Raspberry Almond Battenberg Cake
An elegant cake with a distinct checkerboard pattern that’s sure to impress
With checkerboard patterns at each end, a traditional Battenberg cake shows off duo-toned squares of sponge cake and is wrapped in a blanket of marzipan. This version also features sweet raspberry jam and freeze-dried raspberry powder, and is adorned with decorative marzipan roses. It’s an elegant cake that is sure to impress.
This classic British dessert is said to have been named to honour the marriage of Prince Louis of Battenberg to Princess Victoria, granddaughter to Queen Victoria, in 1884.
Raspberry Almond Battenberg Cake
- 1 cup plus 1 tbsp (150 g) all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup (75 g) almond flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup plus 6 tbsp (200 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 4 tsp 2% milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ tbsp freeze-dried raspberry powder
- Pink gel food colouring, optional
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 3 cups (350 g) fresh raspberries
- ½ cup plus 2 tbsp (125 g) granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2¾ cups plus 2 tbsp (280 g) almond flour
- 3 cups (340 g) icing sugar
- 2 tsp almond extract
- ½ cup corn syrup
- ½ to 1 tsp water, if needed
- Pink gel food colouring
- Pink nonpareils, optional
Heat the oven to 350 F.
Spray a 9-inch square pan with baking spray. Cut a 9-by-13-inch piece of parchment paper, bring the shorter sides together and fold it in half to make a 6½-by-9-inch rectangle. Fold the parchment 4½ inches from the open end of the rectangle, one side at a time, to create a 9-inch square with a 2-inch-tall pleat sticking up. Place this into the pan to divide it into two equal sections.
Combine the flour, almond flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a hand mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until combined. Scrape the bowl, add half of the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the milk and vanilla, and mix to combine. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Divide the batter into two equal portions. Add the freeze-dried raspberry powder to one portion, then tint it using the pink food colouring, if desired. Add the almond extract to the other portion of batter. Scrape each batter into its own section of the prepared pan and spread them out evenly. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the centres comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.
Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely, or place them in the fridge or freezer to cool faster.
Place the raspberries, sugar and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until a candy thermometer reaches 220 F, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, strain the jam through a sieve to remove any seeds, and refrigerate until cooled.
Add all of the ingredients except the water and food colouring to a large bowl and stir to combine with a wooden spoon. Transfer the mixture to a work surface and knead until it comes together, adding a small amount of water if the mixture is too crumbly. Set aside about 100 grams of marzipan, and wrap the remainder tightly with plastic wrap and set aside.
Tint the 100 g of marzipan with food colouring to the desired saturation. Roll it out as thin as possible. Use a 2-inch-round cookie cutter to cut out seven circles, gathering up the scraps to reroll as needed. Flatten the edges of the circles slightly to make them look more like rose petals.
Lay the circles in a line, each circle slightly overlapping the next. Starting at one end of the line, roll the circles into a log. Cut the tube in half to make two roses, then gently separate the petals at the top of each rose.
Use a serrated knife to trim any domes from the cakes so the tops are flat, then stack them on top of each other. Trim the sides of the cakes to ensure they are the same size, then cut each cake lengthwise into two identical strips.
Roll the remaining marzipan into a 10-by-17-inch rectangle, trimming as necessary to get straight edges. Lay the rolled marzipan on a piece of parchment paper that is slightly bigger, with the long edge facing you.
In the middle of the marzipan, spread a vertical line of jam that is the same length and width of two trimmed cake pieces. Place one strip of cake on the jam and spread some more jam on the long sides of the cake. Place a strip of cake of the opposite colour next to the first and spread some jam on the exposed long sides. Arrange the remaining two strips on top of the first two, alternating the colours to create a checkerboard pattern and spreading jam on the exposed long sides of the strips.
Use the parchment paper to wrap the assembled cake strips with marzipan, tucking it tightly around them. Use a sharp knife to trim the excess marzipan along the length of the cake and cut off the ends of the cake to reveal the pattern. Transfer the cake to a serving plate, seam side down.
Decorate with nonpareils and the marzipan roses.
Makes one 8-inch cake