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Princess Cupcakes

19 de August de 2009

princess cupcakes

I apologize if you end up here looking for Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White or Lady Di cupcakes. Maybe another time. Today, I’m talking about a tiny tiny version of the  prinsesstårta, or simply princess cake.

This pretty confection was invented in the 30’s by Jenny Åkerström, a famous cook, to pay homage to Margaretha, Märtha e Astrid, the three Swedish princesses. With layers of genoise cake, whipped cream, pastry cream and a touch of raspberry jam, it is traditionally covered with delicious green marzipan.  It is everywhere now in Sweden, from graduation parties to weddings, and even sold in slices at the coffee shops.

But today is my mom’s (a true marzipan fan) birthday, and it’s my turn to pay homages. She was a strong, independent woman, who supported three kids on her own, after my father passed away. She was also kind, funny and my favorite partner in my kitchen adventures. I miss her very much.

Like myself, she used to love cakes – specially pretty ones with a princess story on the side.

Princess Cupcakes  (makes 5)

This cupcakes are like your own kids – a lot of work, but totally worth it. None of the elements (cake/pastry cream/ syrup/ whipped cream) are difficult, the hardest part is the assembling and the marzipan covering. If you have some experience with rolled fondant, it’s pretty similar to work with.

Vanilla Cupcakes (adapted from here) – can be made up to 2 days ahead

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 50g/ 1/2 stick butter – room temp. and cut in pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Line 5 cups of a muffin pan with paper liners.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

3. In another bowl, mix milk, egg and vanilla.

4. Add the butter pieces to the flour mixture. Beat with the mixer on low speed until it resembles coarse meal (the larger pieces should be the size of peas).

5. With the mixer on medium speed, add the milk mixture in three additions, and beat only until incorporated.

6. Distribute the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for aprox. 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the cupcakes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before proceeding with the assembling.

Pastry Cream – can be made 1 day ahead

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp butter
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat milk just until it simmers.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Add cornstarch and continue whisking until smooth.
  3. Slowly pour the hot milk  into the egg mixture. Whisk until completely smooth and free of lumps. Return the mixture to the saucepan, and place over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly, and cook for another 2 minutes, or until it thickens. Remove from heat and add the butter, whisking well to incorporate.
  4. Remove the pastry cream to a bowl. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Rum syrup – can be made up to 1 week ahead

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rum

1. In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and add the rum. Let cool completely before using or refrigerating.

For the assembling:

  • 5 vanilla cupcakes
  • pastry cream
  • rum syrup
  • 200ml very cold heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • raspberry jam
  • 400g marzipan
  • green gel food coloring (just a drop)
  • natural or sugar mini flowers to garnish

princess cake steps

Mix the marzipan with the food coloring and knead until the color is uniform. If it gets sticky, sprinkle a little confectioner’s sugar. Wrap with plastic.

Cut the cupcakes tops off (picture 1.). Pell the liners, invert the cakes and cut 4 layers. Reserve the top layer for another use (picture 2.).

Whisk the heavy cream and sugar until soft peaks form.

Over a cardboard circle, or the removable bottons of tartelette tins (I used that), start assembling the cupcake layers, brushing the cake layers with the syrup.

  • first, a very thin layer of jam;
  • over the jam, a teaspoon whipped cream;
  • cake + syrup;
  • a teaspoon of pastry cream;
  • last layer of cake + syrup;
  • cover the whole cupcake with whipped cream, trying to make the rounder the top you can (picture 3.). Put in the refrigerator while making the other cupcakes.

Procede the same way with all the cakes.

Over a working surface, sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar, roll out the marzipan (you can see the thickness in the picture 4).

With a thin knife, cut rounds big enough to cover the cupcakes. Put the marzipan over the cakemaking sure to cover the entire cake and cardboard. When finished, some marzipan should drape onto the work surface all around the cupcake. There will be folds on the sides. To remove them lift the outside edge of the marzipan with a hand on either side of a fold and, without tearing or stretching, gently pull the marzipan out and down until the fold disappears. Be gentle and it will be fine!

Sift a little confectioner’s sugar over the cakes and transfer to the serving dishes or cake stand. Decorate with the sugar flowers. These are best eaten the same day they are assembled.


77 Comments leave one →
  1. 19 de August de 2009 1:39

    those are so pretty ^^ !!! XOXO

    • thecookieshop permalink*
      24 de August de 2009 23:07

      Thanks, Gine!

  2. 19 de August de 2009 2:14

    Oh they are Cinderella perfect!And Snow White! Pretty pretty pretty and I can taste them~

  3. 19 de August de 2009 6:53

    These are absolutely, absolutely gorgeous! No need to apologize cause I’m glad I dropped by.

  4. 19 de August de 2009 8:46

    I love these cupcakes ! So pretty !

  5. Barista permalink
    19 de August de 2009 10:58

    Those are so beautiful! I don’t think I could eat one, it’s just too pretty!

