Battenberg cake

Murdoch Recipe Article Lead - narrow
Murdoch Recipe Article Lead - narrow 

A recipe from the Good Food collection.


150 g butter

¾ cup caster sugar

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

½ cup ground almonds

l¾ cups self-raising flour

red food colouring

400 g commercial marzipan

½ cup apricot jam

2 tablespoons brandy


1. Preheat oven to moderate 180°C. Brush a shallow 30 × 25 × 2 cm Swiss roll tin with oil or melted butter. Line the base and sides with baking paper. Place a strip of foil down the centre of the tin, dividing it into two. Using electric beaters, beat butter and sugar in small mixing bowl until light and creamy; add eggs gradually, beating thoroughly after each addition; add essence; beat until combined. Transfer to large mixing bowl. Using metal spoon, fold in almonds and sifted flour; stir until ingredients are combined and mixture is smooth. Spread half the mixture into one divided half of tin; smooth the surface. Add a few drops of red colouring to other half of mixture, mix well. Spread pink mixture into other half of tin; smooth surface. Bake cake for 20 minutes or until skewer comes out clean when inserted in centre. Leave cake in tin for 10 minutes then turn onto wire rack to cool.

2. To assemble cake, cut white half into three equal slices, repeat with the pink half; trim ends. Between 2 sheets of baking paper, roll the marzipan out into a rectangle to fit the length of the cake and four times the width of one side. Place 1 strip of cake on top of the marzipan. Combine the apricot jam and brandy in a small pan and warm gently over low heat.

3. Brush mixture onto cake strip. Place alternate coloured strip next to it, continue to apply jam and brandy, and layer the remaining strips to form a chequerboard pattern. Brush the long sides of the cake with jam and brandy. Wrap marzipan around the cake to cover all sides, leaving the ends open. Pinch the top edge of the marzipan to make a fluted pattern. With a sharp knife, score a diamond pattern on top of the cake.

4. Storage time This cake is best eaten within one week of making. Keep it wrapped in foil in the refrigerator. Without the marzipan coating, the cake can be stored in the freezer for up to two months.