Icelandic Happy Marriage Cake (Hjonabandssaela)

Hjónabandssæla is also called ‘happy marriage cake” or “wedded bliss cake” or “marital bliss cake” or “blissful marriage cake”… you get the idea. The first mention of the cake is from 1950. It’s a grandchild of the Austrian Linzer Torte via Denmark. The story of the name goes that it’s simple and cheap for the newlywed bride to make her husband the day after.

Icelandic Happy Marriage Cake - Hjonabandssaela

Hjonabandssaela- Icelandic Happy Marriage Cake

This crumble cake seems to promote pressure for newly-wed wives that is not too different from Thailand's mother in-law eggs– screw it up and you'll end up with a hapless marriage or, in the case of Thailand, a truly annoyed mother in law who's sure you'll never be worthy of her boy. Whether fact or fiction, this pie/cake showcases Rhubarb, a favorite vegetable in Iceland.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Iceland, North Western European, Scandanavian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 10
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Medium saucepan
  • Medium bowl
  • Food Processor or blender
  • 8-inch round cake pan


Rhubarb Compote

  • 1 lb Fresh rhubarb (Sub: fresh frozen defrosted)
  • ¼ cup Superfine or caster sugar (Sub: granulated sugar)
  • 3 tsp Vanilla extract


  • cup Rolled oats
  • cup All-purpose flour
  • ½ cup Superfine or caster sugar (Sub: granulated sugar)
  • ¼ cup Brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Ground cardamom
  • ¾ tsp Baking soda
  • 8 oz Butter (salted), softened and cubed
  • 3 large Egg


Rhubarb Compote

  • Cut rhubarb into 1½-inch pieces and add to a medium saucepan along with sugar and vanilla. Cook with lid on over medium heat until rhubarb is soft but still has some shape, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.


  • Lightly grease a cake pan and preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
    Place oats in a food processor or blender. Pulse to make oats a little finer but not completely. Add flour, sugars, cardamom, and baking powder to the oats and pulse to mix. Add the butter cubes and pulse until everything becomes a clumpy crumble mixture. Crack in eggs and mix to combine.

Make Cake

  • Spoon about ¾ of all the batter into the cake pan. Press down evenly to cover the bottom and part way up the sides. Spread the compote evenly across the bottom. Top with the remaining crust in uneven clumps.
    Bake until crust turns golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let it cool down a little and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


Calories: 171kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 108mg | Potassium: 229mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 127IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 2mg

Search All MHT Recipes:

Key Ingredients
Cooking Method

Search all Recipes 

Load More