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Sweden Celebrates Birthdays With a Cake Suited for Royalty

Sweden celebrates birthdays with a cake fit for royalty

Sweden is renowned for its rich culinary traditions and unique delicacies. Among the many delicious treats that grace Swedish tables, one stands out as a symbol of celebration and royalty – prinsesstårta, also known as princess cake. With its vibrant green exterior and delicate pink rose, this iconic dessert has become a staple for birthdays and special occasions across the country. Let’s dive into the fascinating history and exquisite flavours of Sweden’s beloved princess cake.

A sweet tradition: Fika and the Princess Cake

In Sweden, breaks are taken seriously and one such break is known as fika. Similar to the English tradition of tea time, fika is a cherished moment of relaxation during the day. It involves the indulgence of coffee or tea accompanied by delicious pastries and cakes. The prinsesstårta, with its eye-catching appearance and delicious flavour profile, is at the centre of the range of treats.

The allure of the princess cake

The Swedish Princess Cake is renowned for its unique qualities that set it apart from other desserts. Its bright green colour, derived from a layer of marzipan, immediately catches the eye. The cake’s sponge layers are filled with a combination of vanilla pastry cream, light whipped cream and a hint of raspberry jam. These harmonious flavours create a balance that is both light and indulgent, making every bite a truly memorable experience.

A royal connection: The origins of Princess Cake

The history of the Princess Cake can be traced back to the early 20th century and its association with Swedish royalty. Jenny Åkerström, a respected domestic science teacher, was commissioned by the brother of King Gustav V of Sweden to teach his daughters domestic skills. It was during this time that Åkerström created individual versions of the Princess Cake for Princesses Martha, Margaretha and Astrid. The cakes were exquisitely decorated and became their favourites.
In 1929 Åkerström published a cookbook called “The Princess Cookbook: Home Cooking and Holiday Food”, with the princesses’ portraits on the cover. The cookbook became hugely popular and one of its editions included the recipe for the Princess Cake, then known as the “Green Cake”. Renamed with a more royal title, the Princess Cake became an iconic Swedish dessert, enjoyed at all sorts of celebrations, big and small.

The art of making a princess cake

Making a princess cake is a labour of love, requiring attention to detail and precision. While the process can be time consuming, the end result is well worth the effort. The cake starts with a moist white sponge cake and a layer of raspberry jam. Next comes the vanilla flavoured pastry cream, followed by a generous layer of homemade whipped cream. Finally, the cake is decorated with a bright green marzipan icing and a fondant rose for a touch of elegance.

Where to find Princess Cakes

If you crave the taste of a traditional Swedish princess cake but don’t feel up to the challenge of baking one yourself, fear not! Several bakeries in the United States specialise in this delicious dessert. In cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, you can find establishments that proudly offer princess cakes as part of their menu. Schubert’s Bakery, famous for its authentic Swedish pastries, is a must-visit destination for a royal treat. Other bakeries, such as Ambrosia Bakery and Victoria Pastry, also offer their own unique take on the princess cake.


Princess cake has a special place in Swedish culture and cuisine. Its vibrant appearance, delicate flavour and royal associations make it a popular dessert for birthdays and celebrations. Whether you try your hand at baking this intricate cake in your own home or seek it out at a local bakery, Princess Cake promises to be an unforgettable experience. So treat yourself to a slice of Swedish royalty and savour the harmonious blend of flavours that have made Princess Cake a true culinary gem.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a prinsesstårta?

A prinsesstårta, or princess cake, is a classic Swedish dessert known for its bright green exterior and delicate pink rose decoration. It is a sponge cake filled with layers of vanilla pastry cream, whipped cream and raspberry jam, covered in marzipan.

Why is the Princess Cake associated with royalty?

Princess cake was originally a favourite dessert of Swedish royalty. It gained its association with royalty when Jenny Åkerström, a home economics teacher, created personalised versions for the daughters of Swedish King Gustav V. The cake’s regal name and elegant appearance have since made it a symbol of celebration and special occasions.

What does a princess cake taste like?

A Princess Cake has a light and slightly nutty flavour. The sponge layers are moist and airy, while the vanilla pastry cream and whipped cream provide a creamy, sweet taste. The raspberry jam adds a tart sweetness, creating a delightful balance of flavours that make this a dessert to remember.

Can I make a Princess Cake at home?

Yes, you can make a princess cake at home, although it can be a time-consuming process. You will need to bake a sponge cake, prepare the pastry cream and whipped cream, and layer the cake with raspberry jam. The cake is then covered with marzipan and decorated with a fondant rose.

Where can I find princess cakes in the USA?

If you’re in the United States and fancy a princess cake, you can find them in certain bakeries that specialise in Swedish pastries. Cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles have bakeries that offer princess cakes, such as Schubert’s Bakery, Ambrosia Bakery and Victoria Pastry. These establishments offer their own unique take on the classic Swedish dessert.

Is Princess Cake suitable for people with dietary restrictions?

Traditional Princess Cake contains ingredients such as wheat, eggs, milk and almonds in the form of marzipan. As a result, it may not be suitable for people with specific dietary restrictions or allergies. However, there are variations and adaptations of the Princess Cake to suit different dietary needs, such as gluten-free or vegan options, which can be found in specialist bakeries or through modified recipes.

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