Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring Battenburg Cake


This was my first time making Battenburg cake, and it certainly will not be my last.  I'm smitten!  I love the bright almond flavor the cake imparts, and I can't help but smile at the colorful two-by-two checked pattern.  Traditionally the cuboid cakes are pink and yellow, but I've always thought pink and green conveyed the feeling of spring more perfectly.

I had a difficult time finding good step-by-step instructions for this recipe, so I am including my own in this post.

Grease the pan with shortening before adding the divider, this will hold the paper in place as you pour the batter in.
I didn't have the two 7" square pans called for in the original recipe, so I had to work around that.  The pan above ended up being too big, but I wanted to show you the pictures anyway to illustrate the dividing of a pan with parchment.  This technique works well with this recipe for separating two thick batters - unless you have a  Battenburg tin at the ready, which I suspect many of us don't.


I ended up using a 10 x7 stoneware dish with the parchment divider and it worked great.  I went a little overboard obsessively trimming the cake cubes to perfection (which I never fully achieved).  Next time I will not be so fretful over this because much of the unevenness is corrected by the marzipan layer.


As a final touch, I dressed the cake in white fondant and added pearl dragees.  This cake reminds me so much of the little white gloves I wore as a child for Easter. They had pearl buttons, and I was so proud of them.



Spring Battenburg Cake                                                   [click to print]
Serves 6-8

1 cup butter softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1-2 tsp milk (if batter is too thick)
1 drop deep pink Americolor soft gel food coloring
1 drop green Americolor soft gel food coloring
1/2 cup apricot jam
1 1/2 cups or approx. 3/4 lb.  marzipan  (press into measuring cups)
1 1/2 cups or approx. 3/4 lb ready-made white fondant
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
Pearl dragees
Corn syrup to hold dragees in place
Parchment paper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 10 x 7 baking dish, set aside.

Line the pan:
Fold a piece of parchment paper in half, then, while folded,  trim the edges to fit the length of the pan.  Place the parchment inside the greased pan with the crease sticking up and running lengthwise. (You are dividing the pan in two portions with the crease of the parchment.)  Smooth each side of the parchment down into the pan, adhering it to the bottom.

Bake the cakes:
Cream butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment.  Beat in the 3 eggs one at a time, then mix in almond extract.  In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  Gently add the flour mixture to the creamed butter mixture, and stir on low speed until combined. Add milk if mixture is too dense - batter will be thick but should spoon out easily.  Divide batter into two equal parts (this recipe makes about 3 1/4 cups batter).  Tint one portion of batter pink, and the other portion green.  Spoon (or pour) pink mixture into one side of the parchment lined pan, and green into the other side.  Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick tester comes out clean.  Turn cakes out onto a wire rack and let cool completely

Assemble the cake:
Using a serrated knife, trim each cake evenly into two long cuboid cakes.  You should have two green cake pieces and two pink. Melt apricot jam and brush cakes on all sides with it.  Stack cakes together two-by-two, creating a square of alternating colors.  On a piece of parchment, roll marzipan thinly with a large rolling pin, making sure there is enough to completely cover the stacked cakes.  Roll stacked cake tightly in marzipan, pressing to secure the edges. 

Dust work surface with confectioners' sugar and roll ready made fondant into a large thin sheet - again, making sure there is enough to completely enrobe the cake.  Roll marzipan coated cake in fondant making sure the seam is placed at the bottom of the cake - trim as needed.  Slice a small portion of cake off each side, removing the excess fondant and marzipan along with it.

With the back of a knife press criss-cross patterns in the top of the cake (like quilting).  Make a small indention with a lollipop stick where each line meets.  Put a small dab of corn syrup in each hole (use a small paintbrush or toothpick to apply) and place a single pearl dragee in each hole.

Store in an airtight container or wrap in cling film.

 

91 comments:

Jessica @ How Sweet said...

This is SO pretty! I love those bright colors too. Gorgeous Heather!

Cookin' Canuck said...

What a work of art! The color are so bright and cheerful and I can only imagine how good it must taste.

Susan said...

So fun! Thanks for the improvisation for the pan and all the colors.

Kristan said...

Oh my word, this is too pretty to eat!!

But I have a feeling I'd find a way. Somehow.

You make it look so easy :)

Maria said...

Beautiful cake for spring!

