There is a cake in Sweden called Princess Cake which is very common for birthdays and other celebrations (we had it as our wedding cake!). It is covered in green marzipan (it used to be called just ‘green cake’ before being renamed Princess cake) but it can sometimes also be pink, which I suppose is a bit more princessy than green. However, when I was making it as a birthday cake for my son recently I decided to go for ready-rolled golden marzipan in order to save time and, more importantly, as I didn’t want colour the marzipan and end up with bright green hands for the birthday party, having finally learnt – the hard way! – that you should wear gloves when colouring marzipan or icing but never seem to have any around when I need them!!
The cake itself is a light sponge cake layered with raspberry jam, custard cream and whipped cream.
Although I have made it a couple of times before I couldn’t remember the sponge recipe, so I decided to go with the one from the classic baking book “Swedish Cakes and Cookies“. It was originally published in 1945 and has been updated several times since. In Swedish it’s called “Sju Sorters Kakor” (Seven Types of Cakes) which is what was expected to be on offer if you were served coffee by any self-respecting housewife back in the day – as you can tell fika has a long standing tradition in Sweden!
I must admit I was a little bit worried about how the sponge would turn out as it doesn’t contain much flour, and I had a version of the recipe from a friend that contained twice the amount of potato flour. I needn’t have worried though, it turned out incredibly light and porous, just as it should be! I guess there’s a reason why the book has been around for almost 70 years!
The cake is usually filled with raspberry jam but it can really be any type of jam. I used Ambrosia Devon custard for the custard cream as it’s quite a thick custard. If using a thinner custard, gelatine is usually added to the custard and the whipped cream mixture to thicken it.
The cake is covered in a layer of whipped cream before the marzipan is draped over it. Even though there’s quite a lot of cream in the cake it doesn’t feel heavy due to the lightness of the sponge. A Victoria sponge would give a completely different result, and not in a good way…
Hubby wasn’t all that impressed with the colour of the cake. I had expected it to be a bit more golden than what it was, but it still tasted delicious!
200 ml sugar
100 ml plain flour
100 ml potato flour (or corn flour)
2 tsp baking powder
300 ml whipping cream
200 ml ready made thick custard
100 ml raspberry jam
1) Preheat the oven to 175C and prepare a 21 cm cake tin
2) Beat cream and sugar until pale and fluffy
3) Mix the dry ingredients and add to the egg and sugar, mix to combine
4) Pour into the cake tin and bake for 40 mins or golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean
5) Let cool completely before slicing the cake into three layers
6) Spread the bottom sponge layer with the jam. Mix the custard with about a third of the whipped cream and spread half of it over the jam
7) Add the middle sponge and spread with the remaining custard cream mixture
8) Add the top sponge layer and cover the top and sides of the cake with the whipped cream
9) Roll out the marzipan (if not using ready rolled) and cover the cake
10) Decorate and keep chilled until ready to be served
The sponge freezes very well. I made it in advance and froze it as we were on holiday until the day before the party, but it’s recommended to stick it in the freezer for a while anyway as it’s easier to cut it when it’s defrosting. Just take it out about half an hour before cutting it.
To show what the cake looks like with pink marzipan, here’s one I made for my eldest a couple of years ago. Picture’s not great, it was taken with a mobile phone in bad lighting, but it gives an idea. It also features the traditional marzipan rose and (somewhat heavy) dusting of icing sugar.
And finally, for a bit of nostalgia… here’s a picture of our wedding cake. Yum! 🙂