A princess cake (prinsesstårta in Swedish) is a traditional Swedish layer cake consisting of alternating layers of airy sponge cake, pastry cream, and a thick-domed layer of whipped cream. This is topped by marzipan, giving the cake a smooth rounded top. The marzipan overlay is usually green, sprinkled with powdered sugar, and often decorated with a pink marzipan rose.
The original recipe first appeared in the 1948 Prinsessornas Kokbok cookbook, which was published by Jenny Åkerström, a teacher of the three daughters of H.R.H. Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland.
The cake was originally called grön tårta (green cake), but was given the name prinsesstårta or “princess cake” because the princesses were said to have been especially fond of the cake. The princesses were H.R.H. Princess Margaretha (1899–1977; later Princess of Denmark), H.R.H. Princess Märtha (1901–1954; later Crown Princess of Norway), and H.R.H. Princess Astrid (1905–1935; later Queen of the Belgians). The cake is widely featured in Tom McNeal’s book Far Far Away.
It also happens to be my beloved wife’s favorite cake. 🙂
Battle on – The Generalissimo
1dl wheat flour
1dl potato flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
For the jam:
175g/6oz jam sugar
For the fondant rose:
– 25g/1oz pink ready-to-roll icing
– icing sugar, for dusting
750ml/1⅓ pints double cream
50g/1¾oz dark chocolate (36% cocoa solids), melted
For the marzipan:
400g/14oz ground almonds
150g/5½oz caster sugar
250g/9oz icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
2 medium free-range eggs, beaten
1 tsp almond extract
green food colouring paste (do not use liquid food colouring)
2 egg yolks
1½ tablespoons potato flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 leaves gelatin
2 teaspoon vanilla sugar
3dl cream, whipped
Grease and flour a round shape, approximately 26 cm in diameter.
Beat eggs and sugar until fluffy.
Mix both the flour and baking powder. Fold the mixture into the batter and mix well. Pour into shape.
Bake on bottom rack in the oven for about 40 minutes.
Turn the cake and let it cool. Cut the cake into three layers. The top should be slightly less than 1 cm thick.
Cut a slit in the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds.
Add both the seeds and pod in a stainless steel saucepan, pour in the milk and bring to the boil.
Whisk egg yolks, potato flour and sugar fluffy. Stir the mixture into the milk. Simmer on low heat, whisking. The cream should not boil. When it thickens, it is ready. Fish out the vanilla pod.
Put the gelatin leaves in cold water. Remove the gelatin leaves and stir them into the hot custard.
Add the whipped cream and flavor with vanilla sugar
For the jam, tip the raspberries into a deep saucepan with the sugar and two tablespoons of water. Cook gently over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved.
Bring the mixture to the boil and boil vigorously for about four minutes, or until the temperature reaches 104C/219F on a sugar thermometer. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and leave to cool completely.
For the fondant rose, roll 10 little pieces of fondant into small balls about the size of a cherry stone.
Dust two small pieces of greaseproof paper with icing sugar and one by one, place the balls of fondant between the sheets of greaseproof and flatten each ball out with your fingers, to a thin circle, approximately 2cm/1in in diameter. These form the petals.
Roll the first petal up like a sausage to form a bud and wrap the remaining petals around the bud to make a rose. Bend and curl the edges of the petals, to make them look more realistic. Leave to dry for at least an hour.
For the marzipan, mix the ground almonds and sugars in a mixer fitted with a dough hook, before adding the eggs and almond extract.
Knead in the bowl until it forms a stiff dough. Turn out onto a surface dusted with icing sugar. Using a cocktail stick, add a tiny amount of green food colouring and knead to an even pastel green colour.
Roll out the marzipan on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, to a 40cm/16in diameter circle, large enough to cover the cake.
To assemble the cake, using a serrated knife, cut the cake horizontally into three even layers. Place one of the sponges onto a serving plate. Spread ½ of jam over the base of the first sponge.
Apply another layer, add remaining jam and shape the vanilla cream to a hill (save some of cream) over it.
Add top cake layer and spread the remaining cream on top and around the sides of the cake.
Roll up the marzipan on a rolling pin and gently place it over the cake. Cut off excess marzipan with a spur or a knife.
Whip the remaining 150ml/5½fl oz of cream to medium peaks and spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small star nozzle. Pipe around the base of the cake.
Spoon the melted chocolate into a small paper piping bag. Snip off the end and pipe a swirl over the top of the cake. Top with the fondant rose and dust with powdered sugar.