Enjoy a taste of Scandinavia. Credit: Fred Olsen

Recipe: How to make Scandinavian roasted pork belly and Kvaefjordkake

Author: Sarah Riches

Published on:

Tuck into this hearty winter warmer, served aboard Fred. Olsen cruise lines - but save space for a classic Norwegian dessert

After a thrilling day on a Nordic cruise, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and dipping in the Baltic Sea beneath the aurora borealis, your heart will be racing, your blood pumping and your toes tingling with the cold. Come dinner time, when sailing with Fred Olsen cruise lines you can warm up with a nourishing plate of pork belly – which Scandinavians have been enjoying since the stone age.

Simon early, Fred Olsen cruise lines’ fleet executive chef, is the brains behind this pork belly recipe. “Our chefs take great pride in recreating tasty local dishes,” he says. “This dish is served on all our ships in the main dining rooms as part of one of our signature experiences – treats of the region – which allows guests to discover the delicious regional dishes from the various locations on their cruise.”

Scandinavian roasted pork belly with pickled cabbage, plums & boiled potatoes

Serves: 4


For the pork belly

  • 1kg pork belly, boneless
  • Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper

For the pickled cabbage

  • 800g savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 40ml maple syrup or honey
  • 130ml white wine vinegar
  • 40ml olive oil
  • 2tsp coriander seeds, toasted
  • 2tsp mustard seeds, toasted

For the plums

  • 350g fresh plums
  • 10g butter
  • 400ml gravy

For the boiled potatoes

  • 700g peeled potatoes
  • Salt and pepper


For the pork belly

  1. Two days beforehand, score the fat side of the pork belly. Knead salt and pepper into the cuts, then cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.
  2. Steam the pork for 90 minutes, then finish in the oven at 220°C for about 25 minutes, until the skin is crispy.

For the pickled cabbage

  1. Blanch the cabbage.
  2. Whisk the maple syrup, white wine vinegar and olive oil in a bowl.
  3. Add the toasted coriander and mustard seeds. Drain the steamed cabbage and add to the pickling liquid.
  4. Refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably overnight.

For the plums

  1. Wash the plums and cut into wedges.
  2. Melt the butter in a pan and sauté the plums for 1 minute until they release their juices.
  3. Drain the plums, reserving their liquid.

For the boiled potatoes

  1. Shape the potatoes into 2cm balls with a Parisian cutter or cut into 2cm cubes, then boil in salted water. Drain and season with pepper.

To serve

  1. Cut the pork belly into 4cm cubes and place on a plate with the pickled cabbage, plums and potatoes.
  2. Drizzle with the reserved juice and serve with gravy.
Kvaefjordkake is a sponge cake baked with meringue, vanilla cream and almonds. Credit: Fred Olsen


Filled with custard, topped with meringue and scattered with flaked almonds, this legendary pudding is dubbed ‘the world’s best cake’. Named after a region in the north of Norway, it is the country’s national dessert.

Serves: 12


For the cake

  • 180g butter, softened
  • 500g sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 200g plain flour
  • 15g baking powder
  • 150g almond powder
  • 100ml milk

For the custard

  • 200ml whole milk
  • 200ml double cream
  • 100g sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla paste
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 40g cornflour

For the meringue

  • 100g egg white
  • 200g sugar
  • 30g cornflour
  • Almond flakes


Cake base

  1. Fold the butter and sugar, adding the egg yolks and whole eggs one at a time.
  2. Add the flour, baking powder and almond powder. Beat until combined, then add the milk. Mix well.
  3. Spread the batter evenly in a cake ring.
  4. Bake at 180°C for 20 to 25 minutes.

Custard filling

  1. Over a gentle heat, bring the milk, cream, sugar and vanilla paste to a boil.
  2. Add the egg yolks and cornflour; stir to combine.
  3. Simmer till thick, then cool.

Assembling the cake

  1. Cut the cake base in two.
  2. Spread the custard on one half and place the other half on top.

For the meringue topping

  1. Beat the egg white and sugar until stiff and shiny, then add the cornflour.
  2. Using a spatula, spread the mix on top of the cake, creating swirly peaks.
  3. Sprinkle the flaked almonds on top.
  4. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
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About Sarah Riches

After a five-year stint living in Asia, Sarah was inspired to become a travel journalist. Sarah has freelanced for Condé Nast Traveller and National Geographic Traveller and is the author of London Almanac (2010) and Culture Smart! The Essential Guide to British Customs & Culture (2024). She was also the deputy editor of Time Out Abu Dhabi, Where London and London Planner, digital editor of Wanderlust – the UK’s oldest travel magazine.