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11
May
2005

Princess Cake

Swedish Princess Cake

I recently met a nice group of Swedes that were particularly knowledgeable about dessert, my favorite subject. As we talked I learned about some of their favorites from home, including the traditional Swedish Princess Cake (or as they say in Sweden, Prinsesstårta). This cake includes several layers of genoise, whipped cream, custard, rum soaking solution and raspberry jam and is topped with a thick layer of green marzipan. The marizipan is usually decorated with powdered sugar, fresh flowers or lines of chocolate ganache, creating an impressively decorated, dome shaped cake. Traditionally served at Swedish celebrations, the Princess Cake is unlike anything I have seen before.

I am usually not a fan of marzipan, but after seeing a picture of this bright green dessert I had to try it for myself. Good recipes for Princess Cake are hard to find in English, and very few bakeries in America make it since the recipe requires much time and care. I found out IKEA sells a boxed version of the cake, but somehow it didn’t seem right for my first Princess Cake to be from a furniture store.

I finally found a great recipe for Princess Cake on iVillage, which included detailed instructions for how to prepare each layer and assemble the cake. It recommends making the components of the cake over the course of a few days, but I failed to listen to that good advice. I started making this cake when the sun was shining brightly outside, and I finished well after midnight. Part of the problem was my own mistake; I undercooked the first genoise cake I made and had to start over. The rest of my time was spent cooking custard, mixing marzipan and waiting for things to cool enough to be used. The recipe says the marzipan needs to chill overnight, but I used it after two hours in the refrigerator and had no trouble.

The cake turned out to be a big success. Although I have never had an actual Princess Cake from Sweden, the result looked very similar to the picture in the recipe and it tasted just like my Swedish friends described. I believe the Princess Cake could be a big hit in America, if only local bakeries were more familiar with the recipe. The bright green color is beautiful, and it is a perfect mixture of moist cake, rich custard and light whipped cream. This cake also gave me a new appreciation for marzipan since it was so easy to work with and provided a nice topping to the cake without being overly sweet like some frostings.

For those of you brave enough to make your own Princess Cake, a few things I learned along the way include:

  • For a lighter green cake, only use a few drops of food coloring. I used 1/8 teaspoon and the color was brighter than I intended.
  • The cake is supposed to have more whipped cream on top in order to create a dome shape, but I decided to use 2 cups instead of the 3 called for since I prefer less. I recommend using as much or as little as you like, the cake will taste great either way.
  • After my first attempt at the genoise failed, I realized I didn’t have enough eggs on hand to make another. I used a recipe for a Golden Butter Cream Cake from The Cake Bible and it worked very well. I wouldn’t hesitate to substitute almost any type of yellow cake for the genoise in the future.
  • Add the powdered sugar just before serving. It will be completely absorbed by the marzipan within a few hours. To help keep the powdered sugar visible longer, store the decorated cake in a cool, dry place.

Good luck with your Swedish Princess Cakes! If all else fails, there’s always IKEA.

Thank you Magnus!

Swedish Princess Cake, Picture source: www.ivillage.com

Princess Cake Recipe as posted on iVillage.com in 2005 >

Frodinge Prinsesstorta, Picture Source: www.frodinge.se

Frodinge Prisessatårta at IKEA >



49 COMMENTS SO FAR...

Carrie says on May 12th, 2005 at 12:36 am:

I love Princess Cake! My good friend, Robert, introduced me to Patisserie Delonge (I hope I spelled the name correctly) here in San Francisco a few years ago. We are both big fans of all things dessert. This bakery makes a killer Princess Cake in, not one, but TWO sizes! For the past two years I have given Robert a Princess Cake for his birthday, since he is a bit of a princess himself, and I’m planning on making one for him this year thanks to your great advice and recipe recommendation. Ooo…I can’t wait!

Pam says on May 12th, 2005 at 6:42 pm:

Hi,
You’ve done it again, it looks beautiful! Gonna have to try it!! Maybe for my birthday (not till July). Can it be made w/ice cream?

Angela says on May 12th, 2005 at 10:07 pm:

Gorgeous!!!I would like to some day try to make this cake when I have more time. This is right up my alley. Meticulous and labor intensive!

dah! says on May 13th, 2005 at 4:50 pm:

princess cake is the bestest cake in the whole wide world.

Jeeper says on May 14th, 2005 at 1:10 am:

Beautiful cake! My son is a fan of the Swedish Princess Cake at Hoffman Bakery Cafe in Santa Cruz, CA – now we can make it at home. Thanks!

Jeeper says on May 14th, 2005 at 1:20 am:

Carrie – I believe it’s Patisserie de Langhe :)

McAuliflower says on May 15th, 2005 at 3:14 pm:

Wow, I’m enraptured…

Call me a princess and bring me this cake!

