I’ve always been put off making a Battenberg despite it being my husband’s favourite cake. I made one years ago and, for some reason, remembered it as being tricky. So we stuck to the bought version. But then I tried again, and, you know what, it really wasn’t.
How to Make a Battenberg Cake
A Battenberg baking tin such as this one, the Alan Silverwood Battenberg Cake Pan 8in x 6in plus an electric mixer and a rolling pin.
- 175g/6oz butter
- 175g/6oz caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 175g/6oz self-raising flour
- red food colouring (I use paste)
- 2-3 tablespoons strawberry or seedless raspberry jam
- 500g packet marzipan, plus icing sugar to stop it sticking when you roll out
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 regular or 160 fan.
- Make sure the baking tin is well greased and floured, including the loose middle sections, to stop the cake from sticking (picture 1). N.B This means to grease the tin with butter then scatter a tablespoon of flour over the grease. Tip and pat the tin so the flour sticks all the way around, including the sides and especially the corners. It helps to do this over the sink.
- In a bowl cream the butter with the sugar; then add the eggs and a spoonful of the flour and mix again. Scrape the sides of the bowl, add the rest of the flour and mix again. You may need to scrape the sides of the bowl again and re-mix.
- Take out approximately half the mixture and fill in two sections of the tin (picture 2).
- With the mixture that is left add a little colouring and mix. Scrape the sides and re-mix to ensure there is no yellow left. Add the pink mixture to the other two sections of the tin (picture 3).
- Place in the oven and bake for approximately 25 minutes. When you press your finger gently against the sponge it should bounce back. Allow to cool in the tin (picture 4). Then tip out gently and allow to thoroughly cool.
- You need to level off each section now to ensure they are all roughly the same size. Stack so they are 2 x 2 and check your levels. Cut off un-needed sponge and re-stack. Then, carefully take off each piece so you can spread a thin layer of jam over the sides touching in the middle to stick them together (picture 5).
- Put the cake onto one side and roll out the marzipan. Use icing sugar on the work surface and rolling pin to stop it sticking. You will have more than you need so place the cake into the centre of the marzipan and bring it up each side so you can cut it to size. It needs to wrap around the whole of the sponge. Again, put the cake to one side and spread the marzipan with jam. (It helps to spread the marzipan with the jam rather than the cake. Believe me, this is the less sticky option!) (See picture 6).
- Bring the marzipan up and wrap around the cake. Turn the right way up so the join is now on the bottom (picture 7).
- Cut the ends to give a neat finish (picture 8).
- And you’re finished.