Yaneri said...

Yeah, exactly what I was saying like Jessica! This is soooo pretty! The details are so nice!! thank you for sharing this with us!! I love love the colors for Easter!!

Yaneri

Lauren @ Crave. Indulge. Satisfy. said...

I have never heard of this type of cake before, but am LOVING it! What a fun idea, the pink and green are perfect together and your fondant details are beautiful!

AMY B said...

Wow wow wow! How exquisite! This is my first visit to your blog but I can tell I'll be back!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A work of art! It is funny how this English 60's classic is making a comeback... I love the looks of that cake.

Cheers,

Rosa

Nicolette said...

This looks so yummy! I'm going to try this as one of our Easter desserts. I'll link back when I post about it.

Daydreamer Desserts said...

What a gorgeous cake! And, love your step-by-step photos!

Snippets of Thyme said...

Perfectly perfect! I was ooohing and aaahing over this sweet cake and then I had to hop down and check out those sweet Croatian Easter doll breads. I would love to make those. BTW, I'll send you an e-mail soon. I made those chocolate swirls the other day for the side of my Easter. I used your tutorial in the Cheesecake Factory article. It was hard but so much fun. I will link back to your site. I'll let you know when I post the article.

linda said...

i, too, had never heard of this beautiful cake before your post & i must say it truly is impressive!
i do hope to make this soon…i am putting on my "to bake" list!
thanks so much….
what brand of ready made fondant do you like…i have a hard time with the taste of some of the store boughts...

SprinkleBakes said...

Hi Linda!

Satin Ice brand is really good and you can buy it at Amazon. I have also heard good things about FondX ready-made but I have never tried it.

Soapylove said...

This is so beautiful! What an elegant and delicious creation!

I am a soap designer and have challenged other soapmakers to come up with a soap version of your cake. To read about it, go to www.soapylove.blogspot.com. Thanks for the incredible inspiration!

Caelyn said...

The fondant on this is gorgeous, seriously. I wish I could accomplish something that attractive.

Oh, and the insides are really cute too :) I love how they look when cut into slices.

Kathy - Panini Happy said...

What an absolutely stunning cake! I'd never heard of a Battenburg Cake before but it looks just fabulous.

vanillasugar said...

oh i just found you via kathy panni girl. i must say you are super talented. love love love your blog. and that cake...to die for.

Jennifurla said...

Oh how lovely. I am going to have a sleepover for my daughters 3rd birthday and want more *special* things for us all to share. This fits the bill

Jennifer said...

What a gorgeous cake! Reminds me of my mom making marzipan bars for mme when I was little!!

Blog is the New Black said...

Lots of talent! :)

Couldn't Be Parve said...

Wow! This is beautiful!

Sue said...

This looks perfect to me, Heather! I love the colors you chose. That is so sweet that your beautiful design for the fondant ties into your childhood Easter memory:)

The Sweetylicious said...

that is soooo LOVELY! and the tips is so useful (:

A.D.M. said...

SOO YUMMY LOOKING! I want to try this. It's perfect teatime cake!

Heather (Heather's Dish) said...

WOW! every single thing you make makes me smile...it's always SO beautiful and i can only imagine is just as delicious. yum!

Heather from Snacktive said...

Your cakes are so amazing. I wish I could bake something like that, but I'll just leave it to you. I love looking at what you make!

Audacious Allure said...

I am so trying this! I reblogged it here:

http://audaciousallure.blogspot.com/2011/04/sweet-tooth.html

A Charmed Life said...

The cake looks very yummy and really not that difficult to make. I'll give it a try soon. Is there a substitute for the fondant layer, or can I just leave it?

Thnx for the recipe, Maja

SprinkleBakes said...

Hi Maja!

You could just use the marzipan layer if you prefer. That is how it is traditionally made. I added the extra fondant layer - it is not pertinent to the cake's structure.

jillian m. said...

what a pretty little dessert. it reminds me of the seven-layer (or rainbow) cookie. yum.

The Cafe Sucre Farine said...

Oh my, isn't it awesome how springtime transforms our spirits? I'm so thankful for the season changes. I had a similar experience when I created the spring cookies on this post - http://thecafesucrefarine.blogspot.com/2011/03/millie-gauls-amish-sugar-cookies.html
but my decorating is much more rudimentary than yours!

