A Swedish Princess and Halloween combined in a cake! It’s like the princess missed the deadline at midnight and turned into a pumpkin! (yeah I know it was the carriage but it’s artistic license). If you have a pumpkin mould great otherwise it could be a domed layer cake (carve it in a little at the bottom) with pumpkin lines marked in the marzipan! The lighter pastry cream is flavoured with vanilla and made with maple syrup and almond milk. It complements the simple light glutenfree sponge perfectly and the pumpkin cream is subtly delicious with pumpkin purée you can taste because there’s very little cinammon, nutmeg and mixed spices but you can make the flavours stronger. The bottom layer involves a shop-bought good-quality citrus jam and I think fine-cut marmalade would be equally delicious. Basically I made it up as I went along and achieved the light subtle cake I wanted, covered in golden marzipan – yum! And in this Halloween post I’m also including ideas for leftover pumpkin purée and a great So Yummy video on how to make cute Halloween treats! But do check out this Princess turned Pumpkin cake. It’s strangely addictive with a delicate yumminess that has you eating three slices in a row – true confession! 🙂
This is an adaptation of my Swedish Princess cake recipe combined with my Faux pumpkin cake using a Lekué pumpkin mould, glutenfree flour, healthier pastry cream and pumpkin purée. So it’s slightly healthier but there’s still cream because I think a Swedish Princess cake needs a little decadence. 🙂 Yum.
Use this lighter version with my pastry cream recipe here or make your own version.
- 400g/ml almond milk (or any kind)
- a vanilla pod (split, with the seeds scraped out and also added)
- 4 egg yolks from medium-large free-range eggs, around 80g
- 66g/3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup or ground xylitol sugar substitute
- 33g/1/4 cup less 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch)
- a pinch of salt
Sponge recipe (glutenfree or not)
- Pre-heat your oven at 180°C/350°F (static, non-convection oven) or 160°C/320°F (fan-assisted)
- Lightly grease your two moulds with butter and flour. Place three rounds of grease-proof baking paper over the hole in one of the pumpkin half-moulds so the batter doesn’t run out. Or use 2 sandwich tins (20cm/8in diametre).
- 4 medium to large free-range eggs (separated), about 80g yolks and 155-160g whites
- 100g/half a cup less 2 and a quarter teaspoons caster/superfine sugar (preferably unrefined golden)
- 75g/half a cup cornflour (cornstarch)
- 75g/two thirds of a cup less a scant tablespoon glutenfree flour (like Doves Farm self-raising) or plain all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder (GF)
- a pinch of salt
- 50g/3 generous tablespoons melted unsalted butter, slightly cooled but still warm
- Melt the butter in a saucepan on low heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a big bowl till pale and fluffy, and making a ‘ribbon’.
- Sift and whisk together the cornflour, flour and baking powder.
- Whisk the egg whites to stiff peak stage in a big clean bowl. The egg whites are ready when they’re so stiff and stable they don’t fall out! 🙂 But don’t overwhisk…
- Fold in a third of the flour mixture and a third of the egg whites into your yolk and sugar mixture. Fold gently with figure of eight motions. When almost incorporated fold in another third of flour and whites, then the last third. Don’t overmix or it will flatten out.
- When almost incorporated, fold in the melted butter. Again don’t overmix and fold gently till just incorporated.
- Pour carefully into your prepared cake mould and bake in the middle of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. It’s ready when an inserted skewer comes out clean, the sponge is coming away from the sides and the top springs back a little when pressed lightly with your finger. Cool your cakes completely (a few hours) on a wire rack before assembling the pumpkin.
- 400g/ml whipping cream, whipped to stiff peak
- about 1/3 or 1/2 jar of a good-quality citrus jam, fine-cut orange marmalade or a similar jam
- 6 tablespoons of canned pumpkin purée (I used Libby’s), to taste
- 1/8 tsp ground cinammon, to taste
- a pinch of nutmeg, to taste
- 1/8 tsp ground mixed spice (other options: allspice, ground ginger, etc), to taste
- about 450g/16oz good-quality marzipan (like golden marzipan with 27% almonds)
- orange and green/brown food colouring
Part one – the layers (some detailed instructions and photos are on my Swedish Princess cake recipe here but the layers are a little different)
- Make a vertical mark with some flour up the side so you can remember how the cake is positioned.
