Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Daring Bakers June 2012 - Battenburg

Nish Whips Up A Dish was featured on Bon Appetite sometime last week! My whimsical post on Lemon and Mint Ice Cubes was featured in a post solely dedicated to unique and creative ice-cubes. This probably counts as one of the prouder moments of my food blogging career.

And so this seems like the perfect opportunity to thank all my readers for supporting this humble blog for the past 18 months. Thank you to each and every one of you for your emails and comments left which both wonderful and touching. I know I don't respond to every comment but trust me, each one brightens my day and genuinely brings a smile to my face. Nish Whips Up A Dish would be nothing without your support, encouragement and love. So a big thank you and here's a hugeee hug for every one of you <3


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.

Battenburg is a traditional British treat, where two layers of different coloured  almond flavoured sponges  are ‘glued’ together with apricot jam which is then covered in a layer of marzipan. Once sliced, a checkerboard pattern is evident.
My attempt was a semi-successful one. It’s become a recurring theme with these challenges that something is bound to go wrong. I decided to make a traditional Batternburg as it was always my favourite treat when in university. I followed the very helpful step-by-step instructions given by Mandy however when it came down to slicing the cakes evenly, I failed massively. I accidentally sliced off a big chuck of the pink layer, leaving it rather lopsided. In an attempt to salvage the mess, I tried sticking it back using apricot jam as the ‘glue’. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have used jam. The marzipan layer really pulls the cake into shape and I am very sure, it would have held the extra bit of the pink layer without the need of an adhesive.

The marzipan layer was a nightmare to work with. Firstly I didn’t have enough to go around and secondly the weather was far too humid to work with marzipan. Thirdly I ran out of icing sugar which probably explained the difficulty I had rolling out the marzipan. Anyway, I tried and semi-succeeded. I tried to make the cake look as pretty as I could, and that is worth something right? 

I would have made a second one, and possibly a third as I have an amazing flavour combination I want to try out, but my job is taking a lot of my time at the moment! I’m hoping things start slowing down because I am fed up with all the imperfect challenge results

Traditional Battenburg 

Serves 8


175g unsalted butter, softened
175g caster sugar
175g self raising flour
3 eggs, room temperature
1 tbsp milk
65g ground almonds
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
Red colouring
Apricot jam (or any other jam of your preference)
250g marzipan

  1. Prepare baking tin according to instructions illustrated here, or if you own a batternburg tin, line and greaseit and set aside.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients and set aside. Combine wet ingredients in a large bowl. Add dry ingredients and beat until just incorporated and batter is smooth.
  3. Spoon half the mixture into one side of the prepared baking tin.
  4. Add droplets of red colouring to the remaining mixture until desired colour is achieved.
  5. Spoon the pink batter into the other half of the prepared tin.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and leave to cool in tin for a few minutes. Remove from tin and leave to cool thoroughly.
  8. Trim the edges of the cakes with a serrated knife.
  9. Cut each coloured cake in half lengthways so you are now left with four strips of cake.
  10. Neaten the strips and trim as necessary. Don't go overboard!
  11. Gently heat the apricot jam with a tablespoon of water.
  12. Brush the warmed jam on all sides of the strips and join together forming a checkerboard pattern.
  13. Dust a dry surface with a generous amount of icing sugar. Roll out marzipan, large enough to cover the entire cake.
  14. Brush one side of the cake with jam and set it down on the marzipan. Brush jam on the remaining three sides and start rolling the cake and marzipan until cake it covered.
  15. Carefully flip the cake over so that the seam of the marzipan is at the bottom.
  16. Using the blunt side of a knife, score patterns on the top of the cake and decorate as desired.
  17. Slice a thin layer of the cake to showcase the gorgeous pattern of the Batternburg cake.


  1. Beautiful job Nish, I have yet to finish up my post. This was a fun task. Congratulations on a challenge well done, friend!

  2. I'm hungry now! It looks great!!! Good job!

  3. It looks really yummy - and exactly like a proper Battenberg - great job!

  4. Congratulations, Nish! Every blogger's dream! And I thought I was the only one who had troubles in the kitchen. I've thrown blobs of creations in the trashcan wondering if I should even continue sometimes. Thanks for your writing and sharing your beautiful cake! Sarah

  5. Oh my! This a lovely cake & the colors are so sweet! I've always thought that Battenberg cake was not that easy to make but now I've change mind after looking at yours. It's simply divine! Great job Nish! Love your beautiful pictures too! Have a lovely day my friend! :)

  6. Hey Nish! your batty looks pretty and i love little pearls on top. Like you said, it was difficult for me too and at one point I almost gave up..oh well it was a good challenge overall :)

  7. I love this checkerboard cake!

  8. I love marzipan and this cake looks amazingly delicious, almost to pretty to eat.

  9. Perfectly done! This is such a stunning presentation...I will have to try it!!!