I hadn’t really noticed until now, but in my family, the cakes we have for our birthdays seem to reflect the kind of people we are. For example, my birthday cakes seem to always be home-made masterpieces, made by my dad when I was younger and then made by myself as I got older. My older brother just goes with the flow and is happy with the cake the rest of the family decides he should have. My mom’s usually ends up being some sort of fruit tart, or is shared with all the other October-birthdays in the family. My younger brother, for whatever reason, has the tradition of having Princess Torte on his birthday. This started when he was quite young, so initially the decision must have been my parents, but it came to be his trademark. No, I am not trying to say he is girly. This cake is elegant, complex and requires perfection—just like my brother… except for maybe not the elegant part.
A few months ago I stumbled across this recipe for Princess Torte Cupcakes, and I have been saving it for exactly this occasion. Today is not only Groundhog’s Day, it is my baby brother’s birthday, the big 1 6. And even though he is quickly passing through adolescence, I will always milk the fact that he is my little brother… mostly because he is an entire foot taller than me T_T
This is another long/complex recipe, so I am going to dive right in! Make sure to scroll all the way down to read my thoughts and rating at the bottom!
Alright, so I started off by making the cupcakes, the day before I wanted to finish and serve them These were unique because they called for chardonnay, and to mix that with sour cream before mixing it in with the dry ingredients. Noticing the picture, you might think it looks a little pink. No that is not my camera being funky, I went all “underage is still awesome” on these cupcakes and used a blood orange sparkling lemonade… I have a lot to say about that so keep scrolling to find out more.
Then the effervescent cupcakes were baked, cooled, and refrigerated overnight.
Then this morning I started off the day by making the creme. First I mixed cornstarch and cream in one bowl, and more cream, sparkling lemonade, and sugar in a small pan. When the sugar mixture began to boil, I quickly added eggs to the cornstarch mixture and added in a small amount of the sugar mixture.
Then, quickly, I mixed both together in the saucepan and whisked until it became thick.
While the creme was cooling, I hollowed out the cupcakes, saving the tops of each cut out.
The indents in the cupcakes were then filled with the creme, raspberry jam, and topped with the extra pieces of cake.
I then rolled out the marzipan, cut it into 3 inch circles, and “pasted” the circles onto the cupcakes with water.
Then I repeated this process with some green fondant, which I flavored with almond extract.
Finally (I am sure you are happy, readers, this has been a lone one >.<) I put the cupcakes into ruffled liners and added some gum paste roses, which I had made last fall. Tada!
Princess Torte Cupcakes
¼ cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ + 2 tablespoons flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup sparkling blood orange lemonade
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners
• Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
• Mix the dry ingredients together and set aside.
• Whisk the sour cream and lemonade together in a separate bowl.
• Alternately add the flour mixture and sour cream mixture to the butter, and mix until well combined.
• Fill the cupcake liners with about ¼ cup of batter and bake for 17-22 minutes.
• Cool the baked cupcakes slightly, then remove from the muffin tin and cool completely on a wire rack.
Pastry Crème Filling Ingredients:
½ cup heavy cream, divided
½ cup sparkling blood orange lemonade
2 tablespoons cornstarch
5 tablespoons sugar
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
• Whisk ¼ cup of heavy cream with the cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside.
• In a saucepan, combine the remaining heavy cream, the sugar and the lemonade. Bring to a boil then remove from the heat.
• Beat the egg and yolks into the cornstarch mixture.
• Pour about 1/3 of the sugar mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so the egg does not cook.
• Return the remaining sugar mixture to a boil, and pour the egg mixture into the sugar mixture in a stream, whisking constantly until it thickens.
• Remove from the heat and beat in the butter and vanilla.
5 oz Marzipan
Rolled fondant, tinted green (I flavored mine with almond extract)
Cooled pastry crème
¼ cup raspberry jam
white ruffled cupcake liners
small gum paste, fondant or buttercream roses
• Cut a hole into each cupcake and fill with 1-2 teaspoons of pastry crème and 1-2 teaspoons of jam. Trim the cut out cupcake to create a “lid” and place it on the top of the filled divot.
• Roll out the marzipan and cut into 3 inch circles using a cookie cutter or pastry ring. Create as many circles as you have cupcakes.
• Brush a small amount of water on top of the cupcake and lay one circle of marzipan on the top of each cupcake and press the edges down at the edges to create a smooth top.
• Roll out the fondant and repeat the same process used with the marzipan, but roll out the 3 inch circles to a slightly larger diameter to completely cover the top of the cupcake. This time, brush the back side of the fondant with water before sticking it down.
• Place the cupcakes into the ruffled cupcake liners and place a rose bud on the top of the cupcake. If you wish, add luster dust to the rose.
• Store the cupcakes in an air-tight container in the refrigerator, and bring to room temperature before serving.
• The original recipe called for chardonnay instead of the lemonade, but due to a pesky age issue, I was unable to purchase that. To make matters worse, I was getting the ingredients for several recipes and wrote all the ingredients down on one piece of paper. For some reason, I thought the chardonnay was going into another recipe, which I thought would go well with the blood orange lemonade… And then it was -15 degrees and I didn’t want to go grocery shopping again. Anyhow, it was a mistake and definitely not a flavor typically found in a princess torte.
• The blood orange lemonade wasn’t really noticeable in the cupcakes, but the crème tasted like I added orange blossom water to it. Again, tasted good, but not exactly the flavor of a princess torte.
• My crème was a little lumpy, but after it was cooled I ran it through a fine sieve and it smoothed out.
• This looks really, really complex, mostly due to all the ingredients. I promise you it is not that challenging and actually not very time consuming, considering all the elements. The crème comes together in about 10 minutes, and it only took about 1 hour to core and fill the cupcakes, as well as roll and decorate with the marzipan and fondant.
Rating: 4.5/5… I think? To be fair, I have not tasted a completed cupcake :O I have tasted all the elements (and even mixed some cake insides with the crème and jam) so I know generally what it tastes like, and obviously I made the whole recipe. But I brought them to my brother, who was away at a speech tournament. I didn’t want to wait around for several hours just to stare at him while he ate a cupcake, so I left them as a surprise, and I will update this post when I here back about the results.
I gave my family strict instructions to cut a cupcake completely in half and take pictures. Thanks family!
Alright, my brother just said “YYYUUUUMMMMMMMMMYYYY!!” followed by “These are VERY good”