- Slice the two cakes horizontally to make 4 even(ish) sponge layers. You can use DVDs or books of an appropriate height on each side, to guide your serrated knife as you cut.
- Place the bottom cake layer on a cardboard base or plate.
- Use about 1/4 of the pastry cream to spread a thin layer on the bottom sponge layer then pipe a circle on the outer rim.
- Fill this with a layer of your citrus jam.
- Fold in half the whipped cream into the remaining pastry cream. Fold in the pumpkin purée and spices. Taste and adjust to how you like it (I made the spices subtle so the pumpkin comes through).
- Use one third to half (1/3 – 1/2) of this pumpkin cream mixture to pipe concentric circles on the layer of pastry cream and jam. Smooth with a butter knife or small offset spatula.
- Place the second sponge layer on top then cover with 1/3 to 1/2 of the remaining pumpkin cream mixture. You may have some of this pumpkin cream mixture left over.
- Place the third sponge layer then cover with a thick layer of the ‘pure’ whipped cream. Cover with the last layer of sponge. Spread a thin layer of cream all over the cake with a butter knife or small offset spatula. Make sure the grooves are still defined. (There could be some whipped cream left over so fold it into any remaining pumpkin cream mixture and store in the fridge in an airtight container – use for something else like filling choux or on pancakes). Note: if using sandwich tins then make a dome on top with the whipped cream, as for a Swedish Princess Cake.
Part two – the marzipan
- Put aside about 3 tablespoons of the marzipan then knead the rest with a little orange (or red and yellow) food colouring to make a subtle orange colour.
- Roll out the marzipan between 2 sheets of baking paper till quite thin (around 1-2mm), sprinkling a light layer of icing sugar on each side of the marzipan to stop it sticking. Add icing sugar whenever necessary.
- Make the round big enough to cover the cake. Turn the marzipan layer over on top of the cake (using 1 sheet of the baking paper to help you).
- Press the marzipan delicately with your hands onto the cake. For the part below cut about 1cm or so away from the bottom so when you press in the marzipan covers the cake right to the bottom. If there are holes or gaps you can use pieces of leftover marzipan to patch things. Use the back of a butter knife to mark the lines and press in a little with your fingers.
- Colour the 3 tablespoons of marzipan put aside with green and roll out thinly then with a small sharp knife cut out the leaves and shape a stalk (I made mine darker by adding a little blue). Use a larger leaf on top and smaller ones on the bottom for a line of leaves – helps cover any imperfections! 🙂
- Store in the fridge for an hour or more so you can slice it nicely to serve.
Eating and storing
This cake keeps really well in the fridge in airtight tupperware for up to 4 days or so. And with the leftover pumpkin purée you could make pancakes too…
Extra Halloween stuff
Pumpkin pancakes and waffles are amazing! I followed a recipe in my Hairy Biker’s Dieters Go Veggie book and adapted it to make a savoury batter so eliminated the sugar, cinammon and apple compote but added finely chopped fresh coriander and spring onion along with the nutmeg. And I used my usual Doves Farm self-raising flour and 175ml unsweetened almond milk plus 50ml natural greek yoghurt instead of cow’s milk and added 2 tablespoons of light olive oil. The original Hairy Biker’s pumpkin pancake recipe can be found on the Baking Mad website here. Whisking the egg whites separately and folding them in makes for lovely fluffy pancakes. They’re so yummy! And the batter was used to make lovely waffles too…
The leftover marzipan became mini pumpkins with my little collection of googly eyes. The balls of Philadelphia cream cheese were mixed with white sesame seeds and covered in crushed Gavottes wafers. And for more ideas there’s a great video: monster-ously easy Halloween treats by So Yummy.
Me I’m just a big wimp and can’t even visualise those bloody brain cakes… urrgh. So I’m afraid my Princess turned Pumpkin cake isn’t scary at all but it’s really delicious if you’d like some…?
Some people might even think it’s a real pumpkin!?!! 😉
Well it’s time to wish you a monsterously good Halloween dear reader! Hope you have some scarily good baking and eating! 🙂 Lili x
P.S. Mua ha ha…