Traditional Battenberg Cake

    1 hour

    Battenberg cakes have a unique checker presentation and are a bit of work to make but not too hard for a spectacular presentation.

    34 people made this

    Serves: 12 

    • 250g butter, softened
    • 1 cup (220g) caster sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
    • 250g (2 cups) plain flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 pinch salt
    • 2 drops red food colouring
    • 345g apricot jam or preserve
    • Marzipan
    • 3 1/2 cups (375g) ground almonds
    • 350g icing sugar
    • 1 egg, room temperature
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
    • 1/4 teaspoon almond essence

    Preparation:30min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:1hour 

    1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease two 18cm square cake pans.
    2. Cream butter and sugar together. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in vanilla essence.
    3. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt gently. Add milk if needed.
    4. Divide the mixture into 2 equal parts. Add food colouring to 1 part to make a deep pink color. Spread one coloured mixture evenly into each pan.
    5. Bake in preheated oven until an inserted skewer comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before turning out onto racks to cool.
    6. Trim the edges from both cakes. Cut each cake lengthwise into 4 strips as wide as the cake is thick. Trim to make strips match.
    7. Heat jam slightly. Spread on sides to glue 2 pink and 2 white strips together in checkerboard fashion. Spread all 4 sides of completed cake with jam. Repeat with remaining pink and white stripes.
    8. Marzipan: Mix almonds, icing sugar, egg, lemon juice and almond extract together. Knead until smooth, adding a bit of lemon juice or water if too dry to roll. Add only 1/2 teaspoon at a time. It will be stiff. Divide into 2 equal parts.
    9. Roll 1/2 of paste 3mm or so thick on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar. Cut to fit length of cake, and long enough to cover 4 sides leaving ends uncovered.
    10. Lay cake on one end of marzipan. Wrap to completely enclose all 4 sides of cake pinching marzipan to seal. Roll in icing sugar.
    11. Place with seal underneath on serving plate or store in plastic bag. Repeat for second cake. Chill and slice thinly to serve.

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    Reviews in English (37)


    Used different ingredients. Great honey cake. I added ground almonds and served with a milk syrup at Rosh Hashanah. Went over well and many requests for the recipe.  -  18 Jul 2008


    Used different ingredients. Have made this cake three times now, each time it was a great success. I found it easier to roll the marzipan out between two sheets of cling film, which also helped when covering the sponge. I also added almond essence instead of vanilla. Will definitely make again.  -  18 Jul 2008


    GREAT recipe - easy to make. very authentic - however, you must spread the apricot jam on the marzipan with a pastry brush before you wrap the cake in it - this helps it to stick to the cake and it also tastes delicious! Try it with raspberry jam too for an alternative. Also, the cake mix looks too stiff even with a little milk - but you need the cake to be firm and hold it's shape - so don't be fooled!!! The recipe is spot on. Excellent ******  -  18 Jul 2008