Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Traditional Battenberg Cake

Valentines Day in a week... But we never celebrate or do anything special on that day,with the logical explanation as to why a special day for love? But then this year I thought let me do something special for him! The cake bake thought was there in my mind and I was randomly checking out Food Gawker.If you all havent visited the site then you are missing out on something beautiful,seriously! That site is so true to its name... It leaves you gawking. I mean so many beautiful and well shot snaps of food and recipes. Do you need anything else?So I was going through their wonderful snaps and something really caught my eye. A checkered cake and beautiful! Went to the website and read about it all,except for the almond meal I felt maybe I can try baking the cake.Luckily for me I had a huge stock of almonds that my Amma had given me. So made the almond meal and got started on the cake. 

The cake was very yummy with the almond taste to it. I didnt much like the Marzipan coating,but that was necessary to keep the four long pieces of cake intact. Slowly I worked on rolling the Marzipan and sticking it on the cake. And... It stuck together! And I got a beautiful (atleast to my eyes) Battenberg cake! I immediately called up my friend Rupini saying it came out well because I had told her I was going to attempt something crazy! I didnt tell Chandru anything about the cake as I wanted to see his reaction to a checkered cake! He was actually kind of stunned seeing a cake like that and was happy that I attempted something drastic.All happy me!! So my friends,dont get intimidated by the looks of the cake,its a easy cake to make. I had finished the entire process in less than 3 hours (I had made the almond meal the previous day)! Do try it out and feel happy!!




¾ cup / 175gm  Unsalted Butter, softened & cut in cubes
¾ cup / 175gm Caster Sugar
1¼ cups / 175gm  All purpose Flour
3 Large Eggs, room temp
½ cup / 65gm Ground Almonds (Can be substituted with ground rice)
2 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Almond Extract
Red Food Colouring, paste, liquid or gel
To Finish
1/3 cup / 100gm  Apricot Jam or Strawberry Jam
225gm Marzipan, natural or yellow
2 cups granulated sugar
4 cups ground almonds (or almond meal)
2 egg whites
Powdered sugar for dusting 

Almond Meal
500 gm Almonds,blanched and skin removed

50gm Icing sugar


Almond Meal

Put the almonds in a food processor and grind till fine.

Since the almonds will release oils the icing sugar can be added as needed to prevent it from getting stuck together and the maintain the powder consistency.

Store it in a air tight container or ziplock in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to moderate 180°C
Whisk together the dry ingredients then combine with the wet ingredients in a large bowl and beat together just until the ingredients are combined and the batter is smooth.The batter will be a thick one.

I used my bread tin for making the cake,if you have a Battenberg tin you can use that,or if you have a big square tin you can make a partition with a cardboard rolled with silver foil and use it.

Spoon half the mixture into the tin and bake it for 25-30 mins until the cake is well risen, springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cake and take it off the pan.

Add a few drops of red food liquid/gel/paste to the remaining batter, stir until the colour is thoroughly distributed, add more colour if needed.
Spoon the pink batter into the baking tin and bake the same way as before.
Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out to cool thoroughly on a wire rack.
Once completely cool, trim the edges of the cake with a long serrated knife

Cut each coloured sponge in half lengthways so that you are left with four long strips of sponge

Neaten the strips and trim as necessary so that your checkered pattern is as neat and even as possible
Gently heat the apricot/strawberry jam and pass through a small sieve

Brush warmed jam onto the strips of cake to stick the cake together in a checkered pattern (one yellow next to one pink. On top of that, one pink next to one yellow)
Sift the icing sugar in a bowl with the ground almonds. Add the remaining ingredients and mix to make a stiff paste. Knead until smooth.
Assembling the Battenberg Cake
Dust a large flat surface with icing sugar then roll the marzipan in an oblong shape that is wide enough to cover the length of the cake and long enough to completely wrap the cake
Brush the top of the cake with jam
Place the cake on the marzipan, jam side down
Brush the remaining three sides with jam
Press the marzipan around the cake, making sure the join is either neatly in the one corner, or will be underneath the cake once turned over
Carefully flip the cake over so that the seam is under the cake and score the top of the cake with a knife, you can also crimp the top corners with your fingers to decorate
Neaten the ends of the cake and remove excess marzipan by trimming off a small bit of cake on both ends to reveal the pattern
A little note on Battenberg Cake:
The chefs of the British Royal Family were introduced to the German style of cake making during Queen Victoria's reign. This included the use of bright colours and marzipan.The first Battenberg cake was made in that German style to celebrate the wedding of Queen Victoria's granddaughter, Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, and was named after her husband to be, Prince Louis of Battenberg.
"Happy Valentines Day"


  1. Wow!!

    Thats a great attempt! Fantastic stuff! :) The fact that you are soo interested in it, shows very well in the way your recepies turn out :-) it is definitely not a surprise that you made something different, but a sign for many more wonderful cakes you will for sure continue to make :-)

    It looks soo yummy! Im sure Vibes and Chandru would have enjoyed every bit of it :-)

    That was a nice touch with the little history behind the cake..

    Gud stuff

    1. Thanks a ton for your words Rupz!! Im myself surprised at times with my interest in cooking,something I used to dislike sometime before :-).Vibhaa and Chandru loved it .. I was in for a pleasant surprise when I saw the cake had originated from England! You know why!!! :-)