Battenberg Cake

It's back! Bake Off is finally back on TV and I could not be more happy about it. I may have mentioned that I have been re-watching previous series, to ease my disappointment that Covid would ruin ANOTHER thing this year. But Channel 4 have come through and I am loving the series so far already! 

We decided to do a little Bake Off sweepstake in my office this year. So we divided up the bakers and when your baker is eliminated from the competition you have to bake (or buy) something for the office that week, which relates to that week's theme. 

I ended up with 3 bakers some how... Loreia, Hermine and Lottie. Unfortunately poor Loreia was the first to leave the competition so I decided to have a go at this week's signature bake... Battenberg Cake! I used this recipe as I had never made one before! 


For the sponge:
125g butter
125g caster sugar 
2 eggs
2 drops almond extract 
100g self raising flour 
pinch of salt 
50g ground almonds 
2 tsp milk
a few drops of red or pink food colouring 

To finish:
icing sugar
350g marzipan
8 tbsp apricot jam


1. Line your tin so you have 2x 20cm x 10cm sections lined. Or use a tin with dividers to create sections this big. Preheat your oven to 180/160 fan. 
2. To make the sponge, beat the butter until soft. Whisk in the sugar, a few spoonfuls at a time. Beat well until the mixture is light and fluffy. 
3. In a separate bowl or cup, beat the two eggs with the almond extract. Gradually add this to the butter mixture, making sure it is fully incorporated before adding more. Add a tablespoon of the 100g self raising flour with the last addition of egg to prevent the mixture from curdling. 
4. Add the remaining flour, salt and ground almonds. Add the milk and gently fold together. 
5. Transfer half of your mixture into your pre-lined tin. Add the food colouring to the other half and mix well to make sure there are no streaks. Pour the pink mixture into the other prepared tin. Make sure the mixture is level and goes right into the corners. 
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cake is well risen and spongy to touch. Leave to cool on a wire rack and then remove from the tin to cool completely. 
7. To assemble the cake, cut your 20cm x 10cm sponges in half lengthways so you have 4 strips of cake in total ( 2 pink and 2 yellow) 
8. Sprinkle a clean surface with icing sugar and roll out your marzipan to a 20cm x 30xm rectangle. 
9. Heat the apricot jam with a tablespoon of water over a medium heat to loosen. Sieve it to ensure there are no lumps and it is a very smooth puree texture. Brush the long side of one of the pink sponges and place near the end of the marzipan. Brush one of the yellow sponges and place next to it. Brush the top and sides of both sponges with more apricot jam. Place the second yellow sponge on top of the bottom pink sponge. Then place the second pink sponge on top of the bottom yellow sponge to achieve that signature checker board look. 
10. Brush all the long edges and sides with the last of the apricot jam. Gently roll or wrap the cake with the marzipan, leaving the checker board ends visible. Smooth out the marzipan with your hands and seal on the bottom. Trim off the ends of the cake to expose the checker board pattern inside. 


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