Sarah says on May 15th, 2005 at 6:52 pm:

Wollette’s Bakery in St. Paul, Minnesota makes a picture perfect and delicious Princess Cake. Not surprising with our dominate Scandinavian population.

hfb says on May 16th, 2005 at 8:19 am:

Gads, you should get a battle medal for suffering through that awful recipe. I live in Finland and see those cakes all the time…they remind me of green Hostess Snoballs. :)

Anyway, I went hunting in both Swedish and Finnish for a decent recipe and put together a recipe that should make your life a lot easier if you ever try making it again.

And the frozen Ikea cake is available in most grocery stores around here for 5 euro or so but it’s not all that good really. I’d hate to know how much they pimp it for in the US. :)

Maria says on May 16th, 2005 at 9:21 am:

Ohhh…I love princess cake. Seeing these pictures makes me so home sick. I used to get princess cake for my B’day as a child. I think I shall use this and make on for my B’day this year. (Did you know that there are no Prins Cake, but there are Prins Sausages in Sweden, they are small sausages eaten for Chrismas, Easter and Midsummer)

mger says on May 16th, 2005 at 10:07 am:

Charlottesville, VA’s Albemarle Baking Company makes a stunning (and delicious) princess cake. Their marzipan is cream rather than green, but it is fabulous. I believe they will ship.
http://www.albemarlebakingco.com/cakes.htm

Kelli says on May 16th, 2005 at 10:16 am:

It’s great to find so many people who love Princess cake too! Thank you for the recommendations on where to find it in the U.S. (btw– IKEA “pimps it” for $8.90)

Ellen says on May 16th, 2005 at 12:57 pm:

Ah – I loves me some Princess Cake, and so the last time I was in a town with an Ikea, I got a piece in the cafe. Not at all like what you get in Sweden, this was way too sweet. The versions I’ve had in Stockholm over the years (Sturekatten and Vittekatten make the best, in my opinion) had a thin layer of homemade marzipan over the top, and used just barely sweetened whipped cream inside. That, I think, makes a huge difference; if you decide to attempt an American recipe, might be worth altering it a bit.

shivani says on May 16th, 2005 at 7:53 pm:

Schubert’s Bakery in San Francisco (http://www.schubertsbakery.com/) also makes a great version with raspberry filling.

onyxblue says on May 17th, 2005 at 12:32 pm:

The Swedish Bakery in Chicago makes them, and they will ship them out. http://www.swedishbakery.com/site/epage/2742_222.htm They also make something very similar for weddings but the marzipan is colored cream instead.

Jacqueline says on May 17th, 2005 at 11:32 pm:

If you’re in Los Angeles, Viktor Bene’s Bakery makes a nice princess cake. They also have individual slices for sale.

http://www.viktorbenes.com/

Kelli says on May 18th, 2005 at 7:42 am:

I’m from Los Angeles, so I’m often back there to visit my family. My mom was just telling me about Viktor Bene’s bakery too, it sounds really good (and looks great on their site! thanks for the link.) I appreciate the fact they sell it by the slice. Very nice.

Tamar says on May 21st, 2005 at 9:26 pm:

Sweet Lady Jane (http://www.sweetladyjane.com) in Los Angeles sells it too; I’ve had it there many times and loved it. Now that I’m moving to back New York, I guess I’ll have to make it myself (or get it shipped). So I appreciate the recipes and tips too!

Katya says on May 23rd, 2005 at 11:57 am:

I made the princess cake yesterday, and found it suprisingly easy, after all that complexity w/ the recipe. My marzipan isn’t very exciting tasting, but it does make a nice topper for the cake (pink–all I have was red color), and the pastry cream was fun to make and v. popular with hungover friends visiting for breakfast.

cyndy says on May 24th, 2005 at 7:29 pm:

My wedding cake was a 3 tiered, uncolored Princess cake, from an Italian (!) bakery in San Francisco, Victoria Pastry. It was the perfect ending to a 8 course Chinese wedding banquet. Not too sweet and wonderful marzipan!

josie says on June 12th, 2005 at 6:02 am:

I’m Swedish and this has been my birthday cake since I was a small child. I must say, your cake is prettier than most found here!

Heather says on July 14th, 2005 at 5:44 pm:

Princess Cake is awesome! A good friend from high school had it at one of her birthday’s and we are lucky enough to have an awesome local bakery to get it at. In Fairfield, Rosanna’s Bakery. Yum!

