Battenberg Cake

I know it sounds clichéd, but this year has flown by. I cannot believe it’s the end of November and I guess also because we seemed to have skipped autumn for winter this year in London. I do not actually mind, as I love the cold, all the scarves, gloves, hats and mulled wine. I also get a heavy boost of sunshine and vitamin D next month as I head off home to Brisbane for Christmas & New Year. On top of this, I get to meet the most adorable nephew for the first time. Beyond excited!

Before I head off, I wanted to get up to date on a few blog entries that have been on the backburner over the last few weeks/months. I have purposely not been blogging, but with good reason and that is I have decided to start studying again and work towards my P&I Insurance Qualification. I must admit I have actually been enjoying the study and the content; but did not enjoy so much the anxiety of being examined on this knowledge and that was my biggest hurdle. And I have now just completed my first exam, yey! I do not know if I have passed yet, but just getting to the exam in the first place was an achievement after an absence of 8 years from studying.

During this time however, I have still been baking to keep me motivated and one of the young brokers I do work with had been requesting (pestering) me to make a Battenberg cake for a few months now. I was a bit hesitant as I had never even tasted one let alone make one, but it was surprisingly not too difficult.

Battenberg Cake

175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
175g caster sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature, beaten
1/2 teaspoon
175g self-raising flour
1 tablespoon milk
pink food colouring

350g marzipan
8 tablespoons apricot jam

Tin - a 20 x 15 cm Battenberg tin or an 18cm square cake tin, greased with butter and the base lined with greaseproof paper, and divided in two halves with tin foil.

Or this was my improvised version...

Preheat the oven to 180 degree celcius. Put the butter and sugar into the mixer and mix until light in colour and very creamy in texture. Mix the eggs and vanilla, then gradually add to the butter mixture, beating well after each addition. Sift the flour into the bowl, add the milk and gently fold the ingredients together using a large metal spoon. Divide the mixture in half.
Spoon one half into 2 sections of the Battenberg tin or into half of the divided square tin (make sure the foil divider is folder over the side of the tin so it is well secured), and spread evenly. Add the food colouring a few drops at a time to the second portion of mixture, mixing it in well so there are no streaks; the colour will tend to darken on baking, so don't overdo it. Spoon this pink mixture into the remaining sections of the Battenberg tin or the other side of the divided tin. Spread evenly, then bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and run a round-bladed knife around the inside of the tin and the dividers to loosen the sponge, but do not un-mould. Stand the tine on a wire rack and cool completely. 

Carefully turn out the sponge and remove the lining paper. If the cakes have risen unevenly in the oven, trim them with a long sharp knife so that the short sides are exactly square. 

If using a the square tin, cut each sponge in half lengthwise. Brush of any crumbs. Roll out the marzipan on a work surface lightly dusted with cornflour or icing sugar to a rectangle measuring 20 x 30 cm. Heat the apricot jam with a tablespoon of water, then push through a sieve to make a smooth puree.

Brush one long side of the strip of pink cake with jam and set it jam side down on the marzipan, so it is lined up along one short side. Brush the 3 other long sides of this strip with jam and set a yellowed-coloured strip, lightly brushed on the long sides with jam, next to it and another one, also brushed with jam, on top of it.


Lightly brush jam on the last pink strip and place it on top of the yellow one to make a two layered chequerboard patterns. Wrap the marzipan neatly over and around the whole cake, leaving the ends visible. Trim off any excess marzipan and slice  off the ends to neaten. The top can be left plain, or pinched along the edges decoratively. Store in an airtight container. 

I can now say I have successfully made a Battenberg cake and I was quite pleased with the results (and my make shift tin). I think I will have to make this one again though… so I can at least try it!

Happy Baking x

1 comment:

  1. Looks lovely and I like your improvised version. x