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Daring Bakers: Battenberg Cake

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

No matter how hard I try, I have not been able to divide batter equally just by eye-balling it.
With this Battenberg Cake, it looked like I had finally got it right, but it's obvious from the picture that the pink portion is slightly bigger than the yellow.
Maybe if I close one eye... ;-|
The Daring Bakers made this classic English cake for June. There was apparently a hitch with hosting the challenge, but...
*trumpet blast*
Mandy of What The Fruitcake?! came to our rescue last minute to present us with the Battenberg Cake challenge! She highlighted Mary Berry’s techniques and recipes to allow us to create this unique little cake with ease.
Thanks Mandy!
With Britain celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's royal diamond jubilee this year, this cake was apropos for the occasion. It's apparently an old German-style cake which used marzipan and has bright colours, and chefs of the Royal Family learnt the technique during the reign of Queen Victoria. They invented the cake to celebrate the marriage of the queen's granddaughter Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine and Prince Louis of Battenberg.
Mandy provided an excellent tutorial of the recipes and instructions on how to make different flavoured Battenberg Cakes.
First, bake the cake and assemble...
I thought ginger and pineapple would be a good match. So that both coloured portions of the cake would have the same texture, the ginger half – flavoured with powdered ginger – also has crushed gingernut biscuits in it, while the flavour and texture of the pineapple half comes from minced candied pineapple.
The colours of the two portions looked almost the same, so I had to add some food gel. Pineapple would be yellow, of course, but pink was the closest I could get to the colour of ginger.
...then cover with marzipan and decorate
I had a little trouble with the marzipan and didn't do a neat job of wrapping the cake, but hey, when the loaf was right side up, the top scored and decorated with candied pineapple slices, who could tell but me and the kitchen sink?
Was this a cake fit for a queen? Don’t know about the British monarch, but Mama, queen of the house of Ragavan, decreed that she would be taking several slices of it home with her.

Gingernut-Pineapple Battenberg Cake
Serves 8-12

100g butter, softened
100g sugar
2 medium eggs
50g ground almond
100g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp milk
25g gingernuts (2 biscuits), finely crushed
1 tsp powdered ginger
25g candied pineapple (1 large ring), finely chopped
Red and yellow food gels

To assemble
80ml apricot jam, microwaved for a few seconds to soften
200g marzipan
1 candied pineapple ring, cut into short lengths

Grease an 18cm square baking tin. Cut baking parchment twice the length of the base of the tin. Make a crease in the centre and fold up to fit into the base of the tin. Preheat oven to 170°C. 
Beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the ground almonds.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together three times. Fold flour mixture into the wet ingredients. The batter should be a dropping consistency. If too firm, add a little milk.
Divide the mixture into two equal portions. Add gingernuts and powdered ginger to one portion. Colour this portion with red food gel. Add glace pineapple and yellow food gel to the other portion.
Place the two portions in separate sections of the tin and bake cake for 20-25 minutes, until springy and a toothpick in the centre comes out clean.
Cool cake on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from tin and cool completely.

Cut each portion in two equally. two different coloured logs together with apricot jam, and then sandwich the two pairs together with more jam in a checkered pattern. Set aside.
Dust a large flat surface with icing sugar then roll the marzipan in an oblong shape that is wide enough to cover the length of the cake and long enough to completely wrap the cake. Brush the top of the cake with apricot jam. Place the cake on the marzipan, jam side down. Brush the remaining three sides with jam. Press the marzipan around the cake, making sure the join is either neatly in the one corner, or will be underneath the cake once turned over.
Carefully flip the cake over so that the seam is under the cake and score the top of the cake with a knife in a criss-cross pattern. Neaten the ends of the cake and remove excess marzipan by trimming off a small bit of cake on both ends to reveal the pattern. Decorate the top with pieces of candied pineapple.


  1. That's so beautiful! My gosh, I don't think I can ever get the 4 portions equal :P Must be fun to eat.

    1. I guess we have the same problem with portions, Mary! And yes, it is fun to eat.

  2. Love your fab flavour combination and the cake looks great!

  3. Wow! This cake is so beautiful! I would love to make this if I have the time!

    1. You make such wonderful cakes Jeannie, so I hope you try it!

  4. Love your pineapple and ginger combination, looks fantastic. I made a green cake with choco chips with yellow checkered pattern. Wasn't it fun to bake?

    1. Thanks Jayanthi. I've seen your cake and it looks AMAZING!

  5. Great looking cake and I bet it must have tasted delicious too. I think the Queen would approve!

  6. Fantastic job!! I love the flavor combination that you chose, very creative and summery! You also did a great job with the marzipan!


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