Battenberg Cake

Battenberg Cake

A Battenberg cake is a classic British Tea cake, made out of basic sponge cake that has been cut into rectangular logs which are then ‘glued’ together with apricot jam and eveloped in thinly rolled marzipan.  When you slice a piece of Battenberg you should see a symmetrical grid of squares.  Traditionally a Battenberg is made as a two by two grid but more recently I have made it as a three by three design with success.  It looks more impressive and isn’t much more work so I’ve included the detailed instructions below.

I have always loved marzipan and I first learned to make it myself just so I could prepare this cake.  Just as I prefer a cake covered in Modeling chocolate to one in fondant, marzipan is another cake covering and decorating medium that I actually enjoy eating.  It is hugely versatile, and fast to put together, provided you have a food processor.  I’ve also made a vegan version of marzipan (just swap the egg white for corn syrup) and I’ve used it to decorate a carrot cake (upcoming post) as well as covering many Battenbergs.

A detailed kitchen project for sure, but if you take your time it really isn’t as difficult as it looks.  Enjoy!

Battenberg Cake

Ingredients / Ingredientes

  • 175 grams sugar / gramos de azúcar
  • 175 grams unsalted butter (room temperature) / gramos de mantequilla a temperatura ambiente
  • 175 grams self raising flour* / gramos de harina con levadura*
  • 3 eggs lightly beaten / huevos ligeramente batidos
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract / cucharilla de vainilla
  • 3 tbsps milk / cucharadas de leche
  • pink or red food coloring / colorante de comidacolor rojo o rosado
  • Apricot jam / Mermelada de durazno
  • 300 grams Marzipan – recipe below / gramos Mazapán – receta abajo

*1 1/2 cups flour, 2 tsps baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt mixed together will make slightly more self raising flour then is needed for this recipe / * 1 1/2 tazas de harina, 2 cucharillas de levadura, 1/2 cucharilla de sal

Instructions / Instrucciones

  • Prepare an 8 x 8 inch square cake pan with foil, creating a divide directly in the center.  The two colors of the cake need to bake separately in the same pan. / Primeramente preparar la bandeja para hornear. Nosotros usamos una bandeja cuadrada de 8 x 8 cubierta con papel aluminio y con una división (ver foto)
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees / Calentar el horno a 350 grados
  • Cream together the sugar and butter using the flat beater attachment until the butter is light and fluffy. / Mezclar la mantequilla con la azúcar en una batidora de pie hasta que esté suave.

Battenberg batter

  • Add half of the eggs and mix well. / Agregar la mitad de los huevos y mezclar en la batidora.
  • Add a tbsp of the flour and mix together to keep the mixture from curdling / Agregar una cucharada de harina con levadura.
  • Add the remaining eggs and beat together. / Agregar la otra mitad de los huevos y seguir batiendo.
  • Sift the flour over the batter and fold together. / Colar la harina sobre la masa y mezclar todo junto.
  • Measure the milk in a small container and add the vanilla extract then pour into the batter and mix until just combined.  / Agregar a la leche la vainilla y colocarla en la masa y mezclar hasta que esté todo bien combinado.

Battenberg batter

  • Divide the mixture in two evenly and color one half with food coloring until it is a bright pink. / Dividir la masa en dos, agregar colorante de comida rojo o rosado a una mitad hasta que este rosado brillante.
  • Fill the two sections of the cake pan with their respective batters and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the top springs back when lightly touched / Colocar la masa en la bandeja para hornear que preparastes anteriormente, poner al horno por 20-25 minutos hasta que la torta esté esponjosa .


  • Allow to cool completely.  Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack. / Dejar enfriar y  remover de la badeja.

Marzipan / Mazapán

  • 1 1/2 cups blanched almonds / tazas de almendras
  • 2 1/2 cups icing sugar / tazas de azúcar impalpable
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice / cucharada de jugo de limón
  • 1 tsp almond extract / cucharilla de extracto de almendra
  • 1 egg white / clara de huevo

Instructions for Marzipan / Instrucciones para el Mazapán

  • If using unblanched almonds you will first need to remove the skins.  To blanch the almonds – cover the almonds with boiling water and let sit for one minute, drain and cover the almonds with cold water, strain once again and cover with fresh water and drain once more.  / Cubrir las almendras en agua hervida caliente y dejar por 1 minuto, colar las almendras y cubrirlas con agua fría, colar nuevamente y cubrirlas con agua fresca y colar por ultimo vez.