Katherine Lewis says on November 4th, 2005 at 3:30 pm:

I first encountered this lovely and delicious cake in the Danis Pastry store in Tehran. We called it Green Cake. I always wondered about the cake here in England where I live now.
Recently while shopping in a Morrison’s supermarket I looked in the fresh cream cake section and I found a similar cake but they called it “Festival Cake” so I had to buy it.
It is very good. I’m glad to have come up with your web page. I searched under Danish but I was surprised to find it was a Swedish thing.

karin solberg says on February 15th, 2006 at 11:24 am:

princess cake is such a yummy treat! I do prefer unsweetened whipped cream, as the marzipan is sweet enough. I made a marzipan gold crown using gold dusting cake powder to place on top. It was a cute touch for a 6 year old girl’s birthday. Just make sure you really read the marzipan box carefully in the store. In my excited rush to make a birthday cake, I bought a roll that was covered with chocolate…not the worst thing in the world, but had to find marzipan that was plain.

nani says on April 10th, 2006 at 1:35 am:

my parents and sister lived in Sweden for 5 years before coming here(where i was born) so we all are familiar with and love princess cake. if youre from around Los Angeles there is a great Swedish/Scandanavian bakery in the Montrose/La Crescenta area…has GREAATTT princess cake. ohh yum i want some now.

Alana says on April 26th, 2006 at 10:42 pm:

My dh and I married 10 years ago; our cake was made by “Word of Mouth” Patisserie in San Francisco on Fulton. The cake was exquisite; light, delicious, and not too sweet! The marzipan was colored a soft pinkish-beige with creamy buttercream embellishments and fresh flowers. My dear in-laws took the top cake home and froze it. We ate the top piece 3 weeks later on returning from the honeymoon, and it was also wonderful.

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Ida says on August 3rd, 2006 at 10:29 am:

I definetely have to try that. I’ve had Frödinge princesscake really many times, but never tryed to make it. Thanks for inspiring me :)

Wtf? They really sell food in IKEA? Never knew that. Here(Finland) you can just buy those from a regular super market~

debra medlock says on February 24th, 2007 at 2:42 pm:

Try Primrose Bakery in the Castro Valley Village in Castro Valley, CA. Not only do they have the full-sized cake, but they serve individual slices for ytour afternoon coffee! Very good.

ALso, not a hard cake to make if oyu don’t do what I did my first time: blanche and grind the almonds and make the marzipan from scratch because I was a novice.

The Icing On Top « The Deep Dish says on September 11th, 2007 at 8:27 pm:

[...] Next we headed to Miette, located in the Ferry Building. I really wanted to fall in love with Miette — I mean, geez, even the name is freaking cute! Based on my first impressions (both from the website and storefront,) I nearly fell hook, line, and sinker! It didn’t help that two women behind me in line boasted that these were, “The best cupcakes in San Francisco!” The bakery boasts a dainty display of sweet things, including a gorgeous Swedish Princess cake (a cake I’ve been enamored with since Kelli made one back in the day.) Miette’s ginger cupcake with Italian Meringue frosting looked so perfect that it seemed unreal. Italian Meringue is by far one of my favorite icings of all time: the texture reminds me of puffy white clouds, and it tastes like a grown-up version of marshmallow fluff. Moreover, I ruined enough simple syrups at CakeLove baking classes to find out that if you master Italian Meringue once, the technique will stay with you for life. [...]

buttercup says on November 4th, 2007 at 7:18 pm:

I like the dark green color. Have you discovered anywhere in NY (a cafe) where you can get a slice? (Other than IKEA).

Scary Kitty says on November 26th, 2007 at 4:40 pm:

Another place to find a good princess cake is The Great Dane Baking Company in Huntington Beach, CA (6855 Warner Ave.) and in Los Alamitos, CA (11196 Los Alamitos Blvd.). They have both the regular size cakes and individual slices from a log-style cake, and sometimes even nifty little half-size cakes!

Vy says on December 4th, 2007 at 6:42 pm:

The princess cake from Miette really is darling, and tastes wonderful. I purchased one for a Swedish friend’s birthday luncheon, to be sliced and served in the restaurant offsite.
Unfortunately it doesn’t travel well on the hour-long train ride back to San Jose. I would love to find a bakery in the South Bay that was proficient in making this type of cake. Or even a decent European bakery; how I loathe the Asian imitations with no flavor whatsoever.

Also of note, Viktor Benes stocks bakery items at Gelson’s Supermarkets in the LA area, find them in the bakery department.

Lauren says on February 13th, 2008 at 6:34 pm:

I hunted and hunted for a prinsesstarta here in Los Angeles for the Swedish boyfriend – I found the Great Dane in Los Alamitos (saw this in another post) and Berolina Bakery in Glendale, who both make KILLER princess cakes. Berolina is owned by a Swedish couple – so it was really nice to have them help me translate “Happy Birthday” and other holidays – but Mikael really liked the thinner marzipan at Great Dane. Either way – he couldn’t have been happier as he grew up on these cakes. I’m not a marzipan fan – at all – but I gave it a second chance and I LOVE this cake.

