Karask: A Sweet and Flavorful Estonian Cake

Estonia is known for its rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and delicious cuisine. One of Estonia’s most popular and beloved desserts is the Karask, a sweet, yeast-based cake filled with fruit and spices. This traditional treatment has been enjoyed by generations of Estonians and has become a staple of the country’s culinary landscape.

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The origins of the Karask are believed to date back to the 19th century when it was first introduced to the region by German bakers. Over time, the recipe was adapted to suit local tastes and ingredients, and the Karask became a distinct and beloved part of Estonian cuisine. Today, it is a staple of celebrations, holidays, and special occasions and is enjoyed by people of all ages.

The Karask is a round, layered cake made from sweet, yeast-based dough. The dough is mixed with sugar, butter, eggs, and milk to create a soft, tender texture that is the perfect base for the cake. The cake filling varies but is usually made from fruit, such as raisins, currants, or cranberries, and spices, such as cinnamon and cardamom. Some recipes include nuts, almonds or walnuts, for added crunch and flavor.

Karask: A Sweet and Flavorful Estonian Cake

Recipe by Chris


Prep time


Cooking time






  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon of active dry yeast

  • 1/2 cup of warm milk

  • 1/2 cup of sugar

  • 1 egg1 teaspoon of cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom

  • 1/2 cup of raisins

  • 1/2 cup of chopped almonds

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1 tablespoon of milk


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and yeast. Stir in the warm milk and sugar, and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to activate.
  • Whisk together the egg, butter, cinnamon, and cardamom in a separate bowl. Stir this mixture into the yeast mixture until well combined.
  • Stir in the raisins and almonds. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.
  • Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan.
  • Roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Place it in the prepared pan and let it rise for another 10 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and milk. Brush this mixture over the top of the dough.
  • Bake the Karask for 30-35 minutes until the top is golden brown and the cake is fully baked.
  • Let the Karask cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a drizzle of icing, if desired.


  • The Karask is a beautiful cake that will impress your guests and delight your taste buds. Whether you are a seasoned baker or a beginner, this simple recipe will become a staple in your kitchen. So why not give it a try