Ryan said...

Absolutely beautiful! I bet it was delicious too! Great job (as always)!!!

Helena said...

How pretty!

Lea said...

I love the pattern, too, but the outside just looks perfect!

Mr. Capoeira Sydney said...

What a neat post! Looking forward for more post from you. Thank you for sharing!

Cart Ridges said...

This is so yummy!!!

Kelly said...

I've never seen anything like this before. And there's marzipan? Heavenly!

andreagroves said...

This is so beautiful! I want to make this for some friends for the Thursday before Easter...but we'll see how large my funds are next week. :)

Nikki said...

this looks awesome, i have saved this recipe in a folder. Thanks for sharing! x

Heather Ozee said...

Roxy loves checkerboard cake, so I know she'll think this is a hit!
Hugs!

Диана said...

WOW
WOW
WOW
WOWOWOWOWOWOW!!!!!!!!

Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot said...

I've recently been made aware of Battenburg Cake and I've been meaning to try it. I love yours and the diamond pattern is beautiful! Fun fact, I actually have the same knife set.

Cara @ The Boys Made Me Do It said...

Absolultely gorgeous! I've never even heard of a Battenburg Cake but am really intrigued!

warmvanillasugar said...

This is freaking fantastic! So beautiful. I wish you lived close by to make my wedding cake!!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Looks amazing! I've always wanted to bake a Battenburg cake but wasn't sure that dividing the pan with paper would work. Thank you for the clear instructions!

Kenni said...

This is so pretty! I love the design on the fondant.

Paula said...

I love how you did the fondant on this cake. It is one of the most prettiest cakes I've ever seen.

Rachel Humiston said...

Wow! This is absolutely beautiful. It is very reminiscent of 7 layer rainbow cookies, one of my all-time favorite things.

cookies and cups said...

I feel like I have a love/hate relationship with you.
I LOVE that you give me this ridiculously beautiful eye candy, but I HATE that I haven't thought of your BRILLIANT ideas!
You continue to amaze me and I can't wait for your book...I will be a pre-order for sure :)

Allison said...

Oh my goodness this is so beautiful! Love how it looks like a little quilted pillow. So envious of your skills. :)

Xinmei @ Pudding Pie Lane said...

Absolutely beautiful, love the pearl dragees :) And well done on the pan separating too, I've tried that but whenever I pour the batter in it makes the parchment move to the side :(

Brittany H. said...

This is absolutely the most perfect little cake! I'd get myself in trouble and eat the whole thing, for sure. Thanks for the cooking inspiration. Maybe I'll give this a try!

How's your day?
www.brittanyhavican.blogspot.com

marla said...

Heather, this cake is gorgeous. Love that you went with the pink & green. Great tips on the parchment too!

Joy said...

This is utterly beautiful. I can't wait to try this.

Misbah said...

This is so pretty. thx for shareing the tips also.

Lynnette said...

Stunning!!! And the quilting on top puts this little cake over the top!

Heather said...

WOW! I don't think I have the skills to pull this one off, but I might try one day!

-Heather
www.madefamousby.blogspot.com

Irina @ Sunshine's kitchen said...

I've always wanted to try this Battenburg Cake. Thanks for sharing :)

Connie the cookie monster said...

OMYGOODNESS! this looks sooo soo good! you're so talented!

Farrah said...

What an AMAZING job you did. I've never heard of Battenburg cake before but it's stunning with the fondant & pearls. I don't know if I would want anyone to eat it or just stare at it and awe.

Candi said...

would make a gorgeous wedding cake... yummy

Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen said...

That is gorgeous! You are so talented!

grace said...

magnifique! that's right--i'm breaking out some of my very limited french for this one. well done. :)

Kim @ Everything Etsy said...

Wow! It's amazing and you make it look easy! :)

I just tweeted it and pinned it!

~Kim

cailen ascher said...

omg they are gorgeous and just perfect for spring! great pictures, too.

just found your blog and glad that i did. i am loving it! i'm your newest follower

cheers!
cailen
www.cailenascher.blogspot.com

Maris (In Good Taste) said...

What a lovely spring cake!

Erin said...

Your cake is beautiful!!!

sophistimom said...

Oh my goodness. You inspire me. That is gorgeous.

Lili said...

