This Battenburg cake recipe (sometimes spelled Battenberg cake) is a traditional British checkerboard cake.
A delicious and light cake recipe that makes quite a pretty and colorful dessert.
It looks amazing when it has been cut.
You can see the checkerboard effect with the pink and yellow squares.
Who needs icing when the cake is covered in jam and has an almond paste coating that is so rich and creamily delicious?
Instead of using the almond paste or marzipan, you could also use a fondant covering if you don't care for almonds. It will have the same look but an altogether different taste.
This is a small cake, about 6 servings.
1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup caster sugar (or white sugar finely ground)
1/4 cup rice flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
almond extract (a few drops)
red gel food coloring
4 tbsp apricot jelly
8oz almond paste (marzipan or fondant)
Preheat the oven to 325F.
Prepare an 8 or 9 inch square cake pan: using a length of foil or parchment about 18 inches long, fold in the center to make a divider and then fold the ends up along each side so that the pan is divided into 2 halves.
You can use a skewer to help support the center divider, too.
Grease the sides of the pan and liner.
Mix the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl and beat well for about 2 minutes until smooth.
Spoon half of the mixture into one half of the prepared pan as neatly as possible.
Add a few drops of the red gel food coloring to the remaining mixture to turn it a deep pink color. Spoon this into the other half of the pan.
If the two sides are uneven remove a little batter from the deeper side to make them fairly even.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the cake is well risen. Take it out of the cake pan and leave to cool.
Level the cakes by trimming off the crowns so they are flat and equal sizes.
Trim the edges of the cake and then cut into four equal strips down the length of the colors. You can stack the two halves and trim them at the same time if you handle them carefully.
Heat up the apricot jelly in a pan until it is just warm and use it to stick the strips together to create the checkerboard effect.
Roll out the almond paste into an oblong the length of the cake and wide enough to wrap around the cake. Brush the cake with apricot jelly* and press the almond paste neatly around the cake.
*You can also substitute the apricot jam with strawberry or blueberry jelly to give it a new taste.
If you use a red gel food coloring it will keep the pinkish tinge better than liquid food coloring.
You can also substitute the red gel food coloring for 3/8 cup cocoa to give it a chocolatey taste.
This Battenburg cake recipe is great to serve when having company for an afternoon occasion.
Serve it at your next afternoon tea, baby shower, or club meeting and it will be something they talk about for a long time.