Peppermint candy cane battenberg
- Preparation and cooking time
- plus cooling
- More effort
- Makes 2 cakes, each cuts into 10 slices
This checkerboard cake, with alternating red peppermint and vanilla sponges, makes a stunning Christmas gift or party centrepiece – why not get older children to have a go with this fun, festive project?
- 1 tsp peppermint extract
- 2 x 500g blocks fondant icing
- icing sugar , for dusting
- peppermint candy canes , to decorate
For the sponges
For the buttercream icing
- STEP 1
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease a 20cm square tin with a little butter and line the base with baking parchment. To make the white (un-dyed) sponge, put 175g of the butter, 175g of the sugar, 175g of the flour, 3 eggs, the vanilla extract and a pinch of salt in a big mixing bowl. Beat with an electric whisk until smooth and not streaky.
- STEP 2
Spoon into the tin and spread right into the corners. Bake for 25-30 mins – when you poke a skewer into the middle it should come out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Wash the tin so it’s ready to use again.
- STEP 3
Now make the red sponge. Grease and line the tin as in step 1. Mix the same ingredients in a big bowl, but use the peppermint extract instead of the vanilla. When the mixture is smooth and not streaky, squeeze in a little red food colouring and whisk in, adding more until you get a strong red colour.
- STEP 4
Repeat step 2. Once cooked, cool the red sponge in the tin for 10 mins before placing on a wire rack to finish cooling.
- STEP 5
To make the buttercream, beat all the ingredients and a pinch of salt with an electric whisk until completely smooth.
- STEP 6
Knead 1 tsp of the peppermint extract into each of the fondant icings, keeping them separate.
- STEP 7
Using a long knife (adults might want to help) or a ruler, cut off the crusts of each sponge (sides only, not the top and bottom). Now cut each sponge into 4 long fingers.
- STEP 8
Use a sieve to dust a clean work surface with a little icing sugar. Roll out one block of your peppermint icing to a big rectangle – it needs to be 22cm wide and 45cm long. Turn the icing so one of the short sides is nearest to you.
- STEP 9
Brush the top of a white and red sponge finger with a thin layer of buttercream. Using the buttercream as a glue, stick the white sponge finger along the edge of the icing nearest to you. Now trim the icing along the near edge of the sponge so it’s neat. Brush some buttercream on top of the white sponge and on the side furthest away from you. Stick the red sponge finger next to this far side of the white finger, so there is no gap between the two. Brush the top of the red sponge with more buttercream.
- STEP 10
Sit a second red sponge finger on top of the white sponge you’ve already stuck to the icing. Now stick another white sponge on top of your first red one – again spreading buttercream in between the second layer of sponges to stick. Brush buttercream over any cake you can still see. Now roll over your cake, as if you’re wrapping a present in paper, to surround it in the icing. When the sponge is covered, you should have an edge where the two icing ends meet – trim off any extra icing.
- STEP 11
Use a knife to trim the ends to make it neat. Put one candy cane in a plastic sandwich bag and use a rolling pin to break it into little bits on a chopping board. Sprinkle over your cake to decorate.
- STEP 12
To make your second cake, repeat the recipe from step 8. Will keep in an airtight container for two days.