Local Culture

The History of Swedish Princess Cake, one of the world’s most popular cakes


The Swedish Princess Cake, known in Swedish as Prinsesstårta, is a traditional dessert that has become synonymous with Swedish culture and festivities. This iconic cake, easily recognizable by its bright green marzipan covering and powdered sugar crown, is a delightful combination of sponge cake layers, pastry cream, whipped cream, and raspberry jam.

Origins of the Swedish Princess Cake

The story of the Princess Cake dates back to the early 20th century, emerging from the kitchens of the Swedish royal household. It was first developed by Jenny Åkerström, a teacher and home economist, who was employed to teach the daughters of Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland. The princesses, Margaretha, Märtha, and Astrid, were reportedly fond of the cake, which was initially called “Grön tårta” (Green Cake) due to its distinctive green marzipan.

READ MORE: Swedish Princess Cake Recipe

Jenny Åkerström’s Influence

Jenny Åkerström played a crucial role in popularizing the cake through her cookbook series, “Prinsessornas nya kokbok” (The New Cookbook of the Princesses), published during the 1930s. The cookbook not only included the recipe for this now-iconic cake but also emphasized the culinary techniques and presentation styles favored in the royal household.

The Cake’s Evolution

Over the decades, the Princess Cake has undergone various modifications in its recipe and presentation, reflecting changes in culinary trends and ingredient availability. Initially a luxury item, it gradually became a staple at celebrations across all segments of Swedish society, particularly popular during birthdays and weddings.

A Symbol of Celebration

In Sweden, the Princess Cake is more than just a dessert; it is a part of the nation’s cultural identity and a symbol of celebration. Its presence is almost obligatory at important Swedish celebrations such as birthdays and graduations.

READ MORE: Swedish Midsummer Cake

Annual Celebrations

Interestingly, the cake has its own dedicated week, known as “Prinsesstårtans vecka,” which occurs during the third week of September. This tradition was initiated by the Swedish Baker’s Association in 2005 to celebrate this beloved dessert and has since become a significant event in the Swedish culinary calendar.

If you want to bake this iconic cake, try my Swedish Princess Cake Recipe!

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