Dec 6, 2011

Princess Cake - Princesstårta

The inevitable happened this week, Fika (Coffee and Cake) which everyone in work loves was forgotten. Cue panic buying of shop bought cake and disappointed work colleagues. Between Christmas shopping, redecorating, sitting Swedish final exams and the other 5 million (slight exaggeration) things I had to do Fika day was sadly at the very end of the list. So the price i had to pay for bringing *gasps* store bought cake into a group of seasoned bakers, a 2nd round of Fika and this time i needed to pull out all the stops. That meant one thing the dreaded princess tårta.

I love this cake and so does everyone else which is the main problem, and as I'm not Swedish and have made it only for non-Swedes I was terrified. What if they hate it? What if they chase me with pitchforks? What if I disgrace their favorite cake? OK so slightly over the top but all valid if your competing with people who take pastry courses. I shouldn't have been so worried. The resulting cakes were fabulous mini-me versions and were devoured and the recipe demanded. The only critique I did receive was that my marzipan coating was a little too crumpled at the end. All i will say is at 9pm on a school night ensuring the marzipan was neat was the last of my worries but next time they will be perfect (at least I hope so).

Now you can be lazy and I have been on occasion and just bought a basic sponge cake and cut it in three equal pieces or if you really want to be fancy or have to appease the wrath of bakers like me then make your own sponge. What I love about this cake is there are no rules, use the flavor combinations you love and hide all mistakes with a decadent layer of marzipan. The marzipan is shop bought because its just so good here and to make it would take forever. For my cake, I have many subtle flavors from a zesty lemon sponge, vanilla custard, pear marzipan and blueberry and raspberry jam. Sounds weird but oddly works. The trick is to have not so sweet cream otherwise it can be very sickly sweet. Enjoy with a large coffee or if you like in a bowl of sweet custard.

For the Lemon Sponge
4oz Plain Flour
4oz Margarine
4oz Caster Sugar
1 Tsp Baking Powder
Zest and juice of half a lemon
2 Medium Eggs
Little Milk (If mixture is too dry)

For the Vanilla Custard
2 Medium Egg Yolks
2 Tbsp Caster Sugar
1 Vanilla Pod / 1 heaped Tsp Vanilla sugar
30ml Milk

Begin by making the sponge. 
  1. Into a large bowl put the margarine and the sugar and beat together until creamy and sugar has incorporated fully.
  2. Add one egg and mix fully into the creamed sugar and margarine.
  3. Add little by little the flour, baking powder, remaining egg, lemon zest and juice and mix fully.
  4. At this point the mixture should barely cling to the spoon. If its a little dry add a little milk to obtain the desired consistency.
  5. Bake at 180°C for about 25mins for a 8 inch tin or 20 min's for regular sized cupcakes.
  6. To test the sponge simply insert a cocktail stick into the centre of the cakes, if the cocktail stick comes out clean the sponge is done.
  7. Cool on a wire rack before filling.  

Now for the Custard
  1. Over a bain marie whisk the eggs with the sugar until incorporated.
  2. Whisk continuously for about 2 min's until frothy.
  3. At this stage gradually add the milk and vanilla pod. 
  4. Keep gently whisking until the custard begins to thicken.
  5. Remove from heat and cool fully.

  1. If making mini-version use two cupcakes and cut each into halves.
  2. On the bottom layer, spread a generous layer of any jam you love.
  3. Place another sponge lid on top and cover the top with the cooled custard.
  4. Add another sponge lid on top and spread another generous layer of jam.
  5. Finally place the final sponge lid on top and cover thickly with whipped cream.
  6. Roll out your marzipan at least 3 times the size of the cupcake. 
  7. Cover entire cupcake with the marzipan and decorate as you wish.
  8. A common decoration in Sweden is a rose made from fondant.


  1. Well, I think it turned out beautifully! I like the way the marzipan works :) Buzzed!

  2. These little cakes look wonderful. I have not worked with marzipan, but this post is inspiring. I have a mini ball pan and I think this recipe would work well. Glad to come across this-delicious and elegant!

  3. Omg omg omg! Princess cake is my all-time most favourite cake in the world -- I can hardly bare to look at this recipe, lest I commit it to memory and try to eat princess cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.


  4. Ohh how lovely little princess cakes :)

  5. Looking forward to trying this recipe.