Royal mess

and for afters?

My husband asked the other day if I had posted any desserts on the site, and I realised I hadn’t. This was not because the Swedes don’t eat desserts, but that they haven’t featured in my family other than on special occasions. Obviously I have to rectify this and will post a few of the most common as well as my own favourites.

Known as “hovdessert” – the courts dessert – or “marängswiss” – meringue Suisse or Swiss meringues – is a delightfully simple and yet rich dessert, so easy to make a child can put it together. Similar to Eton mess, we call this dessert Royal mess in our home.

Consisting of three components – cream, chocolate sauce and meringues – you can make it the easy way and buy ready made chocolate sauce and meringues, and even whipped cream in a bottle, or you can be more ambitious and make your own. I usually have a few meringues at home since I use leftover egg whites, but shop bought will work just as well.

This recipe is from the original. These days many will add some sliced bananas as well, though the dessert has strangely enough become less common. Maybe it is because it’s so rich, or maybe because it’s so simple and people want to show off. I, however, think it’s an excellent way to finish off a meal. 

Royal mess

Royal mess - hovdessert

This is not so much a recipe as instructions of how to put a royal mess together. Please use quantities suitable for the amount of people you're serving and how hungry they are. Estimated preparation time is based on you having previously made, or bought, chocolate sauce and meringues.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Swedish Traditional


  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Meringues


  • Layer meringues and whipped cream in a bowl.
  • Top with chocolate sauce and crushed meringues.


If you want to make your own chocolate sauce I have a recipe for a very simple sauce here.


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