Prinsesstårta - Princess Cake

This is one of the most famous Swedish Cakes, and has always been a favourite of mine, since I was a little girl.

Back then, radio was the nearly only entertainment to be had on a Saturday night. Living in the countryside, is was marvellous to get to enjoy music and theater - something that was usually reserved to people in the big city.

Every Saturday when the shop closed my father would walk across the street to the Pastry Shop and he would buy a Princess Cake or little individual Princess Cakes. I used to stand in the window and watch him walk home holding a cake box tied with string. He'd look up at me and smile and swing the box of cake at me. It was our way of celebrating the weekend. Both me and my father always had a sweet tooth!

There are many recipes for this cake royalty, some are quite complicated. I have chosen a simpler way of making the cake layers and I feel it is just as tasty as the more advanced versions. My son commented that my Princess Cake tastes better than store bought ones. I agree!

Princess Cake was dedicated to our little Swedish Princesses Astrid, Märta and Margaretha. They attended the homemaking school of Jenny Åkerlund in the early 20th century. She published a cookbook with recipes inspired by heir royal students, the Princess' Cookbook. That is the origin of this recipe and it was an instant countrywide hit, and now Princess Cake is to Sweden what Angel Food Cake is to America. 

To be precise, the Princess Cake we make and enjoy today is a deviation of the original recipe. Nowadays one of the layers is filled with raspberry jam and vanilla custard, which technically makes this version an "Opera Cake". The original version was filled vanilla cream filling only. But the jam version has become almost universal.

Enough about that, now to the recipe! Do make this cake ahead of when you want to serve it. It freezes very well and is easier to slice cleanly if it has time to rest. Just remember to let it thaw before serving.


5 eggs
2.5 dl sugar
1.25 dl potato flour
1.25 dl plain flour
2.5 tsp baking powder

1st filling:
vanilla custard: 
2.5 dl milk
0.5 vanilla pod
0.75 dl sugar
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp corn starch
25 g butter

2nd filling:
1 dl raspberry jam
4 dl whipping cream

to decorate:
400 g light green marzipan (for the traditional color scheme)
100 g pink marzipan

dark chocolate


Set the oven to 175 degrees C (350 F). Grease a cake tin (2 litres) and dust with flour.

Whisk eggs and sugar until very pale and fluffy.

In a bowl, mix together flour, potato starch and baking powder. Sift this into the egg mixture and mix together with a light hand. Pour into cake tin and bake on lower rack, approx 40 minutes.

Let the cake rest in the tin for a while. Then turn it out onto a baking parchment sheet and let it cool. Then wrap in cling film and put it in the fridge or freeze until you want to assemble the cake.

Make the fillings:

For the custard; bring milk to a boil with a scraped out vanilla pod. Whisk in sugar, egg yolks and corn starch. Simmer on a low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Pour the custard trough a sieve and whisk in butter. Let cool and then cover with cling film and store in fridge. To avoid condensation or a skin forming on the surface, lower the cling film all the way down to rest on top of the surface of the custard.

Divide the cake into three layers.

Whisk the cream until thick and mix in most of the custard. Set enough custard aside to cover one cake layer.

Assemble the cake:

Place a cake layer on a cake stand or plate covered in baking parchment. Cover with raspberry jam and then spread the reserved custard on top.

Cover with the second cake layer. Spread a nice layer of custard cream on top.

Place the third and last cake layer. Spread more custard cream over it, make it slightly rounded on top. Spread a thin layer of custard cream on the sides as well.

Now roll out the green marzipan into a thin sheet in the shape of a big circle. Make it big and even enough that it will cover the whole cake and reach down on all sides. I like to roll the marzipan out on a surface dusted with icing sugar mixed with a little potato starch. Alternatively place sheets of plastic wrap over and under the marzipan when you roll it out.

Smooth down the marzipan sheet and either roll it up on your rolling pin or carefully grab the plastic wrap and lift over to the cake. Carefully position the marzipan sheet over the cake and smooth it down to cover the cake without too many folds and wrinkles. Cut around the bottom to remove any excess marzinpan skirt, and use these strips to make decorative leaves.

Make a rose of the pink marzipane by forming a little teardrop shape for a bud, then attaching petals around it. Place the rose and leaves in the center of the cake.

Melt some chocolate, pour in a plastic bag, cut off a tiny corner and pipe/drizzle over the cake.

Voila! You've done it! I hope you enjoy this wonderful, classic Swedish Cake!



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