Prinsesstårta: Swedish Princess Cake

Princess cake Prinsesstarta recipe

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 2 hrs
Cook: 2 hrs 5 mins
Chill Time: 5 hrs
Total: 9 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 20 servings
Yield: 1 cake
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
461 Calories
26g Fat
52g Carbs
6g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 20
Amount per serving
Calories 461
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 34%
Saturated Fat 13g 63%
Cholesterol 111mg 37%
Sodium 222mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 52g 19%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 41g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 123mg 9%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 137mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Prinsesstårta is a "princess cake" that is popular in Sweden. It is stunning and perfect for birthdays, celebrations, or any special occasion when you really want to show off your baking skills. It uses a white cake mix and includes a homemade pastry cream filling with raspberry jam.

Although this cake takes time to prepare, all of the elements can be made up to three days ahead of assembling. The resulting cake is magnificent with a smooth and beautiful green marzipan exterior. It is as delicious as it is attractive.

Ingredients

For the Pastry Cream Filling:

  • 2 cups half-and-half

  • 5 large egg yolks

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 pinch fine salt

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

For the Cake:

  • 1 (15.25-ounce) box white cake mix, store-bought or homemade

  • 1 1/4 cups water

  • 1/3 cup neutral oil (such as canola)

  • 3 large egg whites

For the Simple Syrup:

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

For the Whipped Cream:

  • 3 cups heavy cream

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

For the Marzipan:

  • 1 pound store-bought or homemade marzipan

  • 3 drops green food coloring

For Assembly:

  • 3 tablespoons raspberry jam

  • Confectioners' sugar, for transferring the marzipan

Steps to Make It

Note: While there are multiple steps to this recipe, this princess cake is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.

Make the Pastry Cream

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for pastry cream
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. In a large saucepan, bring the half-and-half to a simmer over medium-high heat.

    Pot with half and half
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch, sugar, and salt until smooth.

    Whisk egg, cornstarch, sugar
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Add half of the scalded milk to the bowl containing the eggs, constantly whisking to incorporate.

    Add half of milk to eggs
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Return the entire mixture to the saucepan containing the remaining milk, whisking over moderate heat.

    Whisk mixture
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Continue whisking for about 2 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is thickened and begins to simmer.

    Continue whisking mixture
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  7. Allow the pastry cream to simmer, whisking for an additional 2 minutes.

    Allow pastry cream to thicken
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  8. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and cold, unsalted butter.

    Whisk in butter and vanilla
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  9. Transfer to another bowl and allow it to cool completely.

    Transfer to another bowl
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  10. Cover and refrigerate for at least 5 hours or up to three days before using. 

    Cover mixture
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Make the Cake

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for cake
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F for shiny metal or glass pans, or 375 F for dark or nonstick pans. Grease the bottom and sides of 2 (9-inch) cake pans.

    Grease cake pans
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Mix the cake mix, water, oil, and egg whites in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes.

    Hand mixer on batter
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Pour 1/3 of the batter into 1 (9-inch) cake pan and 2/3 of the batter into the second 9-inch cake pan.

    Pour batter into cake pan
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden.

    Bake cake
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Remove the cakes from the oven and cool on a rack.

    Remove cake from oven to let cool
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  7. When the cakes have cooled, use a serrated knife to slice the larger cake into 2 equal halves. 

    Slice cake
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Make the Simple Syrup

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for simple syrup
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. In a saucepan, make a simple syrup by heating the water and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved.

    Simple syrup in pot
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

    Reduce heat
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Make the Whipped Cream

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for whipped cream
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Whip together the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form.

    Whipped cream
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prepare the Marzipan

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for marzipan
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Knead the green food coloring into store-bought or homemade marzipan.

    Knead green coloring into marzipan
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Then shape it into a disk of about 8 inches long.

    Shape marzipan into a disc
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Place the disk between 2 (18-inch) lengths of waxed paper. Working from the middle of the marzipan, use a rolling pin to roll out the disk into a 16-inch circle of even thickness.

    Place between waxed paper
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Assemble the Cake

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for assembly
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Lightly brush the simple syrup onto each of the 3 cake layers, taking care not to oversoak them.

    Brush simple syrup onto cake
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons raspberry jam onto each of the 2 halves of the larger cake.

    Spread raspberry jam onto cake
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Divide the pastry cream into thirds, folding 1/3 gently into the whipped cream.

    Divide pastry cream into thirds
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Spread the remaining 2/3 of the pastry cream on top of the raspberry jam of the 2 cake halves.

    Spread pastry cream on top of cake
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Stack the 2 pastry-covered halves, then top with the remaining cake.

    Stack pastry
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  7. Frost the sides of the cake with the whipped cream in a 1-inch layer.

    Frost cake
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  8. Spoon the remaining whipped cream on top of the cake. Use a spatula to smooth the cream into a dome.

    Spoon whipped cream on cake
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  9. Remove the top level of waxed paper from the marzipan. Dust your rolling pin with confectioners' sugar, then lift the marzipan using the bottom piece of waxed paper and drape the marzipan circle over the pin (you can lightly roll the marzipan around the pin as you would ​a pie crust). Remove the waxed paper and transfer the marzipan to the cake.

    Roll out marzipan
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  10. With your hands, gently press the marzipan down over the cake, working from the top down.

    Mold marzipan over cake
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  11. Smooth it down the sides, then cut off any excess at the bottom with a knife or cooking shears.

    Cut off excess at bottom
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 
  12. Tuck the marzipan under the edge of the cake. 

    Tuck marzipan
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  13. Sprinkle the cake with confectioners' sugar or decorate with marzipan cutouts. 

    Sprinkle cake with confectioner's sugar
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  14. Serve and enjoy.

    Serve princess cake
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Tips

  • When making the pastry cream, it is best done the day before assembling the cake, though it can be refrigerated for up to three days.
  • The cake layers can also be prepared in advance. Refrigerate them for one day or freeze up to a week. Either way, leave the layers uncut until you are ready to assemble the cake.
  • The steps for making the simple syrup, the whipped cream, the marzipan, and assembling the cake should be done on the day you intend to serve the cake.
  • If the marzipan on the cake tears during placement, you can cut the remaining trimmings into decorative shapes and simply press these over the tears. This is a nice way to decorate the cake even if it’s perfect already.
  • Alternatively, you can use uncolored or differently colored marzipan to create leaves, roses, or other shapes. Also, in order to hide less-than-perfect bottom edges, some bakers wrap a pretty ribbon around the bottom of the cake. Just be sure to remove it before serving.

How to Store

Although best eaten the day it is made, the finished princess cake can be stored, well-wrapped, for up to a week in the refrigerator. Leftover cake that has been cut should be wrapped well in plastic before storing in the refrigerator where it will stay fresh tasting for a few days.