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Battenberg cake

Make yourself proud with a classic afternoon tea cake.

Equipment and preparation: You’ll need a sugar thermometer.

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For the marzipan

For the sponge


  1. Heat the sugar and 75ml/3fl oz water in a saucepan until it reaches110C/220F, or soft-ball stage. (Use a sugar thermometer to check this.)

  2. Place the ground almonds into a bowl along with the egg white and almond extract. Add the sugar syrup and mix vigorously to form a thick paste. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

  3. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease and line two loaf tins.

  4. Blend the frozen raspberries in a food processor to a fine purée. Pass through a fine sieve and set aside.

  5. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla essence in a bowl or food processor until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in the eggs one at a time and fold in 275g/10oz of the sifted flour. Pour half