Monday, 27 May 2013

Swedish Prinsesstårta -Daring Bakers

Korena of Korena in the Kitchen was our May Daring Bakers’ host and she
delighted us with this beautiful Swedish Prinsesstårta!

Prinsesstårta or a Princess cake is a traditionally Swedish cake consisting of light and airy sponge cake,whipped cream and thick custard. The cake is covered with green marzipan and a sprinkling of icing sugar.The top of the cake must have a dome shape. Finally the top of the cake is decorated with a rose. 

These challenges are good learning experiences about traditional baking from different parts of the world. Each challenge comes with an interesting story attached to it.The original recipe for this cake was created in the 1930s by a Swedish home economics teacher named Jenny Åkerström, who taught the three Swedish princesses of the time. She published a series of four cookbooks called “The Princess Cookbooks” and in one of the editions, there was a recipe for “Grön Tårta” (green cake). 

One story is that this later became known as “princess cake” (prinsesstårta) because the three princesses are said to have loved it so much. Another story is that Ms. Åkerström actually created three very elaborate “princess cake” recipes – a different one for each princess – and that the current version is a simplified combination of all three. That explains the princess connection, but the reason for the cake being green still seems to be a mystery. Today, Prinsesstårta is popular in Finland as well as Sweden – so much so that the third week in September is officially Prinsesstårta Week.

Thank you Korena for making this challenge so interesting and allowing variations. It was a great opportunity to use two of my favourite fillings of raspberry (ready to use)and lemon (egg less ).Though whipping the cream was a nightmare in this heat I had to use commercial whipped cream and instead of marzipan I used fondant which I  also used to mold the roses!

Vanilla Custard

240 ml      heavy cream, divided
4              egg yolks from large eggs
2 Tbsp      cornstarch
2 Tbsp      white sugar
10 m       vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, sugar, and egg yolks. Gradually whisk in ½ cup (120 ml) of heavy cream until smooth.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the remaining ½ cup (120 ml) of heavy cream and the scraped vanilla and bring just to the boiling point.  Slowly whisk the hot cream into the bowl with the egg mixture to temper the eggs.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, whisking
constantly, until it becomes thick like pudding and just comes to a boil. The mixture must hit a boil for the cornstarch to properly thicken the custard, and also to cook out any starchy taste. As soon as it comes to a boil, remove it from the heat. Add vanilla
extract .Pour the custard into a clean bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until completely cold. 

Sponge Cake

Fine dry breadcrumbs for the pan 
4                  large eggs, at room temperature
225 gm        white sugar
70 gm          plain flour
65 gm          cornflour
1 tsp            baking powder
1/8 tsp        salt

 Preheat the oven to 180°C.Thoroughly butter a 9” (23 cm) round springform pan, line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper, then butter the paper. Dust the buttered pan with enough breadcrumbs to coat the bottom and sides, just like flouring a cake pan. Set aside.

Place the eggs and  sugar in a mixing bowl and beat on medium-high speed with an electric mixer until the eggs are tripled in volume and very light coloured and fluffy, about 5 minutes. The mixture should fall from the beaters in thick ribbons. 

Sift the plain flour, cornflour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl, then sift the flour mixture over the whipped eggs. Fold the flour into the eggs until well blended, keeping as much air in the batter as possible.  Once mixed, the batter should be quite thick and smooth.Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spread it out evenly, and bake for about 40 minutes or until golden brown on top, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it.

Let the cake cool in the pan for a few minutes then run a knife around the edge and remove the sides of the springform pan. The cake may sink a bit in the middle.

Egg less Lemon filling

1 1/2 cups         milk
1/4cup + 2Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup             cornflour
1/2 cup             sugar
1/2 cup             water
2 tsp                 lemon zest

Make a paste with cornflour and water.Boil the milk on medium heat, add the cornflour slurry and lower the heat.Keep stirring. Add sugar,lemon zest.Continue to stir till it thickens. Add lemon juice.Cool it for 2 hours or so.

Prinsesstårta Assembly

480 ml       Commercial whipped cream 
                 Sponge Cake, cooled
1/3 cup      Raspberry filling
                 Vanilla Custard, chilled
                 Egg less lemon filling
                 Fondant Covering and moulded Roses

 In a large bowl, whip the  cream until soft peaks form and continue whipping the cream until stiff. It has to be sturdy enough to provide structure to the cake. Set the whipped cream aside.

With a long serrated knife, slice the sponge cake into three even layers. This cake is very delicate, so do this as carefully as possible. Set aside the middle layer – this will become the top layer of the assembled cake as it is the most flexible and therefore easiest to bend into a dome over the whipped cream.

Place one of remaining layers on a cake board or serving platter and spread it evenly with the raspberry filling. Spread or pipe half the chilled custard over the filling in an even layer, leaving enough room around the edges so that it does n’t spill over the sides of the cake.

Top the custard with another layer of cake. Spread or pipe lemon filling. Refrigerate it for half an hour or so and then top it up with the remaining custard evenly over it, again leaving some room around the edges.

Reserve ½ cup (120 ml) of the stiffly whipped cream. Pile the rest into a mound on top of the custard. Spread it into a thick layer with a thin, flexible spatula or off-set spatula, then hold the spatula at an angle to shape the whipped cream into a dome, piling it up in the middle of the cake as much as possible.

Place the final layer of sponge cake (the one cut from the middle of the cake) on top of the whipped cream. Do not press on the top of the cake – instead, gently tuck the edges of the cake layer into the whipped cream, so that they are flush with the cream. This will create a smooth,seamless dome on top of the cake.

Gently spread the reserved ½ cup (120 ml) of whipped cream over the entire cake to fill in any cracks and even out the surface. If necessary, refrigerate the cake to firm it up before continuing.

Dust your work surface with icing sugar and roll out the fondant.

Use the rolling pin to drape the rolled-out fondant over the cake and smooth it around
the cake gently with your hands.

If it seems like it wants to fold or buckle around the cake, gently lift and stretch it away from the cake with one hand while smoothing it down with the other.
Trim the excess fondant from the bottom of the cake with a paring knife or spatula blade.

Decorate the top with moulded roses.


  1. Your Swedish Prinsesstarta is beautiful and nicely decorated!

  2. Such a pretty cake - I love the pale teal and fuschia together, and the molded roses are lovely. Raspberry and lemon is one of my favorite flavours, too ;) Sounds like lots of people were battling the heat with their cakes this month! Great job and thanks for baking with me!