Swedish Princess Cake

June 12, 2012

Because the cakes are domed with whipped cream, placing cakes on separated plates like this is a way to serve a Princess Cake for a wedding cake. Otherwise, ice the filled cakes with buttercream before covering with marzipan.

I was very fortunate to have gone to the California Culinary Academy beginning in January of 1979 which meant, I was the second class formed in that school.  Bo Friberg was the pastry chef instructor at the time.  Bo was a Swedish pastry chef who was very well trained in Sweden.  He was also the pastry chef at Tiburon’s well loved bakery cafe, Sweden House.  His signature cake in my estimation was Princess Cake which is a light delicately flavored cake covered in marzipan.  This was my birthday cake every year for I don’t know how many years.  It was my favorite cake growing up.

When I went to New York City soon after beginning my baking career, I made Swedish Princess Cake for a job application at William Poll Gourmet Luxuries and Catering which used to be located on Lexington Ave. and 72nd Street.  I got the job.  Princess Cake has always been a truly beloved cake.

For the Marzipan:

Real marzipan is made with pure almond paste and the fresher the almond paste the better.  (see my page on Suppliers and Ingredients)


14 ounces almond paste

14 ounces confectioners’ sugar

3 ounces corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon rum

Break up the almond paste into small pieces and place it in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer.  It is advisable to add the confectioner’s sugar a little at a time and using a  paddle mix the almond paste and confectioners’ sugar until dry crumbs the size of peas is achieved.

Add the corn syrup and the vanilla and the rum if you like.  Rum can be omitted but it is delicious.

Make sure the paste is soft and pliable..wrap and set aside for covering the cake.  You can refrigerate marzipan for up to a month.  You can use the marzipan immediately.

Chiffon Cake

8 eggs separated

2/3 cup oil

1 cup cold water

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

14 ounces cake flour

14 ounces sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

With whip attachments, place the egg whites and egg yolks in separate mixing bowls.  In the bowl with the yolks, add the oil, water and vanilla.  Whip on slow speed until frothy.

Begin whipping the egg whites on moderately high speed.  When the whites are at the soft peak stage add 2/3 of the sugar and continue to whip to a meringue..

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and 1/3 of the sugar or 5 ounces and add the dry all at once to the egg yolk mixture and whip on medium speed to incorporate the ingredients well.  Scrape down the bowl and continue to whip for 1 minute on moderately high speed.

Fold the whites into the yolk mixture and and make sure the whites are well incorporated.  Bake in the pans for about  20 minutes, give or take a few.

Strawberry Preserves

The nice thing about making strawberry preserves or any preserves for Swedish princess cake is their freshness and the ability to add lemon for brightness.

You can use commercial preserves of your choice.  Raspberry preserves are often used but strawberry has always been a favorite as well.

1 pound strawberries cleaned and finely chopped

2 cups sugar

Rind of a lemon

A couple of teaspoons lemon juice

1 packet pectin

Cook the strawberries and sugar over medium high heat until the juices run and the mixture begins to boil.  Add the rind of the lemon and the lemon juice and bring to a boil.  When the mixture comes to a rolling boil add the packet of pectin and boil for exactly 1 minute and remove from heat.  Pour into a clean container and cool for a day.   Preserves should be used immediately.  For wedding cake making, it is advisable to make preserves just for the cake that is being filled with them.  It is best not to use homemade canned preserves for wedding cakes.  Use commercially made preserves for safety reasons.

French Vanilla Cream

1 ½ cups whole milk

½ cup heavy cream

1 whole egg

2 egg yolks

1 cup granulated sugar

2 Tablespoons corn starch

2 Tablespoons all purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup heavy cream whipped

In the bowl of a heavy duty mixer, using a paddle, beat the yolks and the whole egg until they begin to lighten.  Add the granulated sugar to the egg mixture in a thin stream.  Allow to beat until the egg/sugar mixture is light and increased in volume.

Bring the milk and the heavy cream to a boil in a saucepan.

While the milk and heavy cream are warming up on the stove, add the corn starch and the all purpose flour to the egg mixture and beat well to thicken.

After the milk and cream show the first signs of bubbles, remove from the stove, stop the mixer and pour in a small amount of the hot milk/cream to temper the eggs.  You never want to shock eggs with hot liquids..this process has to happen slowly.  Begin to blend slowly and then pour mixture back into the saucepan and start to warm the mixture up on the stove once again but use a whisk to keep the mixture moving as it heats up because you don’t want lumps to form.  The process of heating this custard with the corn starch and the flour is a process that bursts the starch in both ingredients and that is how the custard is thickened.