Noodles says on October 28th, 2008 at 2:24 am:

I stored the assembled Princess Cake into the fridge overnight and noticed that there were syrupy liquid along the bottom sides of the marzipan the next day. when we serve the cake it was very much soggy and could no longer hold a perfect domed-shape. it was tasty but not good looking. p.s. I set the pastry cream with a little butter and use no cream and i brushed the cake layer very lightly with rum syrup. Could anyone tell me if this is a normal phenonmenon for the Pricess Cake? Many thanks

Sarah Mousa says on November 4th, 2008 at 3:27 pm:

Hi, I just got back from Sweden(the country I will loved and will love all my life)today is Nov.04.08 and I just got back from
Sweden and I ate the princes cake almost every day (gained 10 lb in 12 days)I wish I will find a place in Michigan makes this great cake .I thing who ever create this cake and named it has a real princes in his life and Im sure was a male.

thanks

Sarah Mousa

ferhana says on January 22nd, 2009 at 11:24 am:

i am currently living in Sweden for almost 4 years and I have to say that I have love the princess tart since my first helping. It is most distressing to learn that the cake contains a rum soaking solution. Not consuming it through religious beliefs I guess I would just have to make it myself in future with my own little variation.
thank you though for enlightning me.

Eddie Disney says on August 31st, 2009 at 8:08 pm:

I have made Swedish Princess Cakes since I was about 17 and I’m now 83. I’m Swedish born and have lived in the USA just about my entire life. It is unfortunate that none of the websites that have recipes on how to bake a Princess Cake does not have the history and story of how the Princess Cake came about. In my opinion the Swedish Princess Cake is probably one of the ultimate cakes ever devised.

Wendy says on September 11th, 2009 at 2:30 pm:

Got hooked on slices at Gelson’s in SoCal.

Amanda Reynolds says on February 5th, 2010 at 11:01 am:

My sister-in- law is marring a guy from sweeden and this is what they want for their wedding Cake. So how do you make it a head of time with out the marzipan getting soft like I have read it will? If anyone can help that would be great.

Freja says on May 31st, 2010 at 9:07 am:

I´m from sweden and I,m studing to be a baker. when I´ve gradueted I will come to Usa and open my own bakery. you seem to be in need of more swedish bakerys ( and princess cakes.)

Bente says on June 10th, 2010 at 3:13 pm:

I had this cake made twice before and my whole family loves it. My fathers 80th Birthday is coming up and he has requested this cake again. But I can not locate the recipe. Help, I need the recipe. Any ideas where I can find it? It is not coming up on Ivillage.com. Thank you.

Teri says on June 30th, 2010 at 1:21 pm:

I too cannot find the recipe on Ivillage.com anymore. Can you post it if you have it? I have to make this cake for a friend’s wife later this month. Thanks!!

Angela says on January 6th, 2011 at 4:37 am:

Hi there!
Any chance you have a copy of the recipe somewhere for the Princess Cake? I’ve searched and searched on iVillage and can’t find it, and I need to make it for a birthday party in three days! ACK!
Thank you so much,

~Angela

Kelli Bernard says on January 9th, 2011 at 7:33 pm:

I apologize for the delay, but I finally found and posted the original iVillage Princess cake recipe. It’s online here: http://www.lovescool.com/archives/2011/01/09/princess-cake-recipe/.

Good luck!

Suzanne says on January 28th, 2011 at 7:26 pm:

What a beautiful cake! Yum!

Elisa says on February 25th, 2011 at 1:01 pm:

Mike’s Pasty Shop in Antioch CA 1872 A st(East Bay Area)925-757-3333, Makes the most amazing Swedish Princess cakes for special order. My Aunt is from Sweden and says that this one is absolutely spot on. Find them on Facebook !

malin says on April 4th, 2011 at 7:57 am:

I grew up in Sweden and has lived in the UK for nearly 30 years.My husband to be made one for my fahters 80s birthday last year and it was just amazing.(better than the Morrison supermarked version).This July we are getting married and unfortunately we wont have the time to make our own and I am in the process of trying to find a patisserie baker in Lincolnshire,UK,who will make us one or two for our wedding.I am of the generation who has got to have the green ,even though the recent Swedish Royal Wedding had white marzipan I believe.
THanks for reposting the recipe.

Dixie says on July 17th, 2011 at 12:37 pm:

We make and sell Princess cakes where I work. The design work is a little different, and we make them in pink and almond color as well as the traditional green. Pink is a super popular color for this cake. Here is the link if you want to see how we decorate ours: http://www.ettores.com/?id=16&page=2

It’s great to see people so enthusiastic about baking!



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