Princess Cake

This recipe has nothing to do with the Isle of Man. It’s just my favourite cake. It’s Swedish.

Marie Antoinette, the last French Queen, never actually said “Let them eat cake”. She was however under house arrest at the Tuileries Palace from October 1789 to August 1792, before being moved with her husband, Louis XVI, to Temple Prison and finally executed on the 16th October 1793.


You need:

  • 3-layer bases
  • 1 portion vanilla cream around 600g
  • 600 ml whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 150 g raspberry jam
  • 200 g green marzipan
  • pink and green modelling icing for flowers and leaves decorations
  • Piping bag spatula, cake stand.
  • Tip: Depending on your schedule you might find it best to make the pastry cream first so it can cool and have time to set whilst you get on with the cake layers – but this is up to you.

Layer Cake Bases

If you want a genoise sponge, make without the baking powder.

  • 25 g butter melted and set aside
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 120 g caster sugar
  • 120 g plain flour
  • optional 1 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar or vanilla extract or seeds from ½ pod
  • 3 baking sheets lined with non-stick baking paper (and ideally a few puffs of non-stick spray).

Vanilla Cream

  • Makes 600g gram approx.
  • 500 ml whole milk
  • 1 vanilla pod seeds scraped out
  • 1 whole egg plus one egg yolk
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 30 g cornflour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 25 g butter

Make your own marzipan:

  • 200 g finely ground almonds use ground almonds, then re-grind them a few ties to make them extra fine.
  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 medium pasteurised egg white
  • green food gel


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C, 350F, Gas 4
  2. Beat the egg and sugar in a mixer on high until you reach ribbon stage. This means when you can see the traces of the mixture when you pull the whisk through it. It will take a good 4-5 minutes to reach this stage and it’s crucial – especially if you are not using baking powder, this is your only opportunity to get air into the mixture.
  3. Using a 20cm plate, draw 3 circles on your baking paper. Set aside.
  4. Combine the flour, salt and baking powder if using. Sift this into the egg mixture and very carefully fold to combine, using a figure of eight, until all the flour is incorporated. Be very gentle at this stage, but thorough. Pour the cooled, melted butter down the side of the bowl at the end and give a final few folds to incorporate it.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly between the 3 circles and gently use your spatulas to guide to the drawn edge. Or if you have three 20cm baking tins use those.
  6. Bake in the oven for 5-8 minutes or until baked through and lightly browned.  Allow to cool down. Remove from the baking paper. If it sticks, wet your hands and dampen the underside of the baking paper, to release the cakes.
  7. Trim any edges so you end up with 3 perfectly round and even sized bases.

Vanilla Cream

  1. In a saucepan, heat the milk with the vanilla seeds.
  2. In a separate bowl, using a mixer, whisk the eggs, sugar and corn flour.
  3. When the milk just reaches boiling point, take it off the heat and pour 1/3 into the egg mixture, whisking continuously.
  4. Pour the egg mixture back into the hot milk, return to the stove and bring to the boil whilst whisking. Whisk continuously as the mixture thickens and keep on boil for just under a minute (this removes the cornflour taste).
  5. Pour into a cold bowl and leave to cool and set for several hours in the fridge. To avoid a ‘crust’ forming on top, place clingfilm straight on to the cream, covering the entire surface.
  6. Cheat’s tip:  Dr. Oetker- makes an instant mix that means you just add milk.

Green Marzipan Icing

  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until you have a smooth marzipan. Roll the mixture into a ball and wrap tightly with cling film. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour before using.
  2. Because this marzipan contains egg white, use within a day.

It is possible to buy this ready-made from specialist shops Odense Green Marzipan Lid or buy covering marzipan from the supermarket and colour it green (should be minimum 25% almonds). To colour the marzipan, you must use a gel colour NOT a liquid green food colouring. If you use a green liquid colour, your marzipan will get sticky and hard to work with – and you will have to add a lot of extra icing sugar to make it workable.