best served at room temperature or slightly chilled. It pairs wonderfully with a cup of coffee or tea, making it an ideal dessert for afternoon gatherings or as a sophisticated finish to a meal.

Cooking Techniques

The key techniques in making Alexandertorte involve properly preparing the pastry dough to achieve a flaky texture and cooking the raspberry preserves to the right consistency. Additionally, mastering the icing to achieve the perfect spreadability and setting time is crucial for the final presentation.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you're out of raspberry preserves, any seedless berry preserve can be used as a substitute.

- For a dairy-free version, use a high-quality vegan butter substitute in both the pastry and the icing.

- Lemon juice can be replaced with lime juice for a slightly different flavor profile in the icing.

Make Ahead Tips

Alexandertorte can be made up to two days in advance. Store the unassembled pastry layers wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature and the raspberry purée in the refrigerator. Assemble and ice the torte several hours before serving.

Presentation Ideas

For an elegant presentation, dust the edges of the sliced Alexandertorte with powdered sugar, or garnish with fresh raspberries and mint leaves. Serve each slice on individual plates with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for added decadence.

Pairing Recommendations

Alexandertorte pairs beautifully with a variety of beverages. For a non-alcoholic option, serve with a robust black tea or a rich hot chocolate. If you prefer something stronger, a sweet dessert wine or a light-bodied coffee liqueur complements the flavors of the torte wonderfully.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover Alexandertorte in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It is best enjoyed cold or brought to room temperature before serving. Reheating is not recommended as it may alter the texture of the pastry and icing.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single serving of Alexandertorte contains approximately 300 calories. The calories are primarily derived from the fats and carbohydrates in the dessert.


A single serving of Alexandertorte contains approximately 45 grams of carbohydrates. The majority of these carbs come from the flour and sugar used in the pastry and icing, as well as the natural sugars present in the raspberry preserves.


Each serving of Alexandertorte contains about 15 grams of fat, primarily from the unsalted butter used in the pastry dough. This contributes to the rich, tender texture of the torte.


Alexandertorte is not a significant source of protein, containing only about 2 grams per serving. The small amount of protein comes from the egg and the minimal amount of milk proteins in the butter.

Vitamins and minerals

While Alexandertorte is not particularly high in vitamins and minerals, it does provide small amounts of Vitamin C from the lemon juice and raspberry preserves, as well as some calcium and iron from the flour.


Common allergens in Alexandertorte include gluten (from the flour) and dairy (from the butter). It is also important to note the presence of egg in the recipe.


Overall, Alexandertorte is a rich, indulgent dessert best enjoyed in moderation. It offers a delightful combination of flavors and textures but is higher in sugars and fats.


Alexandertorte is a classic dessert that combines the tartness of raspberry preserves with the sweetness of icing, all encased in a flaky, buttery pastry. This guide provides all the information you need to successfully create this delightful treat, from cooking tips and nutritional information to serving suggestions and variations. Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or simply indulging in a sweet treat, Alexandertorte is sure to impress.

How did I get this recipe?

I have a clear recollection of the first time I saw this recipe for Alexandertorte. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl living in a small village in Germany. My neighbor, Mrs. Schmidt, was known for her delicious baking and she had invited me over one afternoon to help her make a special dessert.

As I walked into her cozy kitchen, I was greeted by the sweet aroma of vanilla and almond. Mrs. Schmidt had already started preparing the ingredients for the Alexandertorte, a traditional German cake named after a Russian prince. She explained that the cake was made with layers of sponge cake, apricot jam, and a rich chocolate frosting.

I watched in awe as Mrs. Schmidt skillfully whipped the eggs and sugar into a fluffy batter, then gently folded in the flour and almond meal. She spread the batter into two round cake pans and placed them in the oven to bake.

While the cakes were baking, Mrs. Schmidt showed me how to make the apricot filling. She simmered fresh apricots with sugar and a splash of rum until they were soft and fragrant. Then she pureed the mixture and set it aside to cool.

Once the cakes were done baking, Mrs. Schmidt carefully sliced each one in half horizontally to create four thin layers. She spread a generous amount of apricot jam between each layer, then stacked them on top of each other to form a tall tower of cake.

Next, Mrs. Schmidt prepared the chocolate frosting by melting butter and dark chocolate together in a double boiler. She added a touch of milk and powdered sugar to create a smooth, glossy icing that she poured over the cake, letting it cascade down the sides in a decadent drizzle.

As the cake cooled and the frosting set, Mrs. Schmidt taught me the final step in making the Alexandertorte – the decorative garnish of sliced almonds and chocolate curls. She showed me how to carefully arrange the almonds in a circular pattern on top of the cake, then sprinkle the chocolate curls over the surface for a finishing touch.

When the cake was complete, Mrs. Schmidt sliced into it and served me a generous piece on a delicate china plate. The first bite was heavenly – the light and airy sponge cake, the sweet and tangy apricot filling, and the rich and indulgent chocolate frosting all combined to create a symphony of flavors in my mouth.

I savored every bite of that first slice of Alexandertorte, and from that moment on, I knew that this recipe would become a treasured part of my own collection. Over the years, I have made the Alexandertorte many times, honing my skills and perfecting the technique that Mrs. Schmidt had taught me.

Each time I bake this cake, I am transported back to that sunny afternoon in Mrs. Schmidt's kitchen, where I first learned the art of making Alexandertorte. I am grateful for her patience and guidance, and for passing down this special recipe to me. I hope to one day share this beloved dessert with my own grandchildren, just as Mrs. Schmidt did with me. The tradition lives on, one slice of cake at a time.


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