Traditional British Battenberg Cake

Battenberg cake

The Spruce

  • Total: 45 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 1 cake (9 servings)

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 round. 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 as you can see in this recipe.It is such fun to make and even more fun to eat and cheers up any tea time table.


  • 5 1/4 ounces 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-raising 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.

    Ingredients for Battenberg cake
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  2. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

  3. In a large baking bowl beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy.

    Beat together butter and sugar
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  4. 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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  5. Add the vanilla extract and stir.

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

    Sieve the flour
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  7. 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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  8. 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 into one side and the plain cake the other.

    Greasing a pan
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  9. 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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  10. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

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

    Cutting up the cake
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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. Brush all the outside edges with more jam.

    Brushing even more jam
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  15. 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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  16. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

    Chilled in the fridge
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  17. Serve and enjoy!

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