When a bubble is reached and the temperature is about 160 degrees F or a bit more, remove from the stove and add the vanilla extract.   Pour the contents of the saucepan into a flat shallow container and place plastic directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming..chill well.

Whip the 1 cup of heavy cream and fold into the cooled custard to lighten it up.

Whipped Cream

2 cups heavy cream

1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks and add the sugar.  Whip to stiff peaks and chill to reserve.

Simple Syrup

1 cup sugar

2 cups cold water

Boil for 10 minutes and cool


Bake the chiffon cakes

Make the marzipan and the strawberry preserves.

Whip the cream

Make the French Vanilla Cream

Have simple syrup ready

Prepare the layers of chiffon cake by removing the bake layer.  On the bottom layer of cake, spread a generous amount of strawberry preserves.  Place another layer of cake on the preserves and brush with simple syrup.  Cover the second layer with a generous amount of French Vanilla Cream.  Place another layer of cake on the French Vanilla Cream and brush with simple syrup.  Cover the whole cake with the chilled whipped cream and dome in the center so that when you cover the cake with marzipan it will have a rounded top.

Roll out the marzipan and drape over the cake.  Marzipan can benefit from being rolled out over a thin dusting of confectioners’ sugar.

Decorate with royal icing piped in any design you wish or just decorate with a simple pink marzipan rose which is the traditional decoration.  These cakes are often tinted green, however for a wedding cake, the natural color of the marzipan is beautiful.  You can color the marzipan any color you wish but keep the colors light and pale..dark marzipan is unappetizing.

Baby shower cake with shoes made of gum paste.

For the following cake you will need 3 – 9″ cake pans prepared with pan spray and lined with rounds of parchment paper.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl measure:

1 cup Hershey Special Dark Cocoa

Pour over the cocoa:

1 cup strong coffee that is hot and whisk well

Add to the coffee/cocoa:

1 cup cold water

In the bowl of a heavy duty 5 quart mixer with a paddle cream together:

6 ounces unsalted butter

2 ounces vegetable oil

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar


2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

4 whole eggs one at a time

Sift together:

3 cups of cake flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

After the butter, oil, sugar and vanilla are well creamed and you have added the eggs to that mixture one at a time, scrape the bowl well and beat with the paddle until there are no lumps of butter remaining.

Alternate the flour with the coffee/cocoa mixture in thirds scraping often to make sure there are no lumps of flour or butter remaining.  Do not overmix.

Pour even amounts of batter in each pan.  Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the cake comes out clean.  Cool in pans for at least 15 minutes before depanning.  Cool the cakes before chilling them well in the refrigerator.

For the Blackberry Mousse Filling

10 ounces organic frozen blackberries

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup cold water

2 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin

2 cups heavy cream whipped

Place the frozen blackberries into a saucepan and stir in the granulated sugar.  Allow to sit until the juices from the berries starts to emerge.

Over a medium heat, start to cook the berries gently.  Bring to a boil and strain immediately.  Cool in a large shallow bowl to a temperature of 110 degrees F.

Bloom the powdered gelatin in the cold water and melt in the microwave or in a saucepan of hot water to at temperature of 110 degrees F and then stir in the blackberry mixture well.

Refrigerate until the temperature decreases to about 87 degrees F.

Fold in the whipped cream.

Chambord Simple Syrup

Make a simple syrup by boiling 1 cup of granulated sugar in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes.  Cool and add 1/2 cup of Chambord, blackberry liquor..if you wish to add more Chambord adjust the taste to your preference.

Build your cake in the usual manner by lining a 3 inch high cake pan with plastic wrap.  Trim a layer of cake flat and brush the cake with Chambord syrup.  Pipe a dam of Italian meringue buttercream and fill with blackberry mousse.   You can double the line of the dam to achieve a thicker filling.  Repeat and end with the top layer of cake turned upside down so that the cake is nice and flat.

Chill for at least 8 hours to set the filling.  Open the plastic wrap and place a cake board on top of the cake, flip out and flip the cake back onto a cake board so that the syrup continues to move down the cake..this is important…because if you allow the cake to remain upside down on your cake board the syrup will move out of the cake and soak your cake board…not a good thing..always remember that when you syrup a cake to place the cake on the cake board so that the syrup is moving down.

Ice the cake and decorate as you wish.

The best carrot cake recipe that I have found is as follows:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare three 9 inch cake pans by spraying the walls and bottom of the pans and lining them with rounds of parchment paper.

