Traditional British Battenberg Cake

Battenberg cake recipe

The Spruce

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Chill Time: 60 mins
Total: 2 hrs
Servings: 9 servings
Yield: 1 cake
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
377 Calories
18g Fat
51g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 9
Amount per serving
Calories 377
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 9g 46%
Cholesterol 98mg 33%
Sodium 231mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 51g 19%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 36g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 92mg 7%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 89mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

No cake is more British than a frivolous Battenberg cake. At any afternoon tea, in fact, at any occasion bring out a Battenberg cake and watch smiles all around. There is something cheering about the distinctive pink and yellow squares tightly wrapped in a thick layer of marzipan that no other cake seems able to achieve.

Battenberg Cake is believed to have been named in honor of the marriage of Queen Victoria's granddaughter to Prince Louis of Battenberg in 1884. Though today, many buy a Battenberg cake they are actually no more difficult to make than any other sponge cake. It is such fun to make, and even more fun to eat, and cheers up any tea time table.


  • 5 1/4 ounces unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing

  • 5 1/4 ounces caster sugar

  • 3 large eggs, beaten together

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 5 1/4 ounces self-rising flour

  • 1 ounce milk

  • 2 drops of pink food coloring

  • 2 3/4 ounces apricot jam (warmed with 2 drops of water)

  • 7 ounces marzipan, ready-rolled

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

    Ingredients for Battenberg cake
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  2. In a large baking bowl beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy.

    Beat together butter and sugar
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  3. Slowly add the eggs, continuing to beat with the butter and sugar mix; resist the temptation to add the eggs too fast to avoid curdling the cake. 

    Adding eggs to mixture
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  4. Add the vanilla extract and stir.

    Vanilla extract added
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  5. Sift the flour into the baking bowl, along with the milk, and continue beating until smooth.

    Sift the flour
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  6. Place half of the mixture in another bowl, add the food coloring a little at a time until you have a color you like. Stir well.

    Add food coloring
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  7. Grease a 6-inch square cake tin and divide into two by placing a thick layer of aluminum foil down the center. Put the pink mixture on one side and the plain cake on the other.

    Put the pink mixture into one side and the plain cake the other
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  8. Place in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake springs back when pressed lightly.

    Baked in the oven
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  9. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

    Letting it cool
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  10. Cut each cake to the same size, then cut each cake in half lengthways.

    Cutting up the cake
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  11. Take a pink cake and brush one side with the warmed jam. Place a yellow piece next to it, jam side together and push gently together.

    Brushing cake
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  12. Brush the top surface with jam and place a piece of yellow cake atop a pink piece and vice versa.

    Brushing jam
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  13. Brush all the outside edges with more jam.

    Brushing even more jam
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  14. Brush the rolled marzipan with a little jam and wrap it all around the cake, hiding the seam underneath. Trim away any excess.

    Rolled marzipan
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  15. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Serve and enjoy!

    Chilled in the fridge
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