Vintage Victuals: Stack-a-wich

A while back on Pinterest I ran across a recipe for smörgÃ¥stÃ¥rta, or sandwich cake. Which sounds really odd, but turns out to be just a big ol’ sandwich, which happens to look an awful lot like a cake. A pretty, pretty cake.

Okay, that still sounds really odd.

The author of the pinned post describes it as “a Swedish sandwich cake with layers of bread separating creamy fillings.” And her version, based on a recipe from Saveur, is beautiful.

Fast-forward 6 months and I’m at an estate sale where I pick up, among a few other things, a small stack of Household magazines from 1956. I was excited to get them home and read them, especially the July issue which features a pretty pastel layer cake on the cover. I’m assuming that the frosting or filling layers are infused with fruit-flavored gelatin.

Guess what? I’m wrong. It’s not a cake at all, but a smörgÃ¥stÃ¥rta. For the benefit of Modern Convenience America circa 1956, it’s been re-named “stack-a-wich.” The author claims that it’s “…fine to fix for a crowd!” And for you fine folks, here’s the entire recipe, all typed out by li’l ol’ me:

For relaxed, casual entertaining—a party treat with beauty, a flair of originality, and variety in flavor—you can’t equal a stack-a-wich! Team it with a refreshing fruit drink such as colorful Limeade Fizz, and you can serve as many as 18 guests with a minimum of preparation. And a stack-a-which practically serves itself—you bring it to the table as you would a birthday cake and let guests cut their own sandwiches. We used cheese and salmon fillings, but a stack-a-wich may be made with any combination of fillings if the flavors blend pleasingly. Team up some of our other fillings, or make your own stack-a-wich and have fun.

Stack-a-wich Loaf
Prepare three sandwich fillings as directed. Remove crusts from one loaf of unsliced sandwich bread. Cut loaf lengthwise into four even slices. Lightly butter one slice. Spread with Salmon Filling. Add second slice of bread buttered on both sides. Spread with Cheese-Olive Filling. Cover with third slice of bread, buttered on both sides. Spread with Relish Filling. Top with fourth slice of bread, buttered on bottom side only. Wrap tightly in wax paper and aluminum foil. Chill several hours or overnight. A couple of hours before serving time, remove from refrigerator. Prepare Carrot-Pimento Topping and attractively frost ends, sides, and top of loaf. Sprinkle top generously with reserved shredded carrots. Makes 18 2½-inch sandwiches.

Salmon Filling
1 can (7¾ oz.) red salmon
¼ cup chopped sweet pickle
½ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar
Drain and flake salmon. Combine with remaining ingredients, adding just enough mayonnaise to moisten.

Cheese-Olive Filling
¾ cup finely shredded Roquefort cheese
¼ cup chopped stuffed olives
Green food coloring
Combine cheese and olives with just enough mayonnaise to moisten. Add green food coloring as desired.

Relish Filling
3 tablespoons pickle relish, drained
2 tablespoons chopped pimiento, drained
1 cup shredded American cheese
Combine ingredients, using just enough mayonnaise to moisten.

Carrot-Pimiento Topping
3 packages (3-oz. size) pimiento cream cheese (room temperature)
¼ cup cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
Few grains salt
3 cups finely shredded carrots
Whip cheese with cream, mayonnaise, and salt until mixture is light and fluffy. Fold in 2 cups of the carrots, reserving 1 cup to sprinkle on top of loaf.

2 Replies to “Vintage Victuals: Stack-a-wich”

    1. You could make it instead with, maybe, tuna salad/chicken salad/egg salad. Or get all fancy with paté, chevré, and…something else. The fillings just need to be something creamyishy. What, that’s not a word?


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