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.

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Jessica @ How Sweet
Jessica @ How Sweet
10 years ago

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

Cookin' Canuck
Cookin' Canuck
10 years ago

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

Susan
Susan
10 years ago

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

Cookbook Queen
Cookbook Queen
10 years ago

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
Maria
10 years ago

Beautiful cake for spring!

Yaneri
Yaneri
10 years ago

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.
Lauren @ Crave. Indulge. Satisfy.
10 years ago

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!

Unknown
Unknown
10 years ago

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
Rosa's Yummy Yums
10 years ago

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
Nicolette
10 years ago

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
Daydreamer Desserts
10 years ago

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

Snippets of Thyme
Snippets of Thyme
10 years ago

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
linda
10 years ago

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…

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
10 years ago

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.

Unknown
Unknown
10 years ago

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 http://www.soapylove.blogspot.com. Thanks for the incredible inspiration!

Caelyn
Caelyn
10 years ago

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
Kathy - Panini Happy
10 years ago

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

vanillasugarblog
vanillasugarblog
10 years ago

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.

Unknown
Unknown
10 years ago

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
Jennifer
10 years ago

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

Blog is the New Black
Blog is the New Black
10 years ago

Lots of talent! 🙂

Couldn't Be Parve
Couldn't Be Parve
10 years ago

Wow! This is beautiful!

Sue
Sue
10 years ago

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
The Sweetylicious
10 years ago

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

A.D.M.
A.D.M.
10 years ago

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

Heather (Heather's Dish)
Heather (Heather's Dish)
10 years ago

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
Heather from Snacktive
10 years ago

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
Audacious Allure
10 years ago

I am so trying this! I reblogged it here:

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

Maja (A Charmed Life)
Maja (A Charmed Life)
10 years ago

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

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
10 years ago

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
Jillian
10 years ago

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

Unknown
Unknown
10 years ago

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
Ryan
10 years ago

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

Helena
Helena
10 years ago

How pretty!

Lea
Lea
10 years ago

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

Mr. Capoeira Sydney
Mr. Capoeira Sydney
10 years ago

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

Cart Ridges
Cart Ridges
10 years ago

This is so yummy!!!

Kelly
Kelly
10 years ago

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

Andrea
Andrea
10 years ago

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 | The Ginger Diaries
Nikki | The Ginger Diaries
10 years ago

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

Heather Ozee
Heather Ozee
10 years ago

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

Диана
Диана
10 years ago

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

Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot
Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot
10 years ago

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.

Unknown
Unknown
10 years ago

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

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

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

Patricia Scarpin
Patricia Scarpin
10 years ago

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
Kenni
10 years ago

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

Paula
Paula
10 years ago

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

Rachel Cannon Humiston
Rachel Cannon Humiston
10 years ago

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

cookies and cups
cookies and cups
10 years ago

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 🙂