Battenburg Cake ~ Daring Baker's Challenge, June 2012

29 June 2012

A luxury two colored Victoria cake, sandwiched together with apricot & peach jam and dredged with Marzipan. A real English royal cake.

I have not been able to participate in the daring baker's challenge for some months now. Partly caused by all the bready challenges that has been up now and I am more of a sweet person, so I was waiting for some sweet treats and actually there was one in between all the bread stuff (before the last month, I think) and I made the Armenian nazook which made really good company to tea. I wrapped some of them in cellofan and gave away to some friends I was sleeping over at that weekend. I really wanted to bake the challah loaf last month, but due to lack of time, I could not make it. But when I saw this month's challenge; Battenburg cake, I was pretty sure that this time I would not miss the challenge.

Contradictory to others, Battenburg cake is not a new term for me. I am quite familiar with this royal cake and have been making this delicious cake for about 5 years now on special occassions. I think my first attempt was in 2007 and I have a post up on that one here. Battenburg cake is very much loved in my family and my brother-in-law has also become a enthusiast since he tasted it and that time it really turned out amazing and he keep mention that. This English royal cake was introduced to me by my favorite baking book "Cakes & Cake Decorating" by Rosemary Wadey and has now become one of our favorite cakes and whenever we are having some "finer" guests, this cake is usually a priority.

This time also I made this cake to some special guests we were having and I wanted to make it the same day as I think this cake should be enjoyed while it is moist, soft and fresh (unlike cream cakes). I had time pressure and there was no apricot jam at home, so I baked the cake and then I rushed to the shop for some jam and finally managed to assemble the cake just before the guests arrived. I would prefer to decorate with some marzipan roses or royal icing, but due to lack of time I just kept it plain and planned to serve it already cut in slices. Thinking about it now, I could have made a lattice pattern with a knife and decorated with some white pearls in no time to give a more elegant look, but anyways it is too late to think about it now as the cake and guests both are gone.

This cake is always much appreciated by the guests. Last time I made it for some guests, this lady asked me how I had managed to assemble it as a cheque (explanations to her). Also this time the guests were much pleased by the cake. They really loved it and thought the cakes were bought and went as far as saying that these were some of the best cakes they have had. I guess that is candy for the ears and the best payment for anyone who loves to bake. Even one of my brothers said to me that it looks very simple, but when you take a bite of it, there are so many delicious flavors coming in your mouth; almonds from the marzipan, apricot and peach jam and lemon flavor from cake. A delight to hear such comments, and remembering myself that I would not be able to bake a single successful cake without the will of God, so all praise to Him, the One who has blessed me with this talent. Alhemdulillah.

I have seen many creative attempts by other bakers on daring baker's. Some have used different colors and flavors and many have used chocolate plastique to cover around the cake. I was impressed by some of the flavor combinations such as chocolate and mint which made so beauitulf together as a cheque design with dark brown and mint green colors. Maybe I will try these flavors some time, but I would personally never use chocolate plastique or anything else other than Marzipan around this cake as I think it gives the prettiest and neatest result and amazing taste to the cake and jam. This time I used a high quality jam, a blend of apricot and peach with a very high amount of fruit. It was one of the best apricot and peach jam I have tasted and absolutely different from the normal jam which tastes more like water and sugar.

Battenburg cake or "window" cake is made from moist Victoria sandwich cake in two colors and sandwiched together with delicious apricot and peach jam for then to be wrapped around a thick layer of marzipan. This very luxury and elegant cake can adorn any table on all type of special occassions. A little time consuming, but absolutely worth the patience.

Makes 1 large or 2 small cakes, 8-10 servings in each


150 g butter
150 g sugar
3 eggs, large
140 g all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp water
pink food coloring
raspberry or lemon flavoring (optional)

100 g apricot & peach jam
225 g marzipan

Grease a deep oblong cake tin, about 28 x 18 cm / 11 x 7 inches, and line the bottom with greased (waxed) paper. Make a division across the centre of the tin with a double thickness of foil

1. Cream the butter and maragarine and sugar together until light and fluffy
2. Beat in the eggs one at a time, following each with a spoonful of flour
3. Sift in the remaining flour and fold in, followed by the water
4. Spread half themixture into one side of the cake tin
5. Add a few drops of pink food colouring and raspberry flavouring, if liked, to the remaining mixture
6. Put it in the other side of the tin

Bake in a moderately hot oven at 190 C / 375 F / Gas Mark 5 for about 25 minutes or until well risen and firm to the touch

Turn onto a wire rack to cool


1. Trim the cakes to an even size and cut in half lenghtways
2. Spread the top of one white and one pink piece of cake with jam and top with alternate coloured pieces
3. Spread the sides of one double layer with jam and stcik the two pieces together to give the chequered effect
4. Use the remaining jam to brush all around the outside of the cake
5. Roll out the marzipan on a surface sprinkled with a little caster sugar, to an oblong large enough to enclose the whole cake ( approx. 35 x 25 cm / 14 x 10 inches)
6. Place the cake in the centre
7. Wrap the marzipan around the cake to cover it completely and trim


Crimp or decorate the outer edges of the marzipan to give an even shape and mark a criss-cross pattern on top with a sharp knife. Sprinkle with a little more sugar and leave to set. Or make a rose with the marzipan rests to garnish the top. Serve cut in slices.


  1. Very pretty cake, it is so nice gentle.

  2. Thank you so much, Martina :)I visited your blog, but could not understand the language..