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.

What can I say?  White Chocolate Fondant is well worth the effort to make it.  The handling of this fondant is so easy that you don’t need a sheeter.  I found the secret to making  white chocolate fondant and that is using Trimoline which is an invert sugar made of cane sugar.  You can find Trimoline sold on Amazon dot com for those of you who can’t purchase it through a distributor.  Another distributor is Chef Rubber dot com.

You will need a large bowl..and heavy duty mixer is not necessary but is useful for those who can dedicate a mixer just for fondant making because the fondant will eventually break a small Kitchen Aide type  mixer.

For every 2 pounds of confectioners’ sugar I use 8 ounces of melted white chocolate

So the formula is as follows

2 pounds confectioners’ sugar

7 ounces by weight Trimoline ( make sure the container that you weigh the Trimoline in is sprayed with pan release first because this viscous material will stick otherwise)

2 Tablespoons white shortening

1 Tablespoon powdered gelatin

1/4 cup cold water

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Melt the white chocolate and set aside to cool to a temperature of about 90 degrees F at the time it is to be incorporated into the fondant mixture.

Melt the white shortening in a small saucepan, add the trimoline and make sure the mixture is well blended together with a whisk.  Bloom and then melt the gelatin in the cold water.  It is important not to overheat gelatin.  You can microwave it for about 15 seconds and get a temperature of about 110 -115 degrees F depending and this melted gelatin needs to go into the saucepan with the Trimoline and shortening.  Make sure the Trimoline and shortening is not too hot..it should not be warmer than the gelatin and ideally the two should be the same temperature.  Whisk the gelatin into the Trimoline mixture.

Pour the liquid over the confectioners’ sugar and with a wooden spoon stir in quickly.  It will form a paste.  At this point add the white chocolate and the vanilla extract.  Mix with the wooden spoon and then scrape that spoon well.  With gloved hands, start working the fondant into a smooth paste and turn out onto a very clean surface that has been dusted with a generous amount of confectioners’ sugar.

When the paste comes together and is a smooth ball that is not sticky to the touch nor to the table, double wrap and allow to mature for 24 hours.  It is ready to roll out the next day.  It will be very firm.  You can cut the fondant into good sized chunks and place those into a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave briefly, about 10 seconds and turn the fondant over and microwave for another 10 seconds until you feel the fondant actually soften a bit.  This is the beauty of white chocolate fondant..the softening takes place in the microwave very quickly and not on your table, bench or kitchen counter.

Work into a ball and roll out as for any fondant covered cake.

Note on White Chocolate Fondant:

Because ordinary fondant is almost pure sugar, people tend to peel it off of their cake and cast it aside.  It is often too sweet for people to eat and that is understandable.  However, by incorporating white chocolate into the fondant, it becomes less sweet.  By flavoring it with vanilla or other flavorings, people actually like it.  One student reported that guests at a wedding where she served her cake with white chocolate fondant ate the fondant and only one guest ate just the fondant but left the cake on the plate.


French Vanilla Cream

May 27, 2012

In the bowl of a  heavy duty 5 quart mixer with a paddle attachment beat to the ribbon stage:

1 whole egg

2 egg yolks

1 cup granulated sugar

Add to the egg mixture:

2 Tablespoons corn starch

2 Tablespoons all purpose flour

Heat in a large saucepan:

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 Tablespoons Madagascar Vanilla Bean Paste

Whip 2 cups heavy cream and set aside in the refrigerator.

Bloom 1 Tablespoon powdered gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water


Heat the milk and cream to a boil.  Slowly add the very hot milk to the egg mixture by first tempering the egg mixture with a small amount of the hot milk and then adding the rest of the hot milk and blend with the paddle of the mixer.  Pour the entire contents of the mixer bowl back into the saucepan and return to the stove.  Whisk constantly until a bubble appears in the thickened mixture.   Cook for about a minute whisking even faster to prevent lumps from forming and to keep the mixture from scorching.

Remove from heat and pour into a shallow bowl.  Add the Madagascar Vanilla Bean Paste and place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming as the mixture cools.  Chill in refrigerator for about 15 minutes and take the temperature of the mixture.

When the mixture is 87 degrees F.  melt the gelatin in the microwave for about 15 seconds and then add the melted gelatin and mix thoroughly.  Fold in the whipped cream.  This is a stabilized French Vanilla Cream which is suitable for using as a filling in a wedding cake and especially suitable if you are using sliced strawberries or other fruit in the filling of the wedding cake as well.


This filling is good with Tres Leches Cake, Dark Chocolate Cake, Vanilla Chiffon Cake with Fresh Fruit Filling etc.

If you want to use this in Eclairs or Profiteroles or fruit tarts, simply omit the gelatin and reduce the whipped cream by 1 cup.