    • thecookieshop permalink*
      24 de August de 2009 23:11

      Two days of making for five minutes of eating *sigh* – But totally worth it!

  6. oneordinaryday permalink
    19 de August de 2009 11:01

    They’re lovely!

  7. princessmisia permalink
    19 de August de 2009 12:21

    woooow! I’m really impressed!

  8. 19 de August de 2009 12:31

    wow! they look amazing, commendable effort (Y)
    three cheers!

  9. 19 de August de 2009 14:17

    that’s just beautiful!

  10. 19 de August de 2009 15:08

    That first sentence cracked me up! 🙂 These are so sweet!

  11. 19 de August de 2009 15:31

    This is a FABULOUS post. THANK YOU!!!!! Beautiful photos too. Love the way you showed the tutorial. 🙂

    • thecookieshop permalink*
      24 de August de 2009 23:52

      Thanks, Carmen! 🙂

  12. 19 de August de 2009 16:24

    just wonderful. I love the step by step explanation.

  13. 19 de August de 2009 17:59

    soo unique and really really pretty!

  14. Callie permalink
    19 de August de 2009 18:00

    Wow, these are gorgeous. I can think of many a little girl (and bigger girl, for that matter) who would love to chow down in princess fashion on these.

    • thecookieshop permalink*
      26 de August de 2009 0:27

      These are the perfect treat for the little girl inside, Callie! 🙂

  15. 19 de August de 2009 18:44

    Oh wow! Its one of my favorite cakes! What a great idea 🙂

    I just came across your blog, you bake and make amazing stuff! 😀

    • thecookieshop permalink*
      26 de August de 2009 0:30

      Thank you, May! 🙂

  16. 19 de August de 2009 19:47

    wow marvelous post. These cakes look so pretty and delicious!

  17. 19 de August de 2009 19:52

    Lindo bolo, eu adoro esse bolo, vende aqui em todo canto também.

    Cheers para sua mãe…


  18. 19 de August de 2009 20:25

    These are beautiful.

    I am curious, why are they infamous?

    • thecookieshop permalink*
      19 de August de 2009 20:31

      I meant famous, but I guess I was just lost in translation! 😀
      Thanks for that!

  19. 19 de August de 2009 23:57

    Such a wonderful cake! So pretty!

  20. wickednoodle permalink
    20 de August de 2009 13:52

    WOW. Amazing!! Too much work for me personally, but I’d pay a pretty penny for these beauties! Fantastic job!

  21. montanabrooks permalink
    20 de August de 2009 21:47

    I love that! Princess Cakes look so cute, I’m going to print this out and make some then post it up and show you how they turn out! wish me luck.


  22. sandyandcam permalink
    20 de August de 2009 22:02

    They are awesome. I wish I was as creative, but sadly I lack in that dept. I’ll have to make sure I’m not viewing your page while my 5 yo daughter is around, otherwise she would insist on us (me) making them for some ficticious occasion!

  23. 21 de August de 2009 0:43

    With two little girls, the princess days are in my future. thanks for the how to.

  24. 23 de August de 2009 22:07

    How cute and such a sweet tribute to your mom! I’d love to try making (and eating!) a princess cake someday. Mmmm marzipan.

  25. 26 de August de 2009 5:14

    I wondered what a princess cake was and yours is beautiful. Someday I’ll have to try and attempt this one!

  26. 27 de August de 2009 2:13

    These are lovely! I’m happy to see that someone else has posted a princess cake recipe that doesn’t involve a Barbie doll sticking out of a cake.

  27. 27 de August de 2009 3:01

    Those look great!

  28. 27 de August de 2009 3:50

    These looks incredible! Such a cute idea to make cupcakes instead of a whole tart. I’m in love with your site – such great pics and gorgeous recipes! Thanks to Nicola @bakingbites for linking you!

  29. 28 de August de 2009 1:46

    Those look wonderful!!

  30. 30 de August de 2009 11:09

    Adorable! I admire you patience and creativity 🙂

  31. 2 de September de 2009 23:23

    *sigh* Those are lovely! I can’t wait to try them!

  32. 4 de September de 2009 22:46

    delicadeza sem fim *-*

  33. 7 de September de 2009 13:17

    Adooro bolos e doces coloridos.
    parabens pelo blog liiiiindo . :**

  34. 26 de October de 2009 11:19

    Oh MY GOD!!!! my parents ate these at Ikea! and, god, yours are so incredibly beautiful! and I can only imagine how delicious they have to be! I HAVE TO MAKE THEM!!!!!!!!!! thanks 4 the recipe, your blog’s great! I absolutely love it!!


  35. pragmaticattic permalink
    16 de December de 2009 1:22

    Thanks for visiting my site, Paula. Your princess cupcakes were so pretty, I just had to make them. It is such a great idea . . . And your instructions are perfect–so easy to follow!

