Battenberg cake is a light checker board sponge cake with pieces wedged together with apricot jam. It’s a British nostalgic cake with a yellow and pink cake sponge which is then wrapped in marzipan! For my first taste of the World recipe, I thought i’d try this lovely cake out homemade and hopefully inspire you guys too!
First up pre-heat your oven to gas mark 4 or equivalent (160fan/180c).
In a large mixing bowl beat together the softened butter, flour, almonds, sugar, vanilla & almond extracts, eggs & baking powder with a whisk until smooth, make sure it is lump free and a lovely batter like texture! Divide the mixture into 2 bowls (well, another bowl, keep half in the existing one). Using the pink food dye, add a little at a time to one of the bowls and mix through until you have a lovely pink colour, do not go too crazy if using a paste dye as they are very strong, do this gradually.
Line a square baking tin approx 20cm and grease the sides. Get some foil and fold it over itself a couple of times into a thick strip and wedge this in your tin in the middle – the video shows this step well. This acts as a sort of dam in the tin to put the two different cake colours and bake them at the same time! Pour in the batters into each section. Carefully transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned and a bamboo skewer inserted comes out cleanly with no signs of batter. It’s better to slightly over cook it than under cook it as you will cut away excess crust. Allow to cool fully on a wire rack, this increases the strength of the cake once fully cooled, if you can, chilling it for 20 minutes extra or so would help it too.
Slice the cake into even sizes. First of all into two long stick of both colours, then slice to match the same in both height and width – a ruler will help here. Lengthwise line them up and cut off the ends to make 4 even sized sticks of cake – 2 pink, 2 yellow! Warm up the apricot jam in a saucepan briefly and have it ready to one side.
Roll out a piece of marzipan big enough to wrap the entire cake using icing sugar to help prevent it sticking to the board. It’s good to line the cake up against one edge and trim it flush to keep it neat. Before placing the cake into final position, brush the marzipan with jam where the cake will touch, and also spread jam onto the sponge pieces, stack the cake onto the marzipan and lift the marzipan over the top tightly wrapping the sponges cutting away any excess. Seal the edge of the marzipan with a fork or a little water.
You can make some designs in the marzipan if you fancy it, but other than that simply slice up and serve! If you have any cake batter leftover you could make some cupcakes with it!