Because carrot cake is oil based, it is freezer friendly.  Bear this in mind when you are going to produce carrot cake for wedding cakes because this is a good cake for freezing filled with the cream cheese filling.  Always build the cakes in plastic wrap lined pans and wrap the cake very well for the freezer.

In the bowl of a heavy duty mixer with a wire whip emulsify:

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups of vegetable oil

2 cups of granulated sugar

Sift and set aside:

2 cups cake flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon salt


3 cups carrots


1 cup walnuts


1 cup raisins (optional)  determine if your bride and groom would like raisins.  They can be left out of this cake with no problem

Add the dry ingredients to the oil/egg mixture and mix until just combines.  Add the carrots, walnuts and raisins and mix until blended.

Pour into cake pans evenly.  Remember to weigh your batters no matter what a recipe says.  Then divide your batters by weight.  Once you have weighed one recipe it will be the same for all future recipes.

Bake this cake in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes until done and cool in the pans.  Depan and chill well before filling with Cream Cheese Icing.

A note for wedding cake makers:

You want to ice the carrot cakes for your tiered wedding cake with Italian meringue buttercream and not cream cheese icing.  Cream cheese icing is too soft and will be unpleasantly messy for cutting.

Cream Cheese Filling

8 ounces softened cream cheese

3 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

4 ounces unsalted softened butter

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

In the bowl of a heavy duty 5 quart mixer with a paddle, blend the cream cheese, butter and confectioners sugar to a smooth consistency.  Add the vanilla and lemon juice and blend well.  Do not over mix.

This lovely filling will firm up in refrigeration.  Pipe a dam of buttercream to contain the cream cheese filling in your cakes.

Red Velvet cake is another wonderful cake that should be filled with cream cheese filling.

Lovely fondant covered cake in Tiffany Blue with large bows made by my student, Evie.

Chocolate Glaze

June 3, 2012

The thing about glazing is that it is temperature sensitive.  You can certainly glaze buttercream iced cakes but the buttercream might crack.  Some people swear by glazing cakes that are iced in whipped chocolate ganache which is a recipe that will follow this one.

The important thing is to glaze an iced cake to get a smooth coat of glaze.  Glazing over a screen on a plastic wrap lined sheet pan is helpful because catching the glaze on the plastic wrap will make short work of packaging the chocolate glaze and storing it in the refrigerator.

In a saucepan, heat to a boil

8 ounces of milk

8 ounces of heavy cream

5 1/4 ounces corn syrup

Add to the hot cream

1 lb 4 oz good quality semisweet chocolate

Whisk until smooth and then whisk in

3 1/4 oz unsalted butter that is room temperature

Allow to cool until the mixture starts to thicken.  If you use the glaze while it is too warm, it will melt the undercoat.

Chocolate Glaze is good for glazing cakes but it is also good for dipping eclairs in as well.

Building a good cake studio is not difficult and it is advisable to purchase the right equipment.  Determine how many cakes you would like to make per week and calculate the through-put which will tell you the size of pieces of equipment necessary to accomplish your production goals.


The Deluxe Oven is designed as a gentle convection oven which means it has small fans that gently circulate the air throughout the oven.  The cakes do not list or get blown to one side as with ordinary convection ovens and they generally come out rather flat on top which reduces waste.

The Deluxe gentle convection oven can be stacked.

This oven has 4 decks and can bake an enormous amount of cake per shift.  The maximum number of wedding cakes produced in my studio during the height of the season was 10 between my friend Dan Mikosz of Decadence Custom Cakes and myself.

The refrigeration could hold at least 27 tiers of cake.  I had True refrigeration and a freezer which was very handy for the kind of production that was done in this studio.  We were able to produce as much cake as we did because the cakes were freezer friendly.

When you fill a chiffon cake with a mousse you can easily freeze that tier of cake as long as you don’t ice it until just prior to the event day.  Chiffon cakes are very freezer friendly and our production week started on Tuesdays with the event day being either a Friday or Saturday or Sunday.  I would not freeze cakes longer than a week or so unless you have huge production and a walk-in freezer with racks that I know as covered wagons.  Reach-in refrigeration is perfect for small production.

These are True T-49 large capacity reach-ins..one is a refrigerator and one is a freezer. They serve a small studio very well.

Mixers are essential for any sort of well run cake studio.  The 20 quart Globe mixer could easily make over 10 pounds of buttercream at one mixing and the 40 quart could make over 20 pounds of buttercream at a single mixing not to mention enough cake batter to completely fill the oven.

