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Historical recipes: Prinsesstårta – learn how to make

As a new series of The Great British Bake Off begins in the UK, learn how to make Prinsesstårta (Princess cake), a Swedish layer cake that first appeared in print in a 1948 cookbook...

Prinsesstårta. (Photo by Samantha Nott)
Published: September 21, 2020 at 5:52 pm
  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Total time
  • Difficulty 4/10
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Brightly coloured and featuring sponge, jam, marzipan and cream, this Swedish layer cake first appeared in print in a 1948 cookbook. Originally bearing the more straightforward title ‘green cake’, it supposedly got its current name due to being a favourite of three young Swedish princesses in the early 20th century.

Ingredients

For the vanilla patisserie cream:

  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 500ml whole milk
  • 6 Egg yolks
  • 140g Caster sugar
  • 45g Corn flour

For the cake layers:

  • 5 Eggs
  • 150g Caster sugar
  • 130g Plain flour
  • 1tsp Vanilla sugar

For the whipped cream:

  • 700ml Whipping cream
  • 2tbsp Icing sugar
  • 1tsp Vanilla sugar

Method

  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Split the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds, and add to a saucepan with the milk. Bring carefully to the boil. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolk and sugar until almost white, then turn off the whisk and add the corn flour. Turn the whisk back on to medium and slowly add the hot milk to the bowl, whisking continuously.

  • STEP 2

    Pour the mixture back into the saucepan, bring back to the boil, and cook for one minute to thicken. Sieve the mixture into a bowl, cover with cling film, and put in the fridge to cool down completely before using.

  • STEP 3

    Trace three identical circles on to baking paper, each 20-22cm in diameter. Place the circles on to flat baking trays.

  • STEP 4

    Whisk the egg and sugar until white and fluffy, incorporating as much air as possible. Sift the flour and vanilla sugar into the egg mix and fold until fully incorporated.

  • STEP 5

    Divide the batter between the circles. Bake until just golden brown – this will depend on your oven, but five minutes is usually adequate. Remove from the trays and leave to cool completely on a rack. Remove the baking paper.

  • STEP 6

    Whisk the ingredients for the whipping cream on high speed until peaks form. They must be firm to hold the cake together.

  • STEP 7

    Place the first layer of cake on to a serving plate. Spread a layer of jam, followed by a 1cm layer of patisserie cream. Add another cake layer and repeat until the final cake layer is on top.

  • STEP 8

    Carefully add the whipped cream to the top of the cake in a 3-4cm dome shape, using a spatula to smooth.

  • STEP 9

    Add the marzipan lid or, if you’re making your own, add food colouring to the marzipan, roll it out into a circle and add to the top of the cake. Leave in the fridge for a few hours, and serve.

Recipe adapted from The Great British Bake Off

Goes well with

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