Simnel battenberg cake

Simnel battenberg cake

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(3 ratings)

Prep: 50 mins Cook: 25 mins

More effort

Cuts into 11 slices

This stunning Easter bake has pink and yellow squares of light sponge, sandwiched with apricot jam and is topped with balls of marzipan

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per slice

  • kcal724
  • fat31g
  • saturates11g
  • carbs101g
  • sugars89g
  • fibre1g
  • protein10g
  • salt0.6g
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  • 200g softened butter, plus extra for greasing



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

  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs



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

  • 175g 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…

  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • 2 tbsp milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • 3 tsp red food colouring
  • ½ tsp yellow food colouring

To assemble

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



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


  1. Grease a 20cm square baking tin. Measure a double layer of foil long enough to line the base and 2 sides of the tin with 20cm excess. Fold a 10cm pleat in the centre (step 1). Push the foil into the tin, making sure the pleat is in the centre and the corners are nice and sharp (step 2). Line the 2 halves of the tin by putting a long strip of baking parchment in lengthways over the foil (step 3). Criss-cross another strip widthways to completely cover the foil (step 4). Repeat to line the other compartment. You now have two compartments for the different colours.

  2. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Put the butter and sugar into a bowl and, using an electric whisk, beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the flour, baking powder and almond extract. The batter needs to be dropping consistency (it should fall off a wooden spoon). If it is a little thick, add a drop of milk and continue to beat.

  3. Halve the batter by weighing and dividing equally into separate bowls. Fold the red colouring through one and the yellow colouring through the other.

  4. Tip the batters into each side of the prepared tin and bake for about 25 mins, until the sponges have risen and a skewer inserted into each sponge comes out clean. Leave them to cool in the tin, then remove to a rack to cool completely.

  5. To assemble, neatly trim each sponge, then sit one on top of the other and trim again so they are both the same size. Cut each sponge in half lengthways so you have 4 long rectangles. Warm the jam in a small pan, then brush along a long side of each sponge. Stick the jam sides together to create the chequerboard effect, then brush the sides and top with more jam.

  6. Dust a work surface with icing sugar. Roll out one of the blocks of marzipan until it is 20cm long, then roll it so it is wide enough to wrap around the sponge. Brush the loaf all over with more apricot jam, then tightly wrap the marzipan around the sponge, trimming it where the edges meet. Smooth the marzipan over the sponge. Sit the loaf on its seam.

  7. To make the Apostles, roll the remaining marzipan into 11 small balls (you might not need all the marzipan for this, but any excess can be frozen) and sit on the loaf at even intervals. To give the cake a contrast of colour and a classic simnel cake finish, lightly blowtorch the balls on the top of cake. The cake will now keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Claire Evans
26th May, 2015
Lovely cake, enjoyed by all my family! It was slightly fiddly to make - lining the tin and assembling the cake into quarters - but not impossible. Just make sure you wrap the marzipan round really tight as mine wasn't tight enough and the cake fell apart when I cut slices. As already mentioned, the addition of ground almonds has been omitted with the recipe - add them with the flour. I used the stated 3 tsp of red food colouring and the cake came out brown so next time I would reduce that. Another alteration - I wasn't bothered about having the marzipan balls on the top so left them off. If you're going to do this you only need one block of marzipan. I bought two as it was stated in the ingredient list but didn't realise one was just for the decorative balls (so I now have a spare block to make another cake!).
20th Mar, 2015
Hi, Is there a mistake in this reciepe ( and also in the magazine printing) Ground Almonds is listed in the ingredients but not in the method... I take it, they are meant to be bunged in with the Flour and Baking Powder, but just thought I'd point it out.
16th Mar, 2015
Baked yesterday and the cake is delicious! The recipe doesn't say when to add the ground almonds...oooopsto whoever proof read this one! I added them with the flour and all was fine!
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