Quite simply the loveliest and most popular celebration cake in Sweden.
Let me explain, this is Prinsesstårta or Princess cake, so called because Princesses Margaretha, Märtha, and Astrid, daughters of Prince Carl, brother of King Gustaf V loved it so. And they weren’t alone. It promptly became popular in Sweden and Finland. Every year around 500,000 prinsesstårtor are sold in Sweden. Jenny Åkerström, home economist at the beginning of the 20th century created the cake. Originally named Grön Tårta (green cake) it certainly has a more appealing name now.
Consisting of a super light sponge layered firstly with jam, then creme patisserie and masked in whipped cream and then encased in marzipan. Those of you who know me on are aware that I’m not a fan of marzipan but my family are so I just personally leave it. You can make it with a thin layer of fondant icing as an alternative if you like.
- 20cm deep cake tin
- 4 large eggs
- 110 g golden castor sugar
- 100 g plain flour
- 55 g butter melted
- 250 g whole milk
- 40 g castor sugar
- 15 g cornflour
- 3 large egg yolks
- 15 g butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To Assemble with
- 400 g marzipan white
- Green, red and yellow food colouring
- 400 ml double cream
- 150 g good-quality raspberry jam
- 50 g raspberries fresh or frozen
- Pre-heat the oven to 160° (fan). Line a 20 cm deep cake tin with parchment paper and grease the sides.
- Sift the flour and to set one side. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, pour into a medium bowl and set to one side to cool to room temperature.
- In a freestanding mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on a high speed until you reach ribbon stage. This will take a good 5 minutes, set a timer as this is crucial because there is no raising agent in this cake.
- Pour half of the flour over the egg mixture and then, this is important, use a balloon whisk to fold it in, repeat with the remaining flour. Now whisk approximately 3 tablespoons of the cake batter into the butter, this really helps to incorporate the butter into the batter. Now whisk in an additional tablespoon of batter into the butter mixture. Fold the butter mixture into the batter with a spatular until it’s just combined. Don't over mix or you'll knock the volume out of the cake.
- Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a cocktail stick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Now for the creme patisserie, in a large bowl whisk the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla extract and cornflour together until pale and creamy. Pour the milk into a pan and place over a medium-low heat until just simmering. Whisk the warm milk into the egg mixture. Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, whisking until the mixture boils and thickens.
- Remove from the heat and beating the butter into a the mixture and then transfer to a bowl and cover the surface with a disc of parchment to stop a skin forming on the custard. Chill in the fridge until needed.
- Combine the jam with the fresh or frozen raspberries and set to one side.
- For the roses, take a small quantity of marzipan or fondant (approx 40-50g) and add a drop or 2 of red red food colouring, I don't knead the colouring in fully as this gives a little colour variance. Roll it out and cut out four discs about the size of a 10 pence piece. Place in between two pieces of parchment paper and flatten one side, you can use a rolling pin or your fingers. Now roll one of the discs up with the thin side at the top. Place the other three in a row, thin side uppermost and roll around the first petal. Cut the bottom off so that you have a flat bed. Splay out the petals.
- To assemble the cake using a serrated knife, cut the cake horizontally into three layers (I cut the top layer a little thinner as this will make forming the dome shape easier).
- Spoon the jam mixture onto the bottom layer of the cake now place the middle layer of the sponge on top. Remove the the creme patisserie from the fridge and whisk vigorously until smooth. Spoon this onto the middle layer of the cake. Whip the cream until it forms fairly stiff peaks. Spoon a third of the cream on top of the creme patisserie shaping it into a dome. Now place the final thin layer of sponge on top of the cream, cut side uppermost. Mask the whole cake with the remaining cream and then place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Now to colour the Marzipan, I have used a natural food colouring. Just add a little to begin with, you may need to add a little yellow to get the colour right. Roll out until it’s at least a third bigger than the cake. Save a little to make a leaf or two.
- Place the rolled marzipan on the cake and cupping your hands tease the marzipan into shape around the sides. Cut around the bottom leaving enough to tuck under the cake.
- To decorate, making a small indent for the rose to sit in and arrange a leaf or two along side it. Dust lightly with icing sugar. Pipe chocolate on the top if you wish.