Battenberg Cake

I am constantly inspired by my fellow sweet smiths, but especially impressed during this time of year when chefs work long hours and creativity abounds.  Recently Chef Jennifer Yee posted about her Battenberg cake and it piqued my interest.  As an instructor at a culinary school, I frequently teach classic “old-fashioned” cakes such as the Battenberg, and it was fun to see such an accomplished modern chef bring it back to life.  


When people tell me they are intimidated by baking, I tell them it’s easy as long as you’re organized.  Making a Battenberg cake is no exception.  It is simply two cakes of equal layer, stacked, cut to form squares, then stacked so the colors offset.  Finally, for added flavor, this little cake is wrapped in almond paste and glazed with apricot gel.  This is a versatile cake that can be infused with a wide variety of holiday colors and flavors.  Stay tuned for my plated update to this colorful treat.


Battenberg Cake
Servings: 12
Author: Joe the Baker
  • 8 oz almond paste
  • 5 oz powdered sugar
  • 5 oz yolks
  • 6 oz eqq whites
  • 3 oz sugar
  • 5 oz cake flour
  • 3 oz melted butter
  • Food coloring
  • Apricot gel/jam/jelly
  • Almond paste
  1. Mix together the almond paste and powdered sugar until crumbly.
  2. Add egg yolks and mix until completely smooth.
  3. Incorporate the butter.
  4. Sift the flour and set aside.
  5. Separately, make a meringue with the egg whites and sugar.
  6. Finally, fold the yolk mixture, the meringue, and the flour until a light cake batter is achieved.
  7. Split the batter in half and color each half as desired.
  8. Spread each batter evenly in identically-sized pans and level until completely flat.
  9. Bake at 375F until the cake is spongy, but not colored; typically 6-9 minutes.
  10. Allow the cakes to cool completely then remove.
  11. Spread a thin layer of apricot gel across the surface of one cake and stack the other on top.
  12. Cut the stacked cake into long strips.
  13. Flip every other strip to create a checkerboard pattern, using apricot gel to secure the pieces.
  14. Spread a thin layer of apricot gel on the outside of the cake.
  15. Roll out the almond paste until translucent.
  16. Wrap the cake with almond paste, ensuring an even seal throughout.
  17. Allow to set, refrigerated, before cutting.

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