Battenberg cake

Battenberg cake

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(31 ratings)

Prep: 2 hrs Cook: 1 hr


Makes 2 cakes, each cuts into 10 slices

Our traditional Battenberg cake is a delicious project for an afternoon in the kitchen. Bake this easy but impressive cake for a special occasion

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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 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



      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, questions and tips

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    22nd Jun, 2020
    Impressive but easy! Light and delicious and better than bought! I was worried it would be complicated but it was not. I made the cakes the day before and assembled in the morning which meant i wasnt tempted to start cutting before the cakes were cool. It also split the fairly significant amount of washing up! I only had a 23cm square tin so baked for slightly less time. As the batter spread further and had less height, we managed to make 3 cakes! I'd recommend making one cake up before doing all the cutting so that your precision can improve as you go along.
    31st May, 2018
    Made this for my husband's birthday as it's his favourite cake. I've never made it before although I do a lot of cake baking. I made the two sponges a week before assembly and froze them (I used red food colouring, 2/3 teaspoon, for the pink sponge and it worked well).I used 2 boxes of Dr Oetker ready to roll marzipan and, although they were 454gm each, I found I wasted a lot of marzipan. The trimmings from the sponges were quite a lot so me, my husband and our dog ate some of them but I had to throw some away. I've assembled them both, on the work surface, then transferred them to a base with a cake cover and covered the sponge ends with cling film ready to take them to my husband's birthday bash, at the local beach Cantina (Greece) on Saturday (it's now Thursday). My husband tried a sample piece today and said he enjoyed it. Hope it's still moist as the apricot jam will have a chance to marinate the cakes by Saturday.
    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
    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
    13th Aug, 2014
    Perfect! Everyone who tried it has put in an order for more!
    31st Mar, 2014
    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.
    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.
    27th Jul, 2013
    If you are not vegetarian cochenille is still the best and stable colouring for the pink.
    25th Jul, 2013
    Beautiful flavour - but a bit fidderly first time round - allow plent of time if making for something special.
    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.


    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!
    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 .
    30th Sep, 2014
    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!
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