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Scandinavian Princess Cake

The surface of this cake is imprinted with a lacy doily pattern; any 8-inch doily will work.

  • Servings: 10
Scandinavian Princess Cake

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2008



  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
  • 6 tablespoons almond flour, toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, melted


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped, pod reserved for another use
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) cold butter


  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Armagnac (optional)


  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 packages (7 ounces each) marzipan
  • Royal blue gel-paste food coloring, for decorating
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


  1. Make the genoise: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat 2 rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray, line each with parchment, then spray parchment. Combine cake flour, almond flour, and salt in a medium bowl.

  2. Whisk eggs, yolks, and granulated sugar in a mixer bowl set over a pot of simmering water until sugar dissolves and mixture is warm to the touch, about 2 minutes. Attach bowl to mixer, and whisk on medium speed for 2 minutes. Raise speed to high, and whisk until mixture is pale and thick, 4 to 5 minutes. Sift flour mixture over egg mixture, and gently fold. When almost incorporated, slowly add melted butter, and fold.

  3. Divide batter between baking sheets, spread evenly, and bake until golden brown and springy to the touch, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool. Run a knife around edges of pans, and invert onto a clean surface; discard parchment. Using an 8-by-3-inch cake ring, cut out 4 circles. Choose the 3 thickest cake circles, and reserve the fourth for another use.

  4. Make the pastry cream: Bring milk, vanilla seeds, salt, and 1/4 cup granulated sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk yolks, cornstarch, and remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar to combine. When milk begins to boil, remove from heat. Slowly ladle half the milk into yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Pour mixture into saucepan, place over medium heat, and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture has thickened, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat, and whisk in cold butter. Strain into a medium bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface, and let cool. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or overnight).

  5. Make the simple syrup: Bring granulated sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and stir in Armagnac if using. Let cool. (Syrup will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 month.)

  6. To assemble the cake: Place the cake ring on a 9-inch cardboard circle. Place 1 cake circle in ring, and lightly brush top with syrup. Using a small offset spatula, spread jam on cake layer. Whisk 2 1/2 cups cream until stiff peaks form. Cover jam with 1/2 cup whipped cream. Top with another cake circle, and brush top with syrup. Cover this circle with pastry cream. Place final cake circle on top, pressing down gently, and brush top with syrup. Spoon remaining whipped cream over cake, and smooth. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or preferably overnight).

  7. Whisk remaining 1/2 cup cream in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form. Remove cake ring, and coat sides of cake with whipped cream. Refrigerate cake until cold, about 30 minutes.

  8. Knead a golf-ball-size piece of marzipan with a couple of drops of blue food coloring, adding more drops as needed to reach desired color (this piece should be a few shades darker than the final). Knead half the colored marzipan into remaining marzipan until color is evenly distributed. (Add remaining half if needed to reach desired color.) On a surface dusted with confectioners' sugar, roll out marzipan to a 14-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick. Place a doily in the center of marzipan. With the rolling pin, slowly but firmly roll over doily to create an imprint. Gently remove doily. Rub confectioners' sugar into marzipan with your fingertips to fill imprint. Place marzipan over cake, smooth sides, and trim bottom edges. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Reviews (17)

  • lara_dias97 27 Sep, 2013

    Can you transform the cup measures to metric ones ?

  • mirapoix 26 Jan, 2013


    I forgot to mention I used my 8" cake pans, not sheet pans, and then cut 4 cakes, but only use 3-ridiculous. I can't see why it would matter. My cake was light and had straight sides.

    Re: the lovely blue marzipan shown here, I'm going to guess they actually used fondant. There is no way marzipan would be that clear in color. I also think this because the doily would not press its design into the marzipan, so no fancy top for my cake. :( I place a real one on top until serving.

  • mirapoix 26 Jan, 2013


    Be sure you have an off set spatula. The layering of jam, cream and whipped cream with be very difficult and possibly damaging to the cake without it.

    If you don't have a stand mixer, this recipe will be very challenging with a hand mixer. Seriously consider the amount of hours and counter space you are going to need before attempting to start.

    The marzipan top layer went fairly smoothly in my cold kitchen, but I'd be concerned to try to finish assembly in warm weather.

