Battenberg cake

Battenberg cake

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(17 ratings)

Prep: 2 hrs Cook: 1 hr

Easy

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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Ingredients

    For almond sponge

    • 175g very soft butter
      Butter

      Butter

      butt-err

      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 eggs
      Eggs

      Egg

      egg

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

    • ½ tsp vanilla extract
    • ¼ tsp almond extract
      Almond

      Almond

      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
      Almond

      Almond

      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

      Marzipan

      mah-zuh-pan

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

    • little icing sugar, for dusting

    Method

    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, questions and tips

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    marychef
    23rd Aug, 2016
    Just made this as I fancied a project. It's looking a little rough and nowhere near as neat as the photo but I'm quite pleased with it. It tastes nice and looks okay for a first attempt. The recipe was really easy. I added some strawberry flavouring to the pink one and sandwiched it with strawberry jam. Not entirely sure what will happen when I cut it tho'. I fear it may fall apart.
    reenie2015's picture
    reenie2015
    16th Oct, 2015
    Its better using home made marzipan. Made one similar to this but the squares were chocolate and vanilla with hazelnut chocolate in place of jam and hazelnut marzipan.
    Shimoldeam's picture
    Shimoldeam
    13th Aug, 2014
    Perfect! Everyone who tried it has put in an order for more!
    DanandAsh
    31st Mar, 2014
    5.05
    I made this over the weekend for mothers day it was great,,, the first one i constructed i tried constructing on the serving board as had read a few comments about the marzipan sticking to the surface .. it never did for me so the second i made on the work surface and found it stable enough to pick up and put onto the serving board... lovely and most inside and my mom who doesn't like marzipan, said it was delicious she loved it.
    lorib
    15th Mar, 2014
    came across this on pintrest. i don't own a scale so i made a scratch white cake and did the food coloring an apricot jam and since i also didn't have marzipan - i made homemade marshmallow fondant . came out great ! and received rave reviews at church.
    wilshiresal
    27th Jul, 2013
    If you are not vegetarian cochenille is still the best and stable colouring for the pink.
    chrisjs
    25th Jul, 2013
    Beautiful flavour - but a bit fidderly first time round - allow plent of time if making for something special.
    rebeccagatward
    27th Jun, 2013
    The marzipan absorbs all the icing sugar while you're assembling it and then won't lift up. You need loads of icing sugar under the marzipan. And you need to get gel food colouring that is bake safe. And you need to put loads of jam in so it sticks together. I made this as a practice and it was such a disaster I'm never making battenberg again. Ever.
    keeleynorris
    23rd May, 2013
    Making this at the moment and have just read my food colouring bottle which states 'not bake stable' I guess that's why a lots of people have ended us with pale cakes. Check the bottle.
    nuffinbuttrouble
    28th Apr, 2013
    5.05
    Lovely. Love the fact that the recipe makes two cake. Froze one of them, portioned, ready for lunch boxes. Recipe was easy to follow and came out perfectly. Used a whole teaspoon of pink food colouring and pink came out perfectly x

    Pages

    DGZ
    5th Aug, 2015
    I was wondering if it may be possible to make this with a twist, maybe using a lemon and poppy seed as opposed to the pink and almond. How would you edit it? Swap lemon juice for the almond extract? How much poppy seed would you add as well? Thanks in advance!
    Harryfug
    5th Oct, 2016
    great recipie,but over complicated on the construction,take pink cake brush with apricot jam place other cake on top ,trim edges cut length ways into strips take one strip turn it on its side ,brush with jam take next strip place on top opposite way ,roll out marzipan to width of cake ,cut a straight edge at top of marzipan then jam the marzipan place cake along the straight edge then roll the cake up inthe marzipan until wrapped cut along where the marzipan meets. Make sure your work surface is well dusted with icing sugar .any excess can be brushed off or rubbed in with palm of your hand . Trim both ends and cut in to slices,it would help if you dip the knife in hot water between each cut .
    mariella71's picture
    mariella71
    30th Sep, 2014
    5.05
    Hello,this morning I have tried this recipe and I must say that this is one of the best Battenburg recipe ever!I have used just one amount of recipe and weighed it.Then I halved it and I have put red jel in one bowl ,about 11/2 teaspoon and in the other half a little almond essence.I used a 20 cm square tin which I halved with baking paper and put the cake batter in each side. In minutes the cake was ready.I used shop bought Marzipan and it came perfect.I am very pleased and will do it more often as the texture is very light and soft.Thankyou Sarah Cook for this recipe!