Get your oven mitts ready to finally perfect the Swedish Princess Cake with the help of two Michelin Starred Chef Emma Bengtsson.
Except for the Swedes, apparently the Princess Cake is hard to make. The multiple steps the decadent cake requires like baking the light, spongy cake, rich pastry cream, jam and the bright green marzipan! It certainly categorizes it in the “make for special occasions only” list. Also, just to note you probably won’t nail it on the first try. But with patience, perseverance and of course a classic recipe from a Swede, you will one day perfect this traditional Swedish cake. As for the Swede you can count on, she is the Executive Chef of two Michelin Star restaurant Aquavit in New York and James Beard nominated for best chef in New York City. She’s also known as Chef Emma Bengtsson.
A native of the town of Falkenberg on Sweden’s west coast, like most Swedes Chef Emma Bengtsson enjoyed her first slice of Princess Cake as a child before her exceptional culinary career began. “I love the sweet and almond flavor and the texture has a bit of a bite to it before it melts in your mouth. Whereas the thin layer of raspberry jam gives you that sour taste that balances the fattiness of the cream and is perfect. It doesn’t look like it’s much but it’s just the right amount. The Princess Cake is a classic and showcases Swedish cuisine at its best. You can’t get any more Swedish than this. Unless you add Swedish meatballs into the equation.” says Chef Emma.
The Origins of the Princess Cake
Originating from Sweden’s royal family when the Home Economist taught the three princess how to cook and bake. This cake was first called Green Cake and later dubbed the Princess Cake as it became popular for its beauty and sweetness. The Princess Cake is now one of the most well-loved Swedish cakes, often served at birthdays or even weddings. Although it is not the easiest to bake, you’ll definitely feel victorious after creating Chef Emma Bengtsson’s recipe.Print
The Princess Cake – By Michelin Star Chef Emma Bengtsson
- Author: Michelin Star Chef Emma Bengtsson
- Yield: 12 1x
Princess cake aka Prinsesstårta, is one of the most well-loved Swedish cakes, often served as a birthday cake or even as a wedding cake. It’s essentially a cream and marzipan cake, easily recognized by its green color.
Sponge Cake 10 large eggs 1 ¼ cup sugar
- 2 cups cake flour
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- 1 + 5/8 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 cups milk
- 1 ea vanilla bean
- ½ cup sugar
- 1/3 cup of cornstarch yolk of 5 large eggs 1/8 cup butter
Other ingredients needed
- 7 ounces raspberry jam
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream 3 cups marzipan
- Green food coloring Red food coloring
To Make the Sponge Cake
- Start by whisking the egg and sugar on high speed in a KitchenAid for 30 minutes.
- Mix the dry ingredients together and sift them through a tammy.
- Fold in the flour mix into the egg mix.
- Pour out the batter onto a parchment paper lined sheet tray and bake at 325F for about 4 minutes.
- Remove and let cool down before cutting out three 12-inch size rings from a cake ring.
To Make the Pastry Cream
- Bring the milk and the vanilla bean to a boil. Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Add the whole bean as well to the pot.
- Mix the sugar with the cornstarch and add the egg to it. Whisk it together.
- Pour the boiling cream over the sugar and egg mix. Whisk.
- Add the mix back into the pot and bring to boil under constant whisking. Let boil for 5 minutes.
- Add the butter and remove from the pot into a bowl sitting on an ice bath. Place a plastic wrap touching the surface of the pastry cream and place in fridge overnight.
- The next day pass the cream through a tammy.
To Assemble the Princess Cake:
- Cut out three 12-inch rings of the sponge cake.
- Place one of the sponges in the ring and the two others to the side for now.
- Spread out the raspberry jam on the first sponge, stay ½ inch from the edge of the sponge.
- Add the second sponge on top of the raspberry jam.
- Spread out the pastry cream as the second layer going all the way out to the ring.
- Whip the heavy cream to a firm peak and add about 2 cups on top of the pastry cream forming a rounded top in the middle.
- Add the last sponge on top of the cream making sure that it is forming a dome.
- Remove the ring carefully and cover the whole cake in the left-over cream.
- Cover the whole cake in plastic wrap and place in fridge to set for 2 hours. This will make it easier and more stable to cover with the marzipan.
- Color your marzipan green leaving around 3 ½ tablespoons that will be for the rose later on.
- Roll out the marzipan between two plastic sheets and cover the cake like you would do with any fondant cake. Just be aware that marzipan is not as elastic and forgiving as fondant and might need a couple of practice runs to make it look smooth. This is the tricky part and once it is on the cake it cannot be removed.
- Color the last bit of marzipan pink and turn it into a rose.
- Dust the cake with powdered sugar and place the rose on top in the middle
- Category: Cake
- Cuisine: Swedish
Alyssa Holder is a writer specializing in food and travel topics since 2015.
This recipe says to whisk the eggs and sugar for “30 minutes”. That must be a typo, right? I’m assuming it should be “3 minutes”. Also, what size sheet pan allows for three 12-inch discs to be cut out of it? Certainly not one that fits in my standard home oven.
No 30 min is correct. You’re whisking at high speed to incorporate as much air as possible, so you get a good lift. When you fold in your dry ingredients- be gentle, not to knock the air you worked so hard to achieve out! If your oven doesn’t accommodate a commercial size sheet tray (which is what I’m assuming Chef uses) do more then one pan! No worries, just watch and rotate if needed.
Oh, it’s 30 minutes. That’s the trick to a real sponge cake: all the leavening comes from the air that gets in irritated into the eggs and sugar. They’re called “lemony eggs”, and they have the texture of a ribbony merengue.