  • mirapoix 26 Jan, 2013


    By this point, I was 2 1/2hrs in, but that was non-stop, no downtime.

    Assembly-You could play with the way it's layered, but because the pastry cream is so heavy, I wouldn't recommend saving it for the top layer. I also will I had made extra whipped cream and folded it into the pastry cream to make it more light (I did this with the leftovers and I liked it much more. If you try it, cut the pastry cream recipe in half).

    See Part Four

  • mirapoix 26 Jan, 2013


    While the cake cools, tint the marzipan. This was my 1st time with marzipan and the color was awful because the beige base muddles the color. Disappointing but I didn't know how to work around it. I played with color in a small sample but couldn't correct it. Also, warm the marzipan in the microwave first to make it pliable.

    Whip the cream. USE STABILIZER. I don't know why recipes don't mention this all the time. Whippit brand or gelatin-Google it.

    See Part 3

  • mirapoix 26 Jan, 2013

    This recipe is poorly organized, but rearranging the steps can save you hours.

    Readers-count the eggs! Total amount needed-14. More than a dozen. Check the fridge first.

    Make the pastry cream first. It can chill while you make everything else. When you make the pastry cream, beat the yolks first, set them aside, then boil the milk.

    Second make the simple syrup. Coll while the baking the genoise.

    Third make the cake.

    See Part Two

  • Lilaclouise 25 Dec, 2011

    This is THE most popular cake in Sweden for birthdays and holidays. But the marzipan is coloured green and the traditional decoration is a pink marzipan rose. And no alcohol! The original recipe was published in 1930s by a home-economics teacher at a private school that the royal princesses attended, hence its name (and it was their favourite) The original recipe doesn't contain jam but the current version always does. A cake with pink marzipan and blueberryjam is called operacake. Louise,Sweden

  • pancakebooks 25 Dec, 2010

    According to Wikipedia (the infallible source), the history is as follows: "According to Wikipedia (the infallible source), the history is as follows: "The current king of Sweden, King Carl XVI Gustaf, had four older sisters, and before he was born there was no heir to the throne. So, the royal confectioner made this special cake for them." Delightful.

  • pancakebooks 25 Dec, 2010

    This is one of my favorite cakes. I made it two years ago for Christmas and am making it again today. I substituted Amaretto for the Armagnac and it's in the refrigerator right now. Also, there's just a wonderful joy in knowing that you are eating something royal, a great substitute for the usual cake box mix.

  • poundcakes 26 Nov, 2010

    (cont. from below)
    5. When assembling: The recipe calls for raspberry jam on the first layer only, but I found that it could have been used on 2 layers - for the look of the slice and a bit more sweetness in the taste. Also - the royal blue gel looked a bit greyish-green in mine ... I might recommend have a few more colors to add and experiment with (a lil' goes a long way!)

  • poundcakes 26 Nov, 2010

    (cont. from below)
    4. If Armagnac is hard to find, then Brandy may substitute. It is very slight in the mix, hardly detectable when tasting the cake.

  • poundcakes 26 Nov, 2010

    (cont. from below)
    3. When making the pastry cream, I found that it takes much longer to thicken than described in the recipe. It took closer to 4 minutes at med-high heat with constant whisking ... enough to make your arm ache. The speckles of fresh vanilla bean are beautiful, and it turned out absolutely delicious!

  • poundcakes 26 Nov, 2010

    (cont. from below)
    2. I have a typical size kitchen oven, and I would not recommend baking the 2 sheet pans at the same time on two racks. Use the center rack and bake the 1st sheet for ~9min, then remove and do the 2nd.

  • poundcakes 26 Nov, 2010

    This turned out lovely! Don't be afraid ... it is very involved and it does truly take up to three evenings, but it is so phenomenally delicious and delicately beautiful that it is worth it.
    I do have a few suggestions to make your life easier in the process, though:
    1. the size of the rimmed baking sheets is important. A 1/2-sheet size of 18?

  • yalechk 18 Dec, 2008

    I just made this for a party. When planning to make, plan on taking three evenings, as it must chill between steps.

  • yalechk 18 Dec, 2008

    I just made this for a party. When planning to make, plan on taking three evenings, as it must chill between steps.

  • singerhd 26 Nov, 2008

    What is 'the Guide' that is referred to throughout this recipe? I can't seem to find it!

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