This 20 quart mixer is an essential piece of equipment for any cake studio.

Here is a picture of the beloved 40 quart Hobart.

The 40 quart Hobart is actually a petite floor model and for small cake studios, this mixer is ideal.

So this is an overview of some of the pieces of equipment you will need if you wish to build a small cake studio.  Remember that certain pieces of equipment need to be on dedicated electrical outlets.  If you care for your equipment well it will serve you for years and years.

Straus Family Creamery

June 3, 2012

Straus Family Creamery hails from Northern California and if you are fortunate enough to live in the San Francisco Bay Area, no doubt you are well familiar with these wonderful dairy products.  For my students in Seattle, I want you to become familiar with this butter package which can be found at Whole Foods Markets or PCC Markets.


For cake makers, Straus Family Creamery Organic Unsalted Butter is about as ideal for Italian meringue buttercream as butter can get.

Fat content of 85% which is as ideal and perfect for Italian meringue buttercream as butter can get. Let the buttercream whip in the bowl for at least 10 minutes after this softened butter is added to assure the creamiest and most delightful buttercream you are ever going to ice a cake with.

Three pounds of butter will make enough buttercream to pipe dams, crumb coat and ice three tiers of cake sizes, 10″, 7″ and 4″.  Depending on whether or not you are using fondant will determine the amount of buttercream you need under the fondant layer.

TheStraus Family Creamery Organic  heavy cream can be found at PCC Markets in Seattle.

Cream as it was meant to be.

This cream is so rich and thick I had to use a knife to poke through the thick cream that formed on the top under the cap of the bottle.  Amazing!!

As I have mentioned before, Chiffon cakes are meant to soak up flavored syrups.  This cake is soaked with a coffee flavored syrup and the flavor comes from a very fine extract called Trablit.  Trablit can be purchased through Amazon.com so have a look at the page on this blog called Suppliers and Ingredients or go directly to Amazon.com.  If you are fortunate enough to have a supplier near you that sells fancy imported products, they may be able to offer Trablit to you.

The ratio of sugar to water for this soaking syrup is 2:1 or 2 cups of water to 1 cup of granulated sugar boiled for 10 minutes. Flavor the syrup with a teaspoon of Trablit.

Build your cake in a form that is lined with plastic.  This cake is built in a 10″ square cake pan lined with plastic wrap.  That is so that each layer can be given a dam of buttercream around the edge and filled with the coffee flavored Bavarian Cream.  The can easily be wrapped and chilled in the refrigerator until the filling is set.  The buttercream dam will keep the filling from oozing out of the cake and give the cake sturdy support because once the Italian  meringue buttercream is chilled it will stay in that shape.

Soaked layer of vanilla chiffon cake in a lined cake pan.

There are three layers of vanilla chiffon in this cake and each layer is about an inch thick.

This is a layer of Vanilla Chiffon cake. The cake is soft with a closed crumb. Your layers of cake should always be about this thick for a 4″ tall cake.

The coffee flavored Bavarian Cream is flavored with Trablit and a little Trablit goes a long way.  There was about 2 teaspoons of Trablit for the Bavarian Cream recipe used to fill this cake which is the recipe posted on this blog.

Coffee Flavored Bavarian Cream Filling


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare 3 10″ square cake pans by spraying the bottom of the pans and lining them with squares of parchment.  Do not spray the sides of the pans as this cake likes to climb and spray will make the cake slip.

2/3 cup vegetable oil

8 whole eggs

1 cup water

1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract

14 ounces cake flour

1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Measure the granulated sugar with 9 ounces for the meringue and 5 ounces sifted with the flour mixture.

Sift the cake flour, baking powder, 5 ounces granulated sugar and salt together and set aside.

Separate the eggs placing the whites in a bowl of a heavy duty 5 quart mixer with a whip attachment and the yolks in a bowl of a 5 quart heavy duty mixer with a whip attachment and whip until soft peaks form.  Add the 9 ounces of granulated sugar in a thin stream and continue to whip until the whites reach the stiff peak stage.

Add the water, vanilla and oil to the yolks.  Whip until combined and then add the sifted flour all at once.  Mix until well combined.  Scrape down the bowl and whip again.

Fold the whites into the yolk mixture and make sure the whole mixture is well incorporated.  You don’t want any lumps of whites in the mixture.

Divide into the 10″ square pans at as weight of 1 lb 2 ounces of batter per pan and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes until just golden.

Remove from oven and allow to cool in the cake pans for about 15 minutes before removing the cakes to chill further.