Historical recipes: Prinsesstårta – learn how to make

  • Difficulty 4/10

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)

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.



For the vanilla patisserie cream:

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

For the cake layers:

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

For the whipped cream:

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


  • 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