Princess Tårta is probably one of the most unique desserts to Sweden. However, it’s also one of those things that’s well-known to anyone who’s been here, but completely foreign to anyone outside of Sweden. Which is why I was really excited when I watched an episode of The Great British Bake-Off and the challenge was to re-create a Swedish Princess Tårta (If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a great show for anyone who loves baking!).
Typically this is a large, round cake that layers cake, jam, custard, and cream, and is topped with green marzipan and and a pink rose. The first time my husband came to Sweden with me (about 10 years ago) he fell in love with this delicious dessert. In fact, most people who have visited us in Sweden have been head-over-heels for this cake.
Now I must confess, I have never made a full Princess Tårta before, and truthfully it sounds a bit daunting (just watch The Great British Bake-Off episode and you’ll see what I mean). So I wanted to create a version of the cake that is easier to make, easier to transport, and easier to eat… hence, the Princess Tårta Cupcake!
Making these Princess Tårta cupcakes reminded me so much of our wedding cake, which we ordered from Nielsen’s Scandinavian Bakery in Seattle. This was a special cake to have at our wedding, not just because it resembled our favorite Swedish dessert, Princess Tårta, but also because it has special significance to both of our families. My family ALWAYS ordered a Nielsen’s cake for any special occasion… birthdays, graduations, you name it! At one of these gatherings we found out that Chris’s parents actually had this same cake for their wedding many years ago. So, it only seemed perfect that we should have a Nielsen’s wedding cake topped with two adorable dalahäst for our own special day… (photo credit: our awesome wedding photographers, Stefan and Audrey):
Making these cupcakes not only reminded me of our wedding, but also of a special memory of another wedding… the wedding of the Swedish Crown Princess Victoria and her husband, Daniel.
I wish I could say I was important enough to be at the wedding, but alas, I must confess that I watched the ceremony on tv along with millions of other Swedes around the world. I remember there was so much hype around Stockholm leading up to the wedding… big hearts all over the city, large photos of the happy couple hanging from the NK department store, a historical wedding dress exhibit at the palace, and Princess Tårtas with white marzipan in every bakery window.
My favorite part of the day was when the ceremony was finished and my whole family grabbed our walking shoes and headed into the city center. My mom had been going through chemo at this point, and my grandma had recently broke her hip, so this was especially a big deal for all of us to go out together. We patiently waited in a crowd of thousands to watch the happy couple ride around in a horse-drawn carriage. As the Crown Princess and her new husband came close, you could hear the crowd’s voice rise up loud and see Swedish flags waving high in the sky, and it was such a surreal moment of unity. Their carriage passed by quickly, but the crowd energy lasted much longer as we all shuffled to get to the subway station for our free rides that day.
Sounds like a modern-day fairytale, right ? Well it sort of was a Cinderella story in a way, but with a feminist twist… the one where the Princess falls in love with a “commoner” and transforms HIS life forever. Daniel was from the countryside and actually was the Crown-Princess’s gym-trainer, which made people skeptical of the relationship at first… but as fairytales go, love knows no status….and they definitely are living happily-ever-after with their two beautiful children, in their gorgeous palace.
The memory of the royal wedding holds an extra special place in my heart, as the following year both my mom and mormor passed away, making this was the last summer we were all in Sweden together. Sharing in the excitement of the wedding day with my family and the rest of the country is something I will always cherish.
So with that, I give you the recipe for Swedish Princess Tårta Cupcakes! They are a white cupcake filled with vanilla custard…
topped with raspberry whipped cream frosting…
and covered in green marzipan, a pink rose, and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.
I am very proud of these cupcakes (I even had a Swede tell me it was the best Princess Tårta he’d ever had!)… so I really hope you get to enjoy these delicious bites of Sweden with your loved ones. Whether you eat them on a special day or any old Tuesday, I promise you will fall in love with the flavors of Princess Tårta.
Princess Tårta Cupcakes
- 1 ⅓ cup flour / vetemjöl
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda / Natriumbikarbonat
- 1 teaspoon baking powder / bakpulver
- ⅛ teaspoon salt / salt
- 4 tablespoons butter / 55g smör
- ¾ cup sugar / socker
- 2 eggs / ägg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla / vanilj
- 1 cup milk / 2.4dl mjölk Vanilla Custard:
- ⅔ cup milk / 1.6dl mjölk
- 3 tablespoons whipping cream / vispgrädde
- 2 tablespoons sugar / socker
- 1 egg yolk / äggula
- 1 teaspoon vanilla / vanilj
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch / majsstärkelse Frosting:
- 1 cup whipping cream / 2.4 dl vispgrädde
- 1 tablespoon raspberry jam / hallonsylt
- ½ cup powdered sugar / florsocker
- ½ teaspoon vanilla sugar / vaniljsocker Decoration:
- approximately 12 inch diameter rolled pink marzipan / 32cm rosa marsipan
- approximately 24 inch diameter rolled green marzipan / 62cm grön marsipan
- powdered sugar / florsocker
- Pre-heat oven to 350° F / 175° C.
- Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, cream together softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add egg and vanilla.
- Slowly alternate adding in dry ingredients and milk to the butter mixture.
- Line a cupcake pan and fill each cup using a ¼ measuring spoon, so that each one is about ¾ full.
- Place cupcakes in pre-heated oven for 14-16 minutes. Vanilla Custard:
- While cupcakes are baking, begin vanilla custard by heating the milk and cream in a pot on medium heat.
- In a separate bowl, cream together egg yolk, sugar, vanilla, and cornstarch until creamy and doubled in size.
- When little bubbles start to form in the heating milk mixture (but not boiling), remove the pot from the heat and slowly pour into the cornstarch mixture, about 1 tablespoon at a time, while whisking vigorously.
- Once about half the liquid is mixed into the cornstarch mixture, pour everything back into the pot.
- Place the pot back on the element at medium heat, and stir constantly for about 5 minutes.
- Pour mixture into a bowl and tightly cover with plastic-wrap, then set in the fridge to settle for at least 30 minutes. Frosting:
- While cupcakes and custard are cooling, set a bowl in the fridge to chill for at least 10 minutes.
- In the chilled bowl, mix together the cream and raspberry jam until fully dissolved.
- Add the powder sugar and vanilla sugar and whip the mixture at a high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Store frosting in the fridge if it is not going to be used right away. Decoration:
- Cut out five, little circles of the pink marzipan and place them in a line where the circles are partially overlapping.
- Roll the overlapping circles into a tight roll, then cut the roll in half – each side should resemble a rose.
- Repeat process until you have enough roses for each cupcake.
- Using a biscuit cutter or glass, cut-out larger circles from the green marzipan, enough for one on each cupcake. Assembly:
- Cut out a small circular piece of the top of each cupcake, making sure you don’t reach all the way to the bottom liner.
- Fill each circular hole with the vanilla custard.
- Using a piping bag, cover each cupcake with frosting.
- Cover the frosting with the green marzipan circle, then top with a rose and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
- Store cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to eat!