This reminded me a little of the checkerboard cakes my Grammy used to make and I know she didn't use a special pan either. I just love your dressed up version with the diamond shapes and pearls, and I was particularly delighted to see the color combination, as that is the exact same color of our lobster buoys! Happy Spring Heather! xo ~Lili

livininthekitchen said...

This is so pretty! The colors are beautiful, the thing that always holds me back from baking these beautiful recipes, is marzipan. Sigh.

Debbie said...

This cake is so little and cute, but very impressive. My first thought was how long it would take me to make this cake, but your photos make it look so quick and easy, thanks so much! You are my new cake inspiration!

Cornelius the Pig said...

i just found your blog via the flaming strawberry cupcakes post - everything i have seen so far looks AMAZING!

Megan said...

That is one beautiful cake!

The Texas Peach said...

Love this! It makes such a pretty presentation. Perfect for any type of ladies function or event. Almost too pretty to eat. Almost! Definitely an impressive dessert to serve guests.

Possible Baker said...

Beautiful cake! And perfect for Easter. Thanks for sharing the how to and recipe!

kellypea said...

What a great, festive, and unusual cake. Really wonderful. I've only worked with marzipan once, and not like this. Would be so fun to try :)

Calamazou said...

Your cake is beautiful - I hope mine comes out as well (just put it in the oven, in fact)!

Lisa Mai said...

Wow this is so beautiful! I love the photography and the step by step pictures.

Astrid said...

I'm absolutely making this cake tonight for the teachers at my daughter's school! (We are doing a teacher appreciation dessert thing tomorrow). Wish me luck, and thanks for the inspiration! I'll be blogging about my adventures with Battenburg cake...

http://lunchfitforakid.blogspot.com

Astrid said...

http://lunchfitforakid.blogspot.com/2011/05/recipe-spring-battenburg-cake-from.html

Linda @ Lemon Drop said...

This is beautiful and what a great idea on how to bake 2 cakes in one large pan!

Stefani @ MommyEnterprises.com said...

What a neat and pretty cake. I have been wanting to try to make something with fondant.

Brandi @ Flip Flop Mama said...

Beautiful cake!

ibbyskibby said...

Thank you so much for posting instructions so that I don't have to buy another tin, which I don't have room for in my tiny apartment!! This is lovely.

Broken_ said...

I know its a little later than Easter, but I saw a recipe for a Rubics Cube version of the Batterburg cake and I found your blog while looking for a simple version of the cake to do a test run with. It was amazingly easy to make (I actually made it on a sleepless night), and I had a blast doing it. I definitely understand where you were coming from when you talked about the uneven cakes, because despite my best late-night efforts the back of my cake seemed to shrink!

For anyone that is looking for Marzipan or Fondant, I did manage to find them at my local Ultra Foods and Walmart/Michaels, respectively. The pearl dragees were also available at Walmart. I had not previously had Marzipan or Fondant, and as someone else mentioned the tastes did not seem to be the best, but for a last minute idea for a test cake I was pleased.

Isabella said...

That looks great! You could try lots of other colours as well. Hey, I have a blog and I am really proud of it. I blog 24/7. ALL I WANT IS MORE READERS. Please I would love it so much if you could have a look and if you like it subscribe. Find it at http://dandelionamazingblog.blogspot.com/

Virginia Perry said...

I am making one for my husband's birthday today (29th). I had a time finding the marzipam; but I got it. Plan to color it orange and green. Will make orange roses. My husband gave me an orange rose on our first date. Our 49th anniversary is tomorrow (March 1)

Марина said...

This is an excellent recipe! I just made it today, and it turned out lovely, very soft, delicate and delicious. This was my first Battenburg, so I decided to stick to the basics: didn't use the fondant or green coloring, but made a basic traditional pink-and-white marzipan-covered battenburg. I did make a couple of small changes: used one cup all-purpose flour, half a cup cake flour (not self-rising), and half a cup of almond meal. Very nice, tender sponge with a delicate almond flavor. Love it. Thanks for a great recipe!

Atomic Shrimp said...

Beautiful! - well done.

Joanne T Ferguson said...

G'day! ABSOLUTELY wonderful, TRUE!
Bet your feel REALLY proud of yourself...GREAT photos too!
Cheers! Joanne
What's On The List
http://www.whatsonthelist.net

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