This Grocery Item Is the Best Thing You’re Not Buying at IKEA

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Alex Millauer)

Here’s a scenario you’re probably familiar with if you’ve ever been to IKEA: You topple out of the store, exhausted and vaguely elated, stocked up on affordable furniture. You have a day of assembly ahead of you, complete with minimalist illustrated instructions and the inevitable moment where you nearly burst into tears because how can this seemingly straightforward table be so difficult to assemble?

Soon your home will be full, your muscles will be sore, and you’ll be in dire need of a treat. Take my advice: Before you leave Ikea, scour the grocery section for a Daim cake. Buy it, store it in the freezer, and transform it into the world’s best morning-after-IKEA breakfast.

The Best Thing You’re Not Buying at IKEA

In a world of meatballs and lingonberry sauce, Daim cake is an underrated classic. It’s perfectly round and relatively flat, like a gigantic cookie. Spongy, barely sweet almond cake and custard are stashed inside of a thick cloak of toffee-studded milk chocolate. It’s the love child of an Almond cake and a Daim candy, which is pretty similar to a Heath bar.

You’ll find it in the freezer case, housed in cheery bright-red cardboard packaging. It doesn’t look like anything special, especially once it comes out of the paper. This is the fun gift of Daim — it’s underestimated, so you can always get a second slice. It won’t disappear immediately. You can happily devour it.

Once you try it, be prepared to say goodbye to biscotti and farewell to crumble-topped coffee cakes. The ultimate coffee pairing is a cold, fat slice of Daim cake, fresh from the IKEA grocery section.

Brew a pot of coffee before you crack open the box. You’ll need more than one cup because you will surely be having more than once slice. Something about the light, barely sweet cake part cons my brain into briefly imagining that it’s a healthy dessert option, thus a viable breakfast option. And the minimal height and airiness of the cake and custard means it goes down really easy. Pace yourself.

Since high school, I’ve been clandestinely eating ice cold Daim cake for breakfast whenever I can get my hands on it. I’ve eaten it at dining room tables and kitchen counters. I’ve eaten it straight from the box with my sister in a hotel room in Austin, watching bad TV and leaving almond crumbs everywhere.

It’s delicious at night, but better in the morning, when you feel like you’re getting away with something. Make it even more luxurious by slicing up the Daim cake and eating it with your hand, like you’re a giant with a sweet tooth, digging into one enormous candy-flecked cookie.

Have you tried Daim cake?