At it again, an attempt at another Great British Baking Show inspired creation. This time I’ve attempted the beloved and very traditional Swedish layered cake, the ‘Prinsesstarta’ or the ‘Princess Cake.’ My sister-in-law turned 32 this past weekend, my niece turned 7 late last month and my little brother turns 8 this week. A triple birthday celebration this past weekend called for a cake of epic proportions. The only Princess Cake I’ve eaten so far has been one of those little guys IKEA offers in their cafeteria. It was pretty spectacular as I recall.
The recipe I followed for this Princess Cake was from the Food Network. As I mentioned in my ‘Maple Pecan Glazed Sponge Cake’ blog, it would be a much too lengthy process to convert all the metric measurements of the Great British Baking Show recipe into something I can actually use.
This cake has a lot of steps, some of which need to be completely cooked before assembly. My suggestion is to spread out the steps in two days.
Day 1: Make the cream filling, raspberry jam, simple syrup and color the marzipan.
Cream Filling- Warm 2 cups of whole milk in a sauce pan, bring it nearly to a boil. While the milk is warming, thoroughly mix 2 whole eggs, 5 tablespoons of cornstarch, a pinch of salt and ½ cup of sugar in a separate mixing bowl. When you milk is warmed, slowly add half of it into your egg mixture and whisk constantly (you don’t want to scramble the eggs!) Slowly add the half milk, half egg mixture back into the sauce pan of milk and continue to whisk until the mixture thickens into a creamy pudding. Remove from heat and whisk in 1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla. Let cool and refrigerate overnight in a covered container.
Raspberry Jam– Mash one 6-ounce container of fresh red raspberries and ½ cup of sugar in a small sauce pan. Bring to a gentle boil and mix in 2 teaspoons of cornstarch combined with just enough water to moisten the cornstarch. (Don’t ever mix dry cornstarch into a boiling mixture, you’ll end up with solid clumps of cornstarch!) Continue to gently boil the jam until thick. Let cool and refrigerate overnight in a covered container.
Simple Syrup- This one is super easy, combine 1 cup of sugar with 1 cup of water. Heat in a sauce pan until the sugar has completely dissolved in the water. Let cool and refrigerate overnight in a covered container.
Marzipan- This is the fun stuff. I never worked with marzipan before so I decided to do a little of both. Buy an 8-ounce box of pre-made marzipan and also buy an 8-ounce can of almond paste and make my own. (Then I combined both batches for my pound of marzipan.) I used this marzipan recipe. Basically, in a large, deep mixing bowl, beat the almond paste with an electric mixer and slowly add in the 1 ¾ cup of confectioners’ sugar. When the mixture forms small crumbles, add in 4 tablespoons of corn starch. Mix with the beaters as best as you can but I found it much easier to combine everything by hand. It will look like a wreck for a while but believe me, it will come together and you’ll have smooth marzipan in no time. Set aside a small ball of marzipan (for your pink rose) and with the remaining large batch of marzipan, work in a small amount of green food coloring until you reach a light leaf green. Do the same with your reserved marzipan and make it a light pink. Wrap both batches in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Marzipan Roses- I found this YouTube video to be helpful. It’s much easier to watch how to make a rose than for me to explain it. Now, I didn’t have a small circular cookie cutter like the one used in this video so I made do with the next best thing. I have a watermelon/cantaloupe baller and I found that worked just fine. The marzipan circles might want to hold fast to the inside of the melon baller but just give it a gentle whack against the corner of your counter and it will come out. I had enough pink marzipan to make 1 large rose and 2 smaller roses.
Day 2: Make the sponge cake, whipped cream and assemble the cake
Sponge cake- Separate 8 egg whites and their yolks in separate mixing bowls. Beat the egg yolks until pale yellow. Beat the yolks into a meringue and gradually add in 1 cup of sugar. Whip until the peaks are firm. Slowly fold the egg yolks into the beaten whites and then sift 2 1/2 cups of flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder over the top of the eggs. Slowly fold in the flour. Lastly, fold in 6 tablespoons of melted butter. Pour the cake batter into 2 greased and floured circular pans. I used one 9-inch pan and 1 fluted pan because I didn’t have 2 of the same circular pans. Worked just dandy 🙂
Whipped cream- Thoroughly whip 2 cups of heavy whipping cream and slowly add in 4 tablespoons of sugar. Whip until peaks of the cream are firm. Refrigerate until cake assembly.
Roll out the Marzipan– I would suggest rolling out your marzipan icing before assembling the cake. This will take some serious patience and muscle but fear not, it can be done! Roll the marzipan out as thin as you can over a layer of wax paper and cover with a layer of plastic wrap to keep from drying out until you are ready to use it.
Cake Assembly- When you cake have cooled completely, slice each cake horizontally through the center. Line a large plate with waxed paper (this will make it easier to lift the assembled cake onto a ‘pretty plate’) and put one of your 9-inch solid cake slices on the bottom. Lightly brush the layer with the simple syrup and spread all of the raspberry jam on top. Place your second 9-inch solid cake slice on top of the jam and again, brush with the simple syrup. Spread about half of the cream filling on top of this second layer and place a layer of the fluted cake on top. Brush with simple syrup and spread the remainder of the cream filling on top and into the center of the fluted pan. Place the last layer of the fluted cake on top and give it a brush of simple syrup. Spread a thin layer of whipped cream around the sides of the cake and use the remaining cream to form a dome on the top of the cake. Carefully lift the marzipan icing and wax paper up and over the center of the cake and gently form it over the dome. It should reach the whole way to the bottom of the cake with marzipan to spare. Do your best to smooth out the folds on the marzipan, mine certainly wasn’t perfect! Decorate the marzipan dome with your rose(s) and some decorative chocolate ganache if you would like.
FINISHED! A Princess Cake for my loves! We happily devoured this cake yesterday during the birthday celebration for my sister-in-law, niece and little brother. (March is the month for birthday’s in our family!)
Princess Cake Recipe
- 8 eggs, separated
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 3 ounces melted butter
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
- 2 whole eggs
- 5 tablespoons corn starch
- ½ cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 6 ounces fresh red raspberries
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons corn starch dissolved in 2 teaspoons water
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar