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Battenburg recipe

Battenburg recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake

A somewhat tricky cake to get right, yet highly rewarding. Once you master it you can impress your friends for years to come.

Tyne and Wear, England, UK

6 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 1 battenburg cake

  • 175g butter, softened
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 200g apricot jam
  • 2 (500g) blocks white marzipan
  • icing sugar, for dusting
  • 1 to 2 drops pink food colouring

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:35min ›Extra time:1hr cooling › Ready in:2hr5min

  1. Heat oven to 180C / 160C fan / Gas 4 and line the base and sides of a 20cm square tin with baking parchment (the easiest way is to cross 2 x 20cm-long strips over the base).
  2. To make the almond sponge, put the butter, sugar, flour, ground almonds, baking powder, eggs, vanilla and almond extract in a large bowl. Beat with an electric whisk until the mix comes together smoothly. Scrape into the tin, spreading to the corners.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes - when you poke in a skewer, it should come out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling while you make the second sponge.
  4. For the pink sponge, line the tin as above. Mix all the ingredients together as above, but don't add the almond extract. Fold in some pink food colouring. Then scrape it all into the tin and bake as before. Cool.
  5. To assemble, heat the jam in a small pan until runny, then sieve. Barely trim two opposite edges from the almond sponge, then well trim a third edge. Roughly measure the height of the sponge, then cutting from the well-trimmed edge, use a ruler to help you cut 4 slices each the same width as the sponge height. Discard or nibble leftover sponge. Repeat with pink cake.
  6. Take 2 x almond slices and 2 x pink slices and trim so they are all the same length. Roll out one marzipan block on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar to just over 20cm wide, then keep rolling lengthways until the marzipan is roughly 0.5cm thick. Brush with apricot jam, then lay a pink and an almond slice side by side at one end of the marzipan, brushing jam in between to stick sponges, and leaving 4cm clear marzipan at the end. Brush more jam on top of the sponges, then sandwich remaining 2 slices on top, alternating colours to give a chequerboard effect. Trim the marzipan to the length of the cakes.
  7. Carefully lift up the marzipan and smooth over the cake with your hands, but leave a small marzipan fold along the bottom edge before you stick it to the first side. Trim opposite side to match size of fold, then crimp edges using fingers and thumb (or, more simply, press with prongs of fork). If you like, mark the 10 slices using the prongs of a fork.
  8. Assemble second battenburg and keep in an airtight box or well wrapped in cling film for up to 3 days. Can be frozen for up to a month.


Try: Swap almond extract for zest of 2 lemons and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in first sponge. Swap pink colouring for zest 1 orange and 1 tablespoon orange juice in second sponge (add orange food colouring if you like). Assemble with lemon curd.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(1)

Reviews in English (3)

easy and tasty-30 Oct 2012

if u love battern burg like i do u will love the recipe i gave the sight and alsotry what it says in the tip its really good-08 Sep 2012

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Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Grease a loose-bottomed 8in/20cm square cake tin. Cut a long piece of foil-lined greaseproof paper that is the same width as the tin and make an 8in/20cm division in the centre. This will allow the two sponges to be cooked at the same time.

Beat together the butter and sugar with a handheld electric mixer for 5 minutes until very pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one by one, then carefully fold through the milk and flour. Put half the batter into another bowl. Fold the cocoa powder through one of these halves and the ground almonds and vanilla through the other half, mixing well until completely combined. Pour these into the prepared cake tin, smooth the tops and bake for 45-50 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then place on a wire rack to cool. Once cool, place in the fridge for at least 1 hour to firm up before assembling.

Once the cakes are cold, trim the tops of the cakes using a sharp serrated knife so they are level and flat. Place one cake on top of the other and trim so they're both the same size. Cut the sponges in half lengthways.

Place the marzipan in a bowl and mix with the cocoa powder until evenly mixed. Roll the marzipan out to 40 x 20cm (it should be about 4-5 mm thick).

Place the raspberry jam in a small saucepan and gently heat until loosened. Brush the long side of one of the sponges with jam and sandwich together with a sponge of the contrasting colour on top of the marzipan, with the short ends facing the shorter sides. Do the same with the other two sponges. Trim the edges of the marzipan so that it lines up with the exposed ends, then roll up tightly and roll over so the sealed side is underneath and the top and sides are smooth.

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Grease and line a 20cm/8in square cake tin.

Beat together the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, until well combined. (If the mixture looks like it is curdling add a spoonful of the flour.) Fold in the flour. Gradually add a few drops of blue food colouring (don’t add too much or the cake will look green.)

Spoon the cake batter into the cake tin and level using the back of a spoon. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden-brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven, set aside to cool for five minutes, then turn out and cool, upside down, on a wire rack.

For the buttercream filling, beat the butter in a bowl until soft and smooth, slowly beat in the icing sugar. Continue to beat until fluffy.

To assemble the cake, slice the cake in half lengthways, place one sponge half on top of the other and trim off the edges, ensuring that both cakes are the same size.

Cut the cakes in half again lengthways to make four long rectangles.

Slice each rectangle diagonally along the length to make two triangular cakes

Spread each cut side of the triangle with buttercream and jam and sandwich together with the other triangle to make four rectangular sections. Wrap each rectangular section in clingfilm and chill for at least an hour.

Stack the rectangular sections into a square, so that the cross-section resembles a Union Jack (use an image of the Union Jack as a guide).

Assemble the bottom half of the cake first by spreading each of the long inside edges with buttercream and jam and sandwiching together. Repeat with the top layer and chill both cakes for one hour.

Finally, sandwich the two cakes together by spreading the top of the bottom layer and the bottom of the top layer with buttercream icing. Spread the bottom layer with jam and sandwich together. Chill the cake for one hour.

Meanwhile, roll the marzipan out on a surface dusted with icing sugar to a 5mm/¼in thickness, it should be large enough to cover the cake.

Warm a little strawberry jam and use this to brush the outside of the chilled cake.

Turn the cake upside down on the marzipan and brush the underside of the sponges with the jam.

Wrap the marzipan around the cake, pressing it gently onto the surface of the sponges, and press the edges together to make a firm join.

Turn back over with the seam underneath, trim a thin slice off each end and place on a serving plate. Take a slice from each end of the cake to neaten the edge and it should reveal a cake version of the Union Jack.

For Assembly:

  • ¾ cup (175 mL) apricot jam, heated and strained and then chilled
  • 1 recipe (450 g) homemade marzipan


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Grease 2 loaf pans that have a base measurement about 8-x-4-inches (20-x-10-cm) – a little larger or smaller will work fine. Line the pan with parchment paper.
  2. Place the flour, sugar, ground almonds, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix in until the mixture is a rough crumbly texture. Whisk the eggs, milk, and vanilla together and add all at once to the bowl. Mix first on low speed then increase the speed to medium-high, beating for 2 minutes. Divide the batter in half*, scraping and spreading half of it into one prepared loaf pan. Add a little pink food coloring to the remaining batter, stirring well, and then spread this in the other pan. Bake the cake(s) for about 30 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool, the cake in the pan.
  3. To assemble, trim away the outside edges of each cake. Slice each cake into 4 long strips. Trim each strip so that it is square and the brown bottom is trimmed away.
  4. Stir the chilled, strained apricot jam to soften it and spread a thin layer over a strip of the pink cake. Top with a strip of yellow cake and repeat this with a second pink & yellow piece. Spread jam on one side of this duo and adhere the other duo, but inverted, so that no two like colors are touching (checkerboard). Repeat this with the remaining 2 pink and yellow cake strips, making two cakes.
  5. On a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, roll out half of the marzipan into a 9-inch (23 cm) square just shy of ¼-inch (6 mm) thick. Spread jam on one long side of the checkerboard cake and lay it, jam side down at one end of the marzipan. Trim the outside edges to the length of the cake. Spread apricot jam on the remaining 3 sides of the cake and roll it up with the marzipan, trimming where the seams meet. Use a pastry crimper or the back of a knife to mark patterns in the cake as you wish. Repeat this with the remaining cake

To serve, slice the cake into ½-inch slices. The cake will keep, well-wrapped (no need to refrigerate) for up to 5 days.

  • To divide the batter evenly, weigh the entire batter. Then scrape half of it into the prepared pan and tint the remaining batter.


Yield: Two 8-inch (20 cm) long cakes
Servings: 24 slices
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes

How to Make the Best Battenburg

I made this battenburg for Chris's birthday recently since I know it's one of his favourite cakes in the whole world, even more so than the Amaretti Cookies that he LOVES too!

We'd just got back from holiday and hadn't even unpacked yet and I was taking Gracey to a birthday party that day too, so I nearly went out and bought him one.

Homemade battenburg is awesome, and this recipe makes TWO.

Sounds like overkill, but the first one will be gone before you've even finished your cup of tea, so it really is a good idea to make two.

I decided to photo the assembly stage for you guys today, as if you haven't made battenburg before, the assembly steps seem a lot more complicated than they actually are.

Once you've made the pink and a yellow sponge cakes, you simply need to trim/shave the outer edges of the sponge off and cut each sponge into four long fingers. Once you've done that bit you get to the fun part of assembling!

Make sure you've got plenty of confectioners' sugar and apricot jam to hand and you'll be fine.

You can see the full instructions in the recipe section below, but here's a rundown of the assembly bit with pics:

Roll out one of the marzipan blocks on a surface that's been dusted with LOTS of confectioners' sugar. It needs to be a little more than 20cm wide and long enough to wrap around the cake (about 40cm).
Brush centre of the rolled marzipan with apricot jam, then lay a yellow sponge finger on top. Brush the side of the yellow sponge:

Stick a pink sponge finger to the yellow sponge. Brush the top of the two sponge fingers with jam and place the other two fingers on top (with jam in between those two fingers), so you have a checkerboard effect.
Spread jam on the rest of the marzipan.

Fold up the sides of the marzipan - making sure it's quite tight, and well adhered to the sponge. Fold the edges back on top of the cake and press them together - like you're sealing a zip-lock bag. Trim the excess marzipan off the top of the cake.
Check again that everything is well adhered, then slice off both ends of the cake - to give a neat finish.
Repeat this process for the other cake.
Turn the cakes over, so the seam is on the bottom, then sprinkle with a little confectioners' sugar before serving with a nice cup of tea!

Hope all that makes sense!

I based this recipe on the one from the BBC Good Food website - just a few changes here and there to simplify and shorten the process.

Battenburg Recipe

Heat the oven to 150C/gas mark 2. Grease and line the Battenburg tin.

Beat together the butter, sugar, eggs, ground rice, flour and baking powder until smooth. It's quite a dense mixture, which will make a firm cake that holds together well. Lightness and fluffiness isn't the aim with this sponge

Divide about half the cake mixture between 2 sections of the Battenburg tin. I use a piping bag for neatness, but a spoon will also do. Add soem red colour to the remaining cake mixture - you want it a deep pink colour - along with the rosewater, and pipe or spoon into the other 2 sections

Bake for about 25 minutes or until springy to touch. Turn out on to a wire rack and cool. Trim the edges

Put the apricot jam and water into a pan and bring to the boil. Using a pastry nrush, brush the cake strips liberally with the hot jam, then stick them together so you have a pink and white sponge at the bottom then vice versa at the top

Sprinkle a sheet of greaseproof paper with icing sugar and roll out the almond paste into an oblong shape long enough and wide enough to accommodate the sponge. Brush the almond paste with jam, roughly where the sponge will go so that all sides will be covered. Put the sponge on top of the brushed jam and, using the greaseproof paper, roll the sponge up with the almond paste. The paper helps to get a nice neat finish. Trim the edges, and your beautiful Battenburg is made

People Are Going Mad For This Biscoff Battenberg Recipe

But if you want an instant hit of nostalgia then you're going to want to try out the latest in our endless stash of Biscoff recipes. Introducing Biscoff Battenberg.

Yep, we've all got fond memories of the legendary Battenberg cake, but now there's a new spin on it which incorporates the tasty caramelised biscuits and spread, and it might just have edged its way to our favourite treat of all time.

Like the original, the Biscoff Battenberg is a light sponge cake split into two different flavours, which sit in a two-by-two check pattern.

But while it's usually flavoured with marzipan and has strawberry jam sandwiched between the sponges, this alternative is covered with a Biscoff fondant, has a Biscoff and vanilla sponge and even has the much loved biscuit spread slathered between the layers.

DROOLING (Credit: Instagram/ @vegan_food_uk/ @Vecreationrecipes)

The recipe was created by Beth, who runs Insta' page and blog Vecreation, for the vegan foodies over at @Vegan_Food_UK.

And when they shared her creation on their Insta page, the vegan blog teased that the recipe tasted "BETTER than original #batternberg cakes".

Now, that is quite a claim.

Discussing what inspired her version of the much loved cake, Beth told Tyla: "We all have moments that remind us of the good old days. I love bringing that feeling into baking but with a little added excitement of new flavours and twists.

"Combining the nostalgia of the past with the excitement of the now and right now that excitement is very much Biscoff!

"Biscoff happens to be vegan too which means everyone can enjoy it, just like the Biscoff Battenberg!"

The Biscoff Battenberg is a take on the marzipan coated classic (Credit: Shutterstock)

If you want to make Beth's recipe with a non vegan Battenberg recipe then you can do that too.

Battenberg Cake

  • Skill Level: Expert
  • Add to favorites

  • Servings : 12
  • Prep Time : 30m
  • Cook Time : 30m
  • Ready In : 60m

Battenberg Cake

This fancy almond-flavored tea cake, also called ‘Battenberg/Battenburg Cake’ or ‘Battenberg/Battenburg Square’ features a homemade marzipan.


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 drops red food coloring
  • 1 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 cups ground almonds
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract


Step 1

Cream butter and 1 cup sugar together. Beat in 3 eggs, one at a time. Mix in vanilla. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt gently. Add milk if needed.

Step 2

Divide batter into 2 equal parts. Add food coloring to 1 part to make a deep pink color. Grease two 7 inch square pans. Spread batters into pans.

Step 3

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) until an inserted wooden pick comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand in pans 5 minutes. Turn out on racks to cool.

Step 4

Trim edges from both cakes. Cut each cake lengthwise into 4 strips as wide as the cake is thick. Trim to make strips match. Heat jam slightly. Spread on sides to glue 2 pink and 2 white strips together checkerboard fashion. Spread all 4 sides of completed cake with jam. Repeat with remaining pink and white stripes. Makes two cakes.

Step 5

To Make Almond Paste: Mix almonds, confectioners' 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.

Step 6

Roll 1/2 of paste 1/8 inch or so thick on a surface lightly dusted with confectioners' sugar. Cut to fit length of cake, and long enough to cover 4 sides leaving ends uncovered. Lay cake on one end of paste. Wrap to completely enclose all 4 sides of cake pinching paste to seal. Roll in granulated sugar. Place with seal underneath on serving plate, or store in plastic bag. Repeat for second cake. Chill. Slice thinly to serve.

Battenberg Cake

This striking checkerboard cake is a favorite for afternoon tea in England. Legend has it that the cake was created in honor of the marriage of Queen Victoria’s granddaughter Victoria to Prince Louis of Battenberg in the 1880s. (The colored squares inside are thought to represent the four princes of Battenberg.)

Assembling the cake requires some precision, but it's easier than it looks. The batter is thick enough that you can fairly neatly spoon the yellow and pink colors next to each other without them bleeding together you might have to trim a bit off each half to cut away any combined bits. Or you can create a divider to keep them separate. We've wrapped a thin piece of cardboard, such as from a tissue box, in aluminum foil to good effect.

The original recipe calls for a 7-inch square baking pan in testing, we found that an 8-inch disposable aluminum pan works just fine. (You'll have slightly more trimmings.)

Make Ahead: The assembled cake, minus the final application of apricot jam and the marzipan exterior, can be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature 1 day in advance or frozen for up to 1 month. The assembled cake and be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 to 4 days.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 7- or 8-inch square baking pan with butter, and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Combine the 8 tablespoons of butter, the sugar, eggs, flours, baking powder and almond extract in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until smooth, stopping to scrape down the bowl, as needed.

Spoon half the batter into one side of the cake pan as neatly as possible. If you're using a pan divider, place it up against the exposed side of the batter.

Add a few drops of red food coloring to the remaining batter, blending it in to create a deep pink color. Spoon the pink batter into the other side of the cake pan. If you're not using a divider, try to create an even and discrete line between the colors of batter. Smooth the surface of each half.

Bake (middle rack) for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cake is well risen, springy to the touch and has shrunk slightly from the sides of the pan. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes then turn out, peel off the parchment and finish cooling completely on a wire rack.

Trim the edges as needed to end up with a 7-inch square cake, then cut each colored half of the cake into 2 equal sections of equal size (for a total of 4).

Gently heat the apricot jam in a small saucepan over low heat until it's fairly fluid and spreadable. Use an offset spatula to spread the warmed jam on the facing sides of one pink section and one yellow section, then press them together to form the bottom layer. Next, spread a layer of jam on their combined top surface. Then spread jam on the inside edge of the remaining yellow section and place it atop the bottom pink section repeat with the remaining pink section, placing it atop the bottom yellow section and pressing it up against the top pink section, to form a checkerboard effect.

(At this point, the cake can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature or frozen.)

For final assembly, brush the top of the cake with apricot jam.

Roll out the marzipan into an oblong the length of the cake and sufficiently wide enough to wrap around the cake with a little margin for error, about 9 by 12 inches. Invert the cake onto the marzipan (jam side down), then brush the remaining three sides with apricot jam. Press the marzipan neatly around the cake so the seam ends up at one corner. Trim any excess marzipan and cut a very thin slice off each end of the cake for a neat edge.

Use a sharp paring knife to score the top of the cake with a crisscross quilted pattern.

Recipe Summary

  • ⅔ cup (about 5 1/4 oz.) salted butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 ¾ cups (about 7 1/2 oz.) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • ¼ cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon ground pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 tablespoons apricot jam
  • 1 (7-oz.) pkg. marzipan
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Cut a 25- x 8-inch piece of parchment paper. Fold parchment rectangle in half (short end to short end), pressing firmly on folded end to make a crease. Fold creased end over about 3 inches, pressing firmly to make another crease in parchment paper. Unfold entire piece, and turn over. Pinch and pick up middle crease, creating a 3-inch-tall divider in middle of rectangle. Place in greased pan, pressing paper onto bottom of pan to fit as tightly as possible, and making sure divider is in the middle. Allow excess paper to extend over sides to use as handles. Coat top of parchment paper with cooking spray.

Beat butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer at medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute. Beat in eggs and egg yolk. Add flour, baking powder, and salt to egg mixture beat at medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Remove 1 1/4 cups batter to another bowl, and stir in canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Spoon plain batter into 1 side of the parchment paper divider in prepared pan spread until smooth. Spoon pumpkin batter into the empty side of the parchment paper divider of the prepared pan spread until smooth.

Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 33 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Lift cakes from pan, using paper sides as handles, and place on wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Remove cakes from parchment paper trim the edges and tops of both cakes, as needed. Cut each loaf in half lengthwise, creating 4 equal strips.

Place jam in a microwave-safe bowl microwave at HIGH just until warm, about 30 seconds. Spread jam on tops and sides of cake strips. Gently press 1 strip of each color together at long sides top with remaining 2 strips, alternately stacking to create a checkerboard pattern.

Roll marzipan on a surface sprinkled with sifted powdered sugar into a 12- x 8-inch rectangle. Place cake loaf, top jam-side down, in center of marzipan rectangle with the short ends of loaf facing the long sides of rectangle. Brush remaining 3 sides of cake with jam. Wrap marzipan around cake loaf, and gently press to adhere. Trim ends and where seam meets. Place cake loaf on platter, seam side down. Brush surface of cake lightly to remove excess powdered sugar. Lightly score top of cake in a diamond pattern with the edge of a sharp knife.

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