Blanching almonds

  • The skins of the almond should peel off easily. / La cáscara de las almendras se podrá pelar facilmente.
  • Once the almonds are peeled, add to a food processor along with the powdered sugar and grind together for about a minute.  After the mixture is well combined, add the egg white (or corn syrup), almond extract and lemon juice and blend again until the mixture comes together and forms a dough.  You may need to add more powdered sugar if the mixture is too wet.  The dough should clean the sides of the bowl as it spins, and should feel completely smooth (not at all grainy) when it is ready. / Una vez que las almendras estén peladas colocarlas en un procesador de comida junto con la azúcar impalpable y triturarlos por 1 minuto. Agregar la clara de huevo, extracto de almendras y jugo de limón y triturar nuevamente hasta que se torne una masa y todo este bien incorporado, posiblemente necesites agregar más azúcar si es que la masa esta muy húmeda. La masa debe ser sueve.

Making Marzipan

  • Form into a log, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until needed. / Formar la masa como en la foto y envolver en plástico y colocar al refrigerador.

Assembling the Battenberg / El montaje de la Battenberg

  • Place the two sponge cakes on a cutting board with the short sides facing you. / Colocar las dos tortas en una tabla para cortar con los lados cortos mirando hacia ti.
  • Trim the edges of each cake / Cortar los bordes de cada torta

Assembling the Battenberg

  • Cut each cake in half lengthwise, and then cut each of those halves in half again.  You will have 4 ‘logs’ of each color. / Corta cada torta por la mitad a lo largo, y luego se corta cada una de esas mitades por la mitad otra vez. Asi tendrás 4 piezas largas de cada color.

Trimming the sponge

  • As the sponge will have risen slightly more in the center of each cake, tilt each piece of cake on its side and trim – the cross section of each piece of cake will be square. / La parte del medio de la torta habrá aumentado un poco más de tamaño cuando estaba en el horno por lo tanto tienes que cortar la parte superior para que los pedazos largos de la torta sean perfectos cuadrados.
  • You will now have 8 pieces of cake all trimmed to the same dimensions. / Tienes que tener 8 piezas largas de tortas cortadas en el mismo tamaño.
  • Follow the photos below alternating pink and yellow strips of cake building a three by three grid. / Colocar los pedazos de tortas según la foto, alternando el rosado y el  amarillo.

Battenberg assembly

  • There will only be 8 pieces of cake, whereas we need 9, so trim the cake, as per the photo above, so that you maintain a 6 inch cake, use the extra pieces of pink cake to build another log for the grid. / Sólo habrá 8 porciones de torta, pero que nosotros necesitamos 9,  por lo tanto debes cortar la torta (como la foto) para que la torta sea de 6 pulgadas, utilice las piezas extra de la torta de color rosado para la construcción de otro pedazo largo.
  • I rearrange the cake so that these segmented pieces are in the center of the cake rather than on the edge for ease of assembly later. / Colocar el nuevo pedazo largo de torta en el centro (ver foto), esto ayudará a que el montaje del mazapán sea mejor.
  • At this time – roll out the marzipan (300 grams) on a sheet of parchment as thin as possible to a rectangle of approximately 6 x 12 inches / Amasar el  mazapán (300 gramos) lo más delgado posible a un rectángulo de aproximadamente 6 x 12 pulgadas
  • Heat a few tablespoons of Apricot jam in the microwave to loosen and assemble the cake onto the center of the rolled marzipan.  Brush the marzipan with apricot jam as well as each side of each additional piece of cake. /  Calentar unas cucharadas de mermelada de durazno en el microondas, para montar la torta colocar un poco la mermelada caliente en los lados y el centro de los pedazos largos de torta.

Battenberg assembly

  • Once the 9 pieces of cake are assembled, brush the outer layers of the cake with apricot jam and pull the sides of marzipan up around the cake, trimming the marzipan as necessary so that the ends meet at the bottom, use a knife to seal the pieces together.  Roll the cake so that the joined edges are on the bottom, trim the edges and using the back of a knife make a criss cross patterned impression on the top of the cake. / Colocar o cepillar un poco de la mermelada alrededor de la torta para que el mazapán se pegue a la torta. Cortar el mazapán cuando sea necesario para que sea el mismo tamaño que la torta, hacer un diseño en la parte superior de la torta sobre el mazapán  con un cuchillo como se ve en la foto

9 square Battenberg

  • Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours. / Envolver en plástico y refrigerar por algunas horas.
  • Slice, serve and enjoy. / Cortar, sevir y a disfrutar!

Battenberg… Provecho!