Sunday, May 26, 2013

Daring Bakers, May 2013: Prinsesstårta

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

Looks good, right? This cake is ridiculous. Multiple layers of sponge, interspersed with jam and pastry cream, the top filled with very whipped cream, the whole thing coated in marzipan. Completely crazy. Really tasty. Not. That. Hard. (Really!)

She asked us to make a huge cake. I made a small cake, and played around with the proportions a bit in doing so. I'm still not sure the two of us will finish it.  So, how do we do this?  There are 4 parts, plus assembly.  Custard, Sponge, Marzipan, Cream.  Ingredients are listed under each section.

Vanilla Custard

1/2 cup cream, divided (2x 1/4 cup)
2 egg yolks from large eggs
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)

Whisk yolks, sugar, cornstarch together until smooth and creamy.  Add 1 portion of the cream, and whisk again to combine.  Heat the other portion of cream with the vanilla until just below boiling.  Pour into the egg mixture slowly, whisking gently to combine as you do.  Transfer all back into the pot in which you heated the cream/vanilla, and heat again until it thickens, stirring as you go.  Remove from heat once thickened.  (This will happen really quickly.  Note, if you miss it and find it separates, you can often save it by adding a splash more cream and whisking vigorously until it smooths out again).

Set this aside to cool.  You can store it in the fridge overnight, press plastic wrap onto the surface of the custard to stop it developing a skin.

Sponge Cake
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup whole milk
3 tbsp.  butter (lightly salted)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt

This is not the original sponge cake recipe.  I wanted a smaller cake, and this worked better for the ratios I envisaged than the original.

Beat eggs in large mixing bowl for 4-5 minutes, until light yellow and creamy. (I did this by hand, but if you are sensible, use a mixer) 

Add sugar, beat another 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and stir in.

Sift dry ingredients into the egg/sugar mixture. Stir to combine.

Heat milk and butter in a pan on low heat just until butter is melted. Add to above mixture and beat to combine.

Pour into a greased and floured medium round cake pan.

Bake at 160 until done. (Springy centre, toothpick inserted comes out clean).  This will take 40 minutes or so, depending on your oven.  Let stand 10 minutes before turning out onto a rack and cooling completely.


400ml Cream.

Did I mention you need more cream?  I whipped 1 1/2 cups, was enough to do the filling on this size cake comfortably. Needs to be very thickly whipped, close to turning into butter (but not quite there)

350gm Marzipan.
Green food colouring
Red food colouring
Icing sugar (for dusting surfaces when keneading/rolling)

I cheated here, bought premade marzipan.  Added gel food colouring to it and kneaded it until the colour was evenly distributed.  Rolled out between sheets of plastic wrap.

Cut your cooled sponge into three layers.

Spread base layer with jam, then with pastry cream (you need 2 layers of pastry cream, so only use half of it here).

Place another layer on top, and spread the rest of the pastry cream over it.

Using about 2/3 of the whipped cream, mound up the top of the cake to produce a round, and to cover the edges all the way around the cake.

Cover the mound with the final layer of sponge, and use the remaining cream to provide a thin layer of cream over the entire cake again.

Cover with rolled out green marzipan, and tuck the edges in, cutting off the excess around the base.  Form excess into leaves/decoration if you want.  Decorate centre (leaves and a flower appears to be the classic approach).



  1. Your cake looks great. Especially the sponge looks very soft und tasty.

  2. This looks fantastic Nick! I agree, sometimes a smaller cake is better - although I know I would have no problem eating the leftovers! ;) Thanks for baking with me this month.

  3. Great to see another Kiwi in the Daring Bakers. Your cake looked fabulous -I was unable to participate this time. Cheers from Takapuna :)