Sarah Cook’s traditional Battenberg cake is a delicious project for an afternoon in the kitchen. This classic British cake is not only a visual eye-catcher with its characteristic checkerboard pattern of pink and yellow sponge cake, but also has a wonderful almond flavor. The Battenberg cake consists of delicate layers of sponge cake dough, is filled and covered with a layer of apricot jam, which provides a wonderfully fruity sweetness. Perfect for tea time or special occasions, this recipe is sure to impress your friends and family with its beautiful presentation and delicious taste.
- 175g very soft butter
- 175g golden powdered sugar
- 140g self-raising flour
- 50g ground almonds
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 3 medium eggs
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- 1 x ingredients for almond sponge cake
- pink food coloring, we used ½ tsp Squires rose food paste
- 200g apricot jam
- 2 x 500g blocks of white marzipan
- some powdered sugar for dusting
Bake it differently
Extract for the peel of
2 lemons and 1
tbsp lemon juice
in the first sponge. To exchange
pink coloring for
Peel 1 orange and
1 tbsp orange
Juice in seconds
Sponge (add orange
Food coloring if necessary
you like). Assemble
with lemon curd.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4 and line the base and sides of a 20cm square tin with baking paper.
- To make the almond sponge cake, place butter, sugar, flour, ground almonds, baking powder, eggs, vanilla and almond extract in a large bowl. Beat with an electric whisk until mixture is smooth. Scrape into the tin, spread into the corners and bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Allow the almond sponge cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then place on a wire rack to cool.
- For the pink sponge cake, line the mold again. Mix all ingredients as before, but do not add the almond extract. Fold in some pink food coloring. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake as before. Cool.
- Heat the jam in a small saucepan until liquid, then strain through a sieve.
- Trim two opposing edges of the almond sponge close to each other, then trim a third edge. Roughly measure the height of the sponge and then, starting from the well-trimmed edge, cut four slices the same width as the sponge’s height. Repeat with the pink cake.
- Take 2 almond slices and 2 pink slices and cut them so that they are all the same length.
- On a surface lightly dusted with powdered sugar, roll out a block of marzipan to just over 20cm wide, then roll it out lengthwise until the marzipan is about 0.5cm thick. Spread with apricot jam, then place a pink and an almond slice side by side on one end of the marzipan, spreading the jam in between to stick sponges, leaving 4cm of clear marzipan at the end. Spread more jam onto the sponge cake bases and then place the remaining two slices on top, alternating them, creating a checkerboard effect. Cut the marzipan to the length of the cakes.
- Carefully lift the marzipan and spread it over the cake with your hands. However, leave a small fold of marzipan at the bottom before gluing it to the first page. Trim the opposite side to match the size of the fold, then crimp the edges with your fingers and thumb (or press with the tines of a fork). Optionally, mark the 10 slices with the fork.
- Assemble the second Battenberg and store in an airtight box or well-wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 3 days. It can be frozen for up to a month.
Equipment and tools
- mixing bowls
- Electric mixer or whisk
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Baking tin (approx. 20 cm x 20 cm)
- parchment paper
- Sharp knife
- This Battenberg cake recipe contains gluten (self-rising flour).
- It also contains dairy products (butter, eggs).
- It may contain nuts (ground almonds, marzipan).
- Always check the labels of your ingredients to ensure they are appropriate for your dietary needs.
Storage and leftovers
Once baked and assembled, the Battenberg cake can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. It’s best enjoyed fresh, but you can also wrap individual slices tightly with cling film and freeze for up to 1 month.
If you have leftover apricot jam, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks and use it as a spread or topping for other desserts.
Health Benefits of Battenberg Cake
Health Benefits of Battenberg Cake
Battenberg cake not only satisfies your sweet tooth, but also offers some health benefits thanks to its ingredients.
Butter: The use of very soft butter in Battenberg cake ensures a rich and moist texture. Although butter is high in calories and fat, it contains important nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E and K.
Golden powdered sugar: Although it is a form of refined sugar, golden powdered sugar adds sweetness to the cake. In small amounts it can provide a quick source of energy. However, it is important to consume sugar in moderation as excessive consumption can lead to health problems.
Self-raising flour: Using self-raising flour makes the cake rise easier and gives it a fluffy texture. Flour is a basic ingredient in baking and provides carbohydrates, protein and some vitamins and minerals.
Ground almonds: Ground almonds not only add flavor and texture to Battenberg cake, but also provide various health benefits. They are a good source of healthy fats, protein, fiber and vitamin E. Almonds have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol levels.
Baking powder: Baking powder acts as a leavening agent in the cake, making it light and airy. Although it does not provide any significant health benefits, it is a necessary ingredient for baking.
Eggs: The addition of medium eggs in Battenberg cake provides structure and helps bind the ingredients together. Eggs are full of proteins, essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals. They are also a good source of choline, which is important for brain health.
Vanilla extract: Vanilla extract gives the cake a wonderful aroma and taste. Although it does not have any significant health benefits, it improves the overall taste experience.
Almond extract: Almond extract complements the ground almonds in the cake and intensifies the almond flavor. Like ground almonds, almond extract contains healthy fats and vitamin E.
Pink food coloring: The pink food coloring used in the Battenberg cake is purely for aesthetic purposes and does not contribute to any health benefits.
Apricot jam: Apricot jam serves as a filling and gives the cake a fruity sweetness. Apricots are rich in vitamins A and C as well as fiber. They also contain antioxidants that help protect against oxidative stress.
White marzipan: Marzipan is made from ground almonds and sugar, giving it a sweet taste and smooth texture. Although it enhances the flavor of the cake, marzipan should be consumed in moderation due to its high sugar content.
Powdered sugar: Powdered sugar is used to dust the Battenberg cake, which provides the final sweetness. It is a finely powdered form of sugar that does not provide any significant health benefits.
Overall, Battenberg cake is not considered a healthy food, but it does contain ingredients such as ground almonds and apricot jam, which have some nutritional value. As with all desserts, moderation is key when enjoying this treat as part of a balanced diet.