What is Fika? Everything you need to know about the Swedish coffee break

Fika is the Swedish coffee concept that everyone is talking about!


Fika is a Swedish concept that involves drinking coffee, whilst eating baked goods such as pastries, cookies or pie. Could this tasty tradition be the secret ingredient to happiness? We wanted to find out more...

The Scandinavian coffee culture fits with the Swedish mindful mentality, and the importance of taking the time to appreciate the good things in life. Anything involving coffee and cake, and we're in. So we thought it was just about time we shared the joy, and explained a little more about it. 

Fika can be a noun, meaning coffee, or a verb, meaning the act of drinking coffee and taking a break. The Fika coffee break is nothing like the mad dash to refuel with caffeine that we Brits may be familiar with. Fika means taking a break from whatever you are doing, and sitting down with others to refresh, rejuvenate and reward yourself with a sweet treat.

As well as being a chance to enjoy a sugary snack, Fika is a scheduled time when people take a break, and engage in conversation with one another. It may seem trivial, but it is mandatory in most Swedish businesses that there is a time of day where employees can sit down and do Fika, and is said to improve productivity and boost mental health. Fika is so much more than just a coffee break, it's a chance to slow down, gain perspective, and practice mindfulness.

Fika recipes

Cinnamon rolls

Cinnamon rolls are the most iconic Fika food. You'll find these sweet and spiced buns in almost every bakery in Sweden. Get the recipe for our homemade cinnamon rolls.

Chocolate balls

Swedish chocolate balls are another Fika favourite. These sweet, no-bake treats coated in coconut are so easy to make at home and pair perfectly with coffee. Get the recipe for our homemade chocolate balls.

Swedish almond cake

This sweet and nutty cake is another coffee time staple. Ground almonds give a beautiful texture and great moisture to cakes and bakes. For other ideas with ground almonds you could try our Bakewell slice or our rich and fudgy chocolate cake. Get the recipe for our homemade almond cake.


Coffee and biscuits is a classic combination. The Scandinavians love to tuck into rich, buttery biscuits when doing Fika, and we think these chocolate dipped biscuits will do the trick. Get the recipe for our homemade Viennese finger biscuits..


Pastries are a staple in any Scandinavian bakery. A rich and buttery pastry is the perfect partner for a morning coffee. Get the recipe for our homemade Danish pastries.

Cardamom cake

Cardamom is a really popular spice in Swedish cooking, and is commonly used in cakes and sweet treats. This moist and flavourful sponge cake is just the thing for an afternoon pick me up. Get the recipe for our homemade cardamom cake.


If you've not got a sweet tooth, that doesn't mean you have to miss out on Fika. Smorgas, Swedish open faced sandwiches, are often enjoyed with a good strong coffee too. Try a traditional combination of rye bread and smoked salmon for a savoury Scandi snack. Get the recipe for our homemade smorgas.

Jessica Dady
Food Editor

Jessica Dady is Food Editor at GoodtoKnow and has over 12 years of experience as a digital editor, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the must-buy seasonal food hampers and advent calendars for Christmas to the family-friendly air fryers that’ll make dinner time a breeze, Jessica loves trying and testing various food products to find the best of the best for the busy parents among us. Over the years of working with GoodtoKnow, Jessica has had the privilege of working alongside Future’s Test Kitchen to create exclusive videos - as well as writing, testing, and shooting her own recipes. When she’s not embracing the great outdoors with her family at the weekends, Jessica enjoys baking up a storm in the kitchen with her favourite bakes being chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, and a tray of gooey chocolate brownies