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How to make a Battenberg cake

Brighten up your tea time with this classic British chequered treat. This pretty Battenberg cake is light, fluffy and actually very easy to make at home - just follow these easy steps and don't forget to take the handy ingredients list at the bottom with you when you're next shopping.

  1. Line the tin

    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.

    Line the tin
  2. Cream the butter and sugar

    Using an electric whisk, beat 200g softened unsalted butter, 200g caster sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract, until pale and fluffy. Add 3 large eggs, one at a time, beating well, then fold in 200g sifted self-raising flour and 1 level tsp baking powder. Transfer the mixture to a bowl set on some kitchen scales, then weigh out half and colour with ¾ of a 10g tube pink food colour gel. 

    Cream the butter and sugar
  3. Make the cake mixture

    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 mins, until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

    Make the cake mixture
  4. Cut the cake

    Trim the sides and top and cut each cake in half lengthways. Using 115g apricot 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.

    Cut the cake
  5. Roll out the marzipan

    Draw a 36cm x 20cm (14in x 8in) rectangle on baking parchment. Turn it over, dust with icing sugar, then roll out 500g marzipan to fit 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.

    Roll out the marzipan
  6. Wrap in marzipan

    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.

    TescoMag Cover May15 15852 Battenburg 2 (H)

    Calories 713 (36%), sugar 78.5g (87%), fat 32.9g (47%), saturates 14.4g (72%), salt 0.5g (8%), based on 8 servings.

  7. 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.

  8. Ingredients

    We've prepared a simple shopping list so you can easily get all you need to make this pretty cake. Be sure to note down the ingredients or take a screenshot before heading to the shops.

    200g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
    200g caster sugar
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    3 large eggs
    200g self-raising flour, sifted
    1 level tsp baking powder
    ¾ x 10g tube pink food colour gel
    115g apricot jam
    Icing sugar, for dusting
    1 x 500g pack natural marzipan