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Wanna Make a Vínarterta?

By Rob Olason


"The Twelve Vínartertas Before Christmas" postings on the Icelandic Roots Facebook page during December 2023, were a way to celebrate what could arguably be called the Western Icelander's favorite comfort food. Not to slight all the other Icelandic favorites, but vínarterta stands out in a class all its own in the realm of Icelandic delicacies.


During this Yuletide tribute to vínarterta, we made two incredible discoveries. First, several readers remarked that they did not have a recipe to make vínarterta and desperately wanted one.


The second discovery we made shocked us to an even greater degree: there was no vínarterta recipe on the Icelandic Roots website. (!) (?) (!)


Thankfully a couple of members sent in their tried and true recipes. We are posting those gems here.


We know that "favoring" any version of the vínarterta recipe can attract complaints that the absolute "best" recipe-the one that amma always made-is unrepresented. We understand that concern completely and propose a remedy:


Send in your Best Vínarterta Recipe Ever to outreach@icelandicroots.com and we'll

include it in our online vínarterta recipe collection.


Here's what we have so far:


Mrs. Peterson's Vínarterta Recipe: Iceland's Christmas Cake (7 layers) :

Our next recipe is a six-layer cake from Mrs. B.J. Brandson:



Not to be outdone, here is Mrs. F. J. Bergmann's five-layer variation on a theme featuring raspberry jam as the unique filling ingredient. She shows a flair for daring moves by adding chopped almonds to her flour mixture.



Here is a link to a gluten-free vínarterta recipe with modifications by Terri Wintonyk that can be made dairy-free also.


The Icelandic Roots volunteers wish you the best as you explore these recipes and experience the pleasures of enjoying the vínarterta you made which may just be the Best Vínarterta Ever!



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