  36. Jamie aberegg permalink
    11 de April de 2010 19:18

    Can these princess cupcakes be made and kept in the fridge for a day or two? I want to do them for my wedding reception. Any suggestions? Thanx, sweetpea

    • thecookieshop permalink*
      12 de April de 2010 13:57

      Hi, sweetpea!
      The only problem with keeping those in the fridge for more than 24 hours is the whipped cream (it starts to change its texture and taste). There are some recipes for stabilizing whipped cream with gelatin around, but I’ve never tried those – maybe it’s worth a test.
      One alternative could be using Swiss meringue buttercream instead, with real vanilla.
      Are you making them yourself?

  37. 19 de May de 2010 17:16

    Those are so beautiful and adorable! Cute cutting the tops off and then flipping.

  38. 19 de May de 2010 23:36

    wow, amazing. These are so stunning!

  39. 21 de May de 2010 22:24

    Prinsesstårtor (that’s plural) truly are fantastic – and popular. Here in Sweden you can buy a mazipan top at pretty much any bigger supermarket, for your own home-made cake. That way you don’t have to deal with the work of rolling it (because that can be troublesome). I always ate one of these when going out when I was a kid, becuase I loved the marzipan. Logically, 5-year-old me thought, I’ll save the best peice of it until last – that’s the marzipan. So I ate the entire thing, leaving the best, and at the end I was always too full to manage it. It took a couple of times (ten-fifteen) until I realized and started to eat it like I was supposed to, with all the layers together. About storing them I would say that they’ll be fine the day after making them, as long as the last top layer of cream is really thin. It’s only glue anyway. If there’s a lot of cream the marzipan will melt. But at breakfast after birthday occasions, this has never happened yet. And the IKEA version is good, but not good enough.

  40. 8 de June de 2010 9:59

    hi all,
    i tied my self, this recipy and it was great! thank you for your inspitration! great cake!
    i tokk some photos of it and posted it in my blog. my version is white with few changes.

  41. 5 de October de 2010 9:40

    These are soooo pretty, and I know they taste good cause they are not mass produced. i always wondered what those green cakes were in IKEA, bit sweet, but i love them. Now i know. 🙂

  42. natty permalink
    10 de August de 2011 5:34

    I want to make these for my sister’s wedding. Can you freeze these for a day or two?

    • thecookieshop permalink*
      10 de August de 2011 16:01

      Hi! Unfortunately, those are not suitable for freezing.

  43. 15 de November de 2011 22:38

    These are so beautiful. I tried duplicating them and the marzipan was very difficult for me. However, the recipe itself is soooo delicious! I featured them on my blog and also linked to this post here:

  44. 14 de December de 2011 9:10

    So beautiful! I borrow a picture for a small slideshow and put a link , hope o.k!

  45. ralf permalink
    27 de January de 2012 16:49

    I was surfing the net for some new ideas when I saw your recipie by coincidence which reminded me of this swedish desert sold at IKEA stores here in Berlin.So I took the chance and gave it a try.My family did not expect me to do this at home.Very delicious.Thank you very much for sharing it here with us.

  46. Veronica permalink
    26 de March de 2012 21:53

    These are so adorable. I plan on making some for my daughter’s “Snow White” themed Birthday party. What colors would you recommend I color the frosting ? Any other ideas on how to decorate it for a Snow white them party? Thanks!

  47. 18 de July de 2012 12:44

    They are lovely!!! nice mini cakes!

  48. 3 de October de 2012 6:14

    These are so pretty! I LOve Princess Cake, but even more so in this mini version ~ marie, the EpicureanPiranha

  49. Angie Wells permalink
    7 de October de 2012 0:12

    MY ALL time favorite cake, I keep wanting to make mini cupcake versions but it seemed too tedious. But i guess it’s not as difficult as I imagined! Thank you SO much. Can’t wait to try these myself!!!

  50. Emilie Olsen permalink
    6 de November de 2012 8:40

    This is my mother’s favorite type of cake! I’ll have to give this a shot.

  51. pernillabredolt permalink
    25 de March de 2013 9:19

    So cute! Love them!

  52. 9 de October de 2013 7:18

    So cute! My daughter’s requested me to do it on her Birthday.. I must do it ASAP 🙂

  53. 12 de December de 2014 3:29

    Love your site, amazing ideas. I am trying to open a cupcake shop in New Zealand, blogging about the process on To keep me sane I keep reminding myself why I am doing it by visiting your site to remind myself of the pleasure I get in baking…

    • thecookieshop permalink*
      12 de December de 2014 12:43

      Good Luck! 🙂

  54. 27 de April de 2020 21:28

    Ive Worked with marzipan and almond paste for years, and usually make 10 lbs at Christmas time! Super easy with a food processor, and no harsh additives. I’ve always rolled it out between sheets of heavy duty plastic wrap. You can get it super thin this way, and re-roll scraps without it drying out. The paper thin marzipan can be cut into long narrow triangles and rolled into roses for the tops of these cupcakes. I can’t wait to try your version of these lovely cakes!


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