Summer, Sun and Prinsesstårta (Princesscake)—the Perfect Cake for Swedish Summer
It’s soon the National Day of Sweden (6th of June) and Crown Princess Victoria’s birthday is coming up in July, meaning Swedes everywhere will use those occasions as the perfect excuse to indulge in prinsesstårta (princess cake). We put together a super simple recipe for prinsesstårta…tried and tested by one of our wonderful clients in the States, who also took all the photos for this blog! As an added bonus, we reveal the original recipe that the Swedish princesses back in the day fell in love with!

All images in this blog were taken you Elin Gann, a photographer in the US. You can find her website here, where you can also schedule a photo shoot. 

Prinsesstårtor (Princess Cakes)—A Very Swedish Indulgence

If you’re Swedish and love prinsesstårtor then you know what that first delicious bite is like—when marzipan and cream combine with a fluffy sponge cake and some deliciously refreshing jam. It’s an indulgence us Swedes living overseas dream about. 

It’s also why we at Swedishness have decided to stock everything you need to make your own prinsesstårta. We found the perfect recipe for making the easiest prinsesstårta in town. If you want to make it from scratch, you’re in for a much longer procedure…but we included a recipe for that, too. In fact, it’s the original recipe for prinsesstårtor.

Being foodies, of course we couldn’t resist researching some of the princess cake’s history either—including how the first prinsesstårta came to be. 

The History of Prinsesstårtor (Princess Cakes)

Ready for a history class? Here we go!

The Princess Cake, known as Prinsesstårta in Swedish, initially bore the humble name "Grön Tårta," meaning "Green Cake." The original recipe, dating back to 1929, differed from the modern version, lacking both marzipan and jam. Instead, the cake was adorned with a layer of colored almond paste and the filling consisted of only vanilla custard and cream.

This culinary creation was the brainchild of Jenny Åkerström, a food writer and home economics teacher who ran a cooking school for young girls in Stockholm's Östermalm district during the early 20th century. Among her pupils were Princesses Margaretha, Märtha, and Astrid, the daughters of Prince Carl and Princess Ingeborg.

Jenny Åkerström compiled the recipes used in her classes into a cookbook titled "Prinsessornas Kokbok - Husmanskost och Helgsdagmat" (The Princesses' Cookbook - Everyday and Holiday Food). This comprehensive volume contained over 1000 recipes, ranging from cakes to soft drinks.

Legend has it that the princesses were particularly fond of the "Green Cake," leading to its eventual transformation into the Princess Cake.

The cake is available in a smaller format as “bakelser” (pastries). Six decades ago, it was considered unmanly for men to be caught indulging in pastries. Such behavior was deemed effeminate and relegated to discreet consumption. Women, on the other hand, happily savored one or more pastries, well aware of their mood-boosting powers!

Swedes have a pronounced sweet tooth, evident in the annual purchase of approximately half a million Princess Cakes nationwide (many more princess cakes are likely baked at home!). When Princess Estelle was born in 2012, Princess Cakes sold out across the entire country.

During the annual Princess Cake Week, 10 kronor from each purchased Princess 
Cake is donated to the Victoriafonden,an organization dedicated to supporting chronically ill and disabled children and adolescents.

Source: ICA, which in turn cite Dagens Nyheter, Nationalencyklopedin, Sveriges bagare och konditorer.

Understanding the Swedes’ Love of Cream Cake

If you’re Swedish you can just go ahead and jump right down to the recipes, but if you want to learn about Swedish culture (and cake), read on. 
Swedes love cakes, a fact evident in the global popularity of fika, the Swedish coffee break tradition. However, there's a distinction between the cakes you enjoy during a casual fika and a "kalas."

Kalas, which directly translates to "party," is typically a smaller gathering at home with close friends and family, often for birthdays and it always involves coffee and cake. (The kind of night-time party that involves having friends over and drinking alcohol, or having a bigger party with lots of people, is referred to as a “fest.”)

Traditionally, a kalas involves serving seven different types of cakes. This includes a larger cake (such as a cream cake), perhaps some buns or “vetebröd,” and various smaller cookies. As you can imagine, Swedes do a lot of baking and have a lot of bakeries...they've also developed a large repertoire of cake recipes!

Sweden boasts a diverse array of gräddtårtor (cream cakes). These are essentially sponge cakes with cream filling, similar to the classic Victoria sponge but with endless variations. One of the more popular ones is the prinsesstårta, or princess cake.

The prinsesstårta is a sponge cake consisting of three layers of cake filled with jam and vanilla custard with a thick dome of cream on top (it’s how the cake gets its rounded shape), and covered in a smooth layer of marzipan, often referred to as a "marzipan lid" or "marsipanlock" in Sweden.

Making a prinsesstårta from scratch can be time-consuming, requiring the preparation of the sponge cake, custard, and raspberry jam. However, due to its immense popularity (and the general love for layered cakes), you can easily find pre-made components and assemble the cake in about half an hour, making it a surprisingly achievable option for a stunning and delicious dessert. If you're a marzipan fan, this is the cake for you!

Adults typically enjoy a slice of princess cake with coffee, while children have cordial, made with either berries or elderflowers. 

