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Cake challenge 2. Battenburg

Battenburg is one of @-Mister-Smith- favourites, so the stakes were high. Especially as I had never made one before! I found what looked like a good recipe but learned a lot along the way and probably wouldn't use it again as it produced enough for several cakes and they only last about a month in the freezer - a lot of cake to eat your way through. So this is more that enough for two small cakes.


Soft butter or margarine 175 grms / 6.5 ozs

Golden Caster Sugar 175 grms / 6.5 ozs

Self raising flour 140 grms / 5 ozs

Ground Almonds 50 grms / 2.5 ozs

Baking powder Half a tsp

Medium eggs 3

Vanilla Extract Half a tsp

Almond extract Quarter tsp

Pink food colouring

To assemble

Apricot jam 200 grms / 7 ozs Caution - the jam I bought had bits in so check before you buy!

White Marzipan 1 block

Icing Sugar for dusting


Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4

Prepare an 8 inch 20cms square cake tin, grease and line tin.

To make the sponge, put the butter, sugar, flour, ground almonds, baking powder, eggs, vanilla and almond extract in a large bowl. Beat with an electric whisk until the mix comes together smoothly.

Pour half the mixture into the tin making sure it goes into the corners.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Meanwhile add pink food colouring to the other half of the mixture. Leave the cooked sponge in the tine for ten minutes and then turn out onto a wire cooling rack.

I reused the same linging and it worked out ok. Pour in the pink mixture and repeat. But it would be easier to have two tins and bake at the same time.

Assembling the cake

Once both sponges are cool, spread apricot jam over the top of one cake. Sandwich the second sponge over the first.

Cut the two sponges into four long fingers

Take two of the fingers and turn one upside down so that the colours make a checkerboard pattern. Sandwich the two sides together using the apricot jam.

Using the icing sugar dust the work surface and roll out the marzipan into a square shape, about 5mm or just under a quarter of an inch thick.

I found it easier to position the cake on the dry marzipan first so the the seam will run down the middle of the underside of the sponge. Try with the dry cake and marzipan first to make sure it all fits! Score the marzipan lightly with a knife to mark the position and spread apricot jam between the lines. This will be the top of the cake. Place the joined sponge in position and spread jam on both sides and the top. Now carefully bring the marzipan up like you are wrapping a parcel. Press into the sides of the sponge. Trim the marzipan to size and make a seam using a fork to press the seam flat. Turn the whole thing upside down on a serving plate.

Now trim both ends neatly with a sharp knife. And you are ready to slice and serve the completed cake!

It is fiddly but well worth the effort. You can freeze the other two fingers and assemble them once they are totally thawed. I made mine far too big because I was overflowing with cake but remember whatever size you cut the finger to that there is going to be four of them making the complete cake. Enjoy!

Sir's Verdict - 8 out of 10 for presentation but 10 out of 10 for taste!

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