The Duck Makes a Christmas Smorgastarta

For Christmas this year, we decided to throw out all notions of a traditional meal and cut straight to the good part.  The cake.  Yes, because we decided to try a smorgastarta, a Swedish recipe that we had never attempted before that’s basically the equivalent of a sandwich cake!  (Silly readers, did you really think we ate a chocolate cake for our Christmas dinner?)  What we made was basically a double-decker sandwich with three different fillings, frosted with chive and onion cream cheese and garnished with red onions and celery leaves.  After all, the true meaning of Christmas is to celebrate Jesus’ birthday, and every self-respecting birthday party needs a delicious cake!

Two types of bread? How decadent!
A plate of future garnishes…and some chopped celery

When researching the dish online, we were informed that rye bread is the preferred option, so we used marble rye and Jewish rye bread.  As for our fillings, we made a double portion of egg salad for each of us.  And then I made chicken salad for myself and Mother Duck tried to make her own olive and cream cheese filling for a more vegetarian option.  While I don’t have exact measurements, our ingredients were as follows:

Egg Salad

  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Mayo
  • Morton’s Nature’s Seasons for seasoning
Simple, but delicious!

Chicken Salad

  • Rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • Celery
  • Red onions
  • Mayo
  • Cajun seasoning
Now that’s my kind of salad!

Olive Spread

  • Garlic-stuffed green olives
  • Plain cream cheese
  • Celery
No meat here!

And since we were having sandwiches, we felt we needed some sort of potato dish to accompany it, so we made some roasted potatoes, the only part of our Christmas meal that actually required the oven.

A whole pan o’ taters

Putting the whole thing together was easier than we expected, including the step that involved frosting our sandwich cake, which was not the insurmountable task that we had feared.  Even covering up the gaps between our respective sandwiches was surprisingly simple.  And although our garnish may not have been as fancy as the photos we had seen online, I think our decorations encompassed the idea of “less is more”.

An undressed smorgastarta, how scandalous!
The sandwiches have been entombed in cream cheese
Happy 2022nd birthday, Jesus!

Of course, the most important part is the flavor, and I think this was a pretty tasty meal indeed.  The egg salad was an old recipe that we had eaten plenty of times before, and the added cream cheese spread across the top layer of bread paired perfectly well with it.  My brand new chicken salad recipe was my personal favorite, as it was quite delicious and just a bit spicy.  And Mother Duck enjoyed her olive sandwich, which is great for anyone who wants a vegetarian sandwich option.

Behold, a plate of goodness!

I’d recommend making a smorgastarta to anyone who loves sandwiches, unique recipes, and the opportunity to be creative.  There are really no limits to what you can make, though you might want to keep in mind this one tip we learned.  With so many mushy sandwich fillings, it’s a good idea to include some crunch, which was why we added celery to two of our fillings for some texture that wouldn’t impact the flavor.  With that said, we hope you all had a perfectly pleasant Christmas and will soon enjoy an even better 2023!


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