The prinsesstårta is particularly popular during the summer months, coinciding with Swedish National Day and the birthday of the current princess, Princess Victoria.

Quick and Easy Princess Cake—Enkel Prinsesstårta 

That this stunning cake is so easy to make somehow only makes it more stunning, because it’s feasible to put together such a gorgeous cake without having to spend all day in the kitchen! 


- Hägges cake layers (tårtbottnar) (three in one package) (or bake your own sponge cake and cut into three layers)
- Önos raspberry jam
- Marsan custard (vaniljkräm)
- Whipped cream
- Odense green or pink marzipan cover (marsipanlock)
- Odense figure marzipan (red)


Prepare the Custard: Follow the instructions on the package. Let it cool.

Whip the Cream: Whip the cream until it is stiff (you should be able to hold the bowl upside down when it's done... but don't whip it so hard that it turns into butter!).

Assemble the Cake: Spread the custard and raspberry jam between the layers of the cake.

Top with Whipped Cream: Add a dome of stiffly whipped cream on top of the cake and cover the cake with the Odense Ready-made Marzipan cover, either green or pink.

Decorate with a Marzipan Rose: Shape a rose from the figure marzipan and decorate the cake with it.

Refrigerate: Store the cake in the refrigerator until it is ready to be served.

How to Make a Marzipan Rose

Roll Out and Cut Circles: Roll out the marzipan to a 2-3 mm thick sheet. "Flour" the surface with a little powdered sugar to prevent the marzipan from sticking, but don't use too much as it will dry out. Then cut out ten small circles using a cookie cutter, small glass, or cup.

Start Shaping: Roll the first circle into a thin roll to form the rosebud. Wrap the next "petal" around the roll. Press it at the bottom so it doesn't fall off.

Overlap and Shape: Continue wrapping the petals around and press them on one by one. Then, unfold the edges so that the flower opens like a real rose.

Trim the Bottom: Cut off the excess marzipan at the bottom. Now you have the perfect marzipan rose.

Grön Tårta—The Original Princess Cake

We found the original recipe from Jenny Åkerström’s cookbook (which has over 1,000 pages!) on ICA’s website. Unfortunately, the original recipe lacked the recipe for the vanilla cream and the instructions for how to make the sponge cake and marzipan lid (which was truly an almond paste lid back then). This is because those recipes and instructions "could be found on another page in the book," which we don't have access to. Of course, that didn’t deter us. We used some other recipes to piece it all together…though if you have any tips for how to improve the sponge cake instructions, do let us know! 


For the Sponge Cake:

- 3 egg yolks
- 110 g (3.9 oz) sugar
- 1 tbsp water
- 25 g (0.9 oz) potato starch
- 25 g (0.9 oz) all-purpose flour
- 3 egg whites

For Filling I:

- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 1/2 dl (5.1 fl oz) milk
- 1 1/2 dl (5.1 fl oz) heavy cream
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 4 dl (13.5 fl oz) heavy cream (40%)

For Filling II:

- 1 dl (3.4 fl oz) heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla sugar

For the Marzipan:

- 120 g (4.2 oz) almonds
- 180 g (6.3 oz) powdered sugar
- Egg white
- Green food coloring


Prepare the Sponge Cake:

- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
- Separate the egg yolks from the whites.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites and sugar until stiff peaks form.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and water until light and fluffy.
- Gently fold the egg yolk mixture into the egg white mixture.
- Sift the flour and potato starch into the batter and fold it in gently until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into thecenter comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool completely in the pan before assembling the Princess Cake.

Prepare Filling I:

- Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.
- In a saucepan, bring the vanilla bean, vanilla seeds, milk, cream, and sugar to a boil.
- Whisk together the egg yolks and cornstarch.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the egg yolk mixture a little at a time.
- Heat, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens.
- Pour into a bowl and let cool.

Prepare Filling II:

- Whip the heavy cream with vanilla sugar until stiff peaks form.

Prepare the Marzipan:

- Blanch and peel the almonds, then dry them on paper towels. Grind them very finely in a food processor.
- Add the powdered sugar and egg white and work together until smooth.
- Add more powdered sugar if the dough becomes too moist, or a few drops of water if it becomes too dry and compact.
- Color most of the marzipan slightly green. Color a small piece of dough red.
- Assemble the Cake:
- Cut the sponge cake into three layers.
- Spread the vanilla custard between the layers.
- Cover the entire cake with the whipped cream.
- Roll out the green-colored marzipan on a marble slab into a large round cake and place it over the cake, covering it completely.
- Make a rose from the red marzipan and leaves from the green. Decorate the cake as desired.


- For a more tender crumb, use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour.
- The cake will be more moist if the layers are allowed to sit with vanilla cream overnight. But then the cake must be covered and kept in a cold place, otherwise the cream will sour.
- The marzipan can also be made the day before and shaped. This decoration should be covered until it is placed on the cake.
- However, the cream should not be placed on the cake until as close to serving time as possible.
- The decoration can be simplified by omitting the rose bouquet in the middle. The cake is then sifted with powdered sugar just before serving.

All images in this blog were taken by Elin Gann, a photographer in the US. You can find here website and make bookings here.