Battenberg cake

Prep: 2 hrs Cook: 1 hr


Makes 2 cakes, each cuts into 10 slices
Sarah Cook's traditional Battenberg cake is a delicious project for an afternoon in the kitchen

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal524
  • fat25g
  • saturates10g
  • carbs71g
  • sugars61g
  • fibre2g
  • protein7g
  • salt0.5g
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    For almond sponge

    • 175g very soft butter



      Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

    • 175g golden caster sugar
    • 140g self-raising flour
    • 50g ground almonds
    • ½ tsp baking powder
      Baking powder

      Baking powder

      bay-king pow-dah

      Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

    • 3 medium egg



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

    • ½ tsp vanilla extract
    • ¼ tsp almond extract


      arr-mund or al-mund

      Sweet almonds have a subtle fragrance that lends itself well to baking and also works well with…

    For pink sponge

    • 1 x ingredients for almond sponge


      arr-mund or al-mund

      Sweet almonds have a subtle fragrance that lends itself well to baking and also works well with…

    • pink food colouring, we used ½ tsp Squires rose food paste

    To assemble

    • 200g apricot jam
    • 2 x 500g blocks white marzipan
      Marzipan cake



      One of mankind’s oldest sources of sweet pleasure, marzipan needs to contain only ground…

    • little icing sugar, for dusting


    1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line the base and sides of a 20cm square tin with baking parchment (the easiest way is to cross 2 x 20cm-long strips over the base). To make the almond sponge, put the butter, sugar, flour, ground almonds, baking powder, eggs, vanilla and almond extract in a large bowl. Beat with an electric whisk until the mix comes together smoothly. Scrape into the tin, spreading to the corners, and bake for 25-30 mins – when you poke in a skewer, it should come out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling while you make the second sponge.

    2. For the pink sponge, line the tin as above. Mix all the ingredients together as above, but don’t add the almond extract. Fold in some pink food colouring. Then scrape it all into the tin and bake as before. Cool.

    3. To assemble, heat the jam in a small pan until runny, then sieve. Barely trim two opposite edges from the almond sponge, then well trim a third edge. Roughly measure the height of the sponge, then cutting from the well-trimmed edge, use a ruler to help you cut 4 slices each the same width as the sponge height. Discard or nibble leftover sponge. Repeat with pink cake.

    4. Take 2 x almond slices and 2 x pink slices and trim so they are all the same length. Roll out one marzipan block on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar to just over 20cm wide, then keep rolling lengthways until the marzipan is roughly 0.5cm thick. Brush with apricot jam, then lay a pink and an almond slice side by side at one end of the marzipan, brushing jam in between to stick sponges, and leaving 4cm clear marzipan at the end. Brush more jam on top of the sponges, then sandwich remaining 2 slices on top, alternating colours to give a checkerboard effect. Trim the marzipan to the length of the cakes.

    5. Carefully lift up the marzipan and smooth over the cake with your hands, but leave a small marzipan fold along the bottom edge before you stick it to the first side. Trim opposite side to match size of fold, then crimp edges using fingers and thumb (or, more simply, press with prongs of fork). If you like, mark the 10 slices using the prongs of a fork.

    6. Assemble second Battenberg and keep in an airtight box or well wrapped in cling film for up to 3 days. Can be frozen for up to a month.

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    Comments (46)

    emmi_pemi100's picture

    Brilliant recipie! Only made one, and just halfed the recipe,made plenty though.

    janetcameron's picture

    To get a good colour use red food colouring and just use a little we use home 2 bake food coluring red keep adding till you get a decent colur its a gel rather than a liquid so use a cocktail stick a little goes a long way and be careful for it does stain x

    rebecca211081's picture

    Im so excited to try this i tried it for the first time in UK last year and i love it, you cant buy this in Perth Australia

    halcyondays's picture

    I also live in Perth. IGA sell Mr Kiplings Battenbergs, Not as good as home made, but very good.

    layralake's picture

    I love this recipe! It was even better with the orange and lemon version!

    goldalowden's picture

    Just make this and very disapointed as i left the cakes in the trays to long and they went soggy with butter.wont be trying it again

    gemma-barnes-x's picture

    If I make Jane Hornby's "Easy vanilla marzipan", will this cover both battenberg cakes?

    dizmiz's picture

    it tastes great but i am dissapointed in pink cake which looked postivley not pink i used asda pink feeod coluring perhaps i should use paste instead for a better colour. Any way the assemby was fidly and not as neat as i would have liked and i have got loads of left overs which the husband and kids are nibbling. Anyway i will try again untill i get it right. had fun doing it

    rjb725's picture

    Made this today and it's turned out really well. For some reason, the pink cake rose more than the yellow cake but I just trimmed it off. The only tin I had was slightly bigger than 20cm so this recipe actually made three cakes and definitely didn't need a kilo of marzipan. Also, it was all pretty time consuming but I expected that and have a great result so thanks!

    falooloo's picture

    After watching The Great British Bake Off I was excited about the challenge of making this cake. I really enjoyed making it. The cakes couldn't have been simpler! The 'building' of the cake was fiddly but really fun, and the marzipan worked well. It went down very well with my family and I will definitely be making it again.

    shelleybobbins's picture

    Turned out perfectly, made the orange scented marzipan and looks very pretty!

    ellanicoleb's picture

    Perfect-It only needs one word it turned out great and I used 1/4tsp red food colouring it came out perfect gorgeous pink colour really proud of this cake-Family loved so if your planning on using it go for it-I also couldn't fingd the large quantity of marzipan so used the recipe on this site for it and it also turned out fabulous!!!!! Thumbs up.

    spotter1's picture

    No it was exactly the same method and recipe as above

    spotter1's picture

    I have baked battenburg twice now, and on both occasions the pink is non existent, it is all the same colour, what am I doing wrong, it was really pink when it went in the oven

    proofofthepudding's picture

    Second suggestion - re. the Apricot jam thing - a certain well known brand "H" make a "No Bits" Apricot jam as well as their regular one, saves time & effort as you don't need to strain/sieve it, once warmed through and stirred it was perfectly smooth and ideal for the cake. (I used a bowl in the microwave not a pan on stove, reduces chance of burning).

    proofofthepudding's picture

    Two words - Absolutely Delicious!
    I used 1/2 teaspoon of RED food colouring instead of the pink, it turned out Perfectly Cake-Candy Pink!

    I will be trying the lemon/orange variation next time, just because it also sounds great!

    jll294's picture

    I made this for the Easter Vigil after party. Everyone raved about it. We certainly didn't take any home!

    kagsmiskit's picture

    I would love to try this, it reminds me of my Ma. Problem is, I really dislike marzipan, can I use fondant/plastic icing to coat?

    newcastleunited's picture

    I would use good old-fashioned red food colouring, rather than pink, because I, like many others, was left with an albino cake.
    I also used a jar of apricot cake glaze -not a wise move. Use a good quality sieved jam otherwise the cake will not stick together.

    thomaspcat's picture

    Thank you for an excellent magazine. Made the battenberg cake, easy to make and assemble - results were excellent and tasted wonderful.


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