Battenberg cake recipe

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  • Serves 8
  • 45 mins to prepare and 30 mins to cook, plus cooling
  • 713 calories / serving
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Brighten up your tea time with this quintessentially British chequered afternoon treat. This pretty Battenberg cake is light, fluffy and will go down a storm with the whole family. 

Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C.

Grease a 20cm (8in) square tin. Cut nonstick baking paper into a 30cm x 20cm (12in x 8in) rectangle. Fold in half across the long side, unfold and line the base of the tin, using the excess to make a pleat in the centre creating two areas. 

Using an electric whisk, beat the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract, until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well, then fold in the flour and baking powder. Transfer the mixture to a bowl set on some kitchen scales, then weigh out half and colour with the pink gel. 

Spoon the pink mixture into one half of the tin and the plain into the other half, making sure the divider stays put. Level the surfaces and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

Trim the sides and top and cut each cake in half lengthways. Using the jam, stick the long edge of one pink sponge to the long edge of one plain sponge. Spread the top with jam and repeat with the other cake pieces, putting plain over pink, pink over plain. Spread the top with jam. 

Draw a 36cm x 20cm (14in x 8in) rectangle on baking parchment. Turn it over, dust with icing sugar, then roll out the marzipan to ft the rectangle. Trim the edges. Put the cake, jam side down, against a short edge. Brush the other sides of the cake with the remaining jam. 

Using the baking parchment to help, roll the cake in the marzipan, pressing gently to secure and trimming away any excess at the join. Brush the join with water to seal and roll over so the join is hidden. Trim the ends to neaten. Dust with icing sugar just before serving. 

Delicious spins

Chocolate orange: After dividing the cake mixtures, mix 2 tbsp cocoa powder with 1 tbsp just- boiled water. Cool until lukewarm. Stir through half the cake mixture. Stir grated orange zest and a few drops of orange food colouring through the other half. Sandwich the cakes with marmalade and replace the marzipan with ready-to-roll chocolate icing.

Coffee and walnut: After dividing the cake mixtures, dissolve 2 tsp coffee in 2 tsp just-boiled water. Cool until lukewarm. Stir through half the cake mixture along with a handful of fnely chopped walnuts. When assembled, coat in a coffee buttercream icing to fnish.

Strawberries and cream: Stir 2 tbsp strawberry jam through the pink cake mixture and use strawberry jam in place of apricot. Coat in a mascarpone, icing sugar and whipped cream frosting to finish. 

Expert tips

Don’t add the eggs to the cake mixture too quickly in step 2, as this can cause curdling.

As an alternative to apricot jam, stick the sponge together with buttercream. Beat 75g (3oz) softened butter with 150g (5oz) sifted icing sugar until light and fluffy. Spread onto the sponges instead of the jam in step 4, then stick together, finishing with more icing on the outside surfaces before rolling in marzipan.

Gently smooth the surface of the marzipan with your hands after covering the cake. The warmth from your palms will help remove bumps and give a professional finish.

To freeze, wrap the cooked cakes separately in clingfilm after cooling completely. Freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost at room temperature for 2 hours, and then to follow the recipe method.

See more Baking recipes

As part of a healthy balanced diet, we recommend this recipe for a special occasion or treat.

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  • Ingredients

  • 200g (7oz) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 200g (7oz) caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 200g (7oz) self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 level tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 x 10g tube pink food colour gel
  • 115g (3 3/4oz) apricot jam
  • icing sugar, for dusting
  • 1 x 500g pack natural marzipan
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  • Energy 2994kj 713kcal 36%
  • Fat 32.9g 47%
  • Saturates 14.4g 72%
  • Sugars 78.5g 87%
  • Salt 0.5g 8%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 101g Protein 9g Fibre 2.5g

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