Classic Battenburg Cake
- prep time 60 min
- total time 85 min
- serves 16
1 ⅔ cups (400 mL) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ⅔ cups (400 mL) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon (15 mL) vanilla
1 ⅔ cups (400 mL) all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons (90 mL) ground almonds
2 teaspoons (10 mL) baking powder
½ teaspoon (2 mL) salt
¼ cup (50 mL) 10% half-and-half cream
2 drops red food colouring
2 drops green food colouring
1 ½ cups (375 mL) apricot jam
1 ½ cups (375 mL) marzipan, about 330 gRoyal Icing (Optional)
1 egg white
1 teaspoon (5 mL) fresh lemon juice
1 ½ cups (375 mL) icing sugar
1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Grease two 9-inch square (2.5 L) cake pans. Line bottoms and sides with parchment paper leaving an overhang on 2 sides; set aside.
2. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, add butter, sugar and vanilla. Cream together on low speed for about 2 minutes or until fluffy. One at a time, beat in eggs. Turn machine off.
3. In separate bowl, stir together flour, almonds, baking powder and salt. Using a spatula, alternately fold flour mixture and cream into butter-egg mixture, making two additions of flour and one of cream. Divide batter in half. Stir red food colouring into one bowl until batter is pink throughout; stir green food colouring into the other bowl.
4. Spoon each batter into a prepared pan. Bake in centre of oven for about 25 minutes or until tester inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool in pans on rack for 5 minutes; remove from pans and place directly on rack until fully cooled.
5. Place apricot jam in a microwave-safe container. Once both cakes are cooled, warm jam in microwave on HIGH for 1 minute.
6. To assemble, cut each cake into 8 equal strips, for a total of 16 strips. Lay one strip of pink cake on a clean work surface; brush sides and top with a thin layer of jam. Lay 1 strip of green cake snugly beside it; brush with jam. Add another pink strip next to green strip, followed by another green strip to complete bottom layer, brushing strips with jam. For top layer, arrange 4 more strips on top of bottom layer, making sure cake strip colours are reversed; brush all over with jam. Repeat assembly process using remaining cake strips to make second cake.
7. Dust clean work surface with icing sugar. Divide marzipan in half. Roll out one piece of marzipan to square about 1/8-inch (2.5 mm) thick, adding a little more icing sugar as needed to prevent sticking. Brush a thin layer of jam in centre of each marzipan. Carefully place one cake on top of jam; wrap marzipan tightly around cake, pulling sides around to meet in centre. Trim any excess marzipan; place cakes on cake board, seam sides down. Repeat with remaining marzipan and second cake.Royal Icing (Optional)
1. For royal icing: In large bowl, add egg white and lemon juice. Using a hand mixer beat mixture on medium speed until bright white, fluffy and medium peaks form. Gradually add icing sugar; beat until fully combined. Spoon into piping bag fitted with small tip. Add 1 to 2 drops of water if icing becomes too thick to pipe.
2. Decorate cake with royal icing, piping rosettes or swags. Let stand about 20 minutes to allow icing to harden. Wrap cakes in plastic wrap; refrigerate 15 minutes before serving.
3. ***This original recipe was tested and modified to make it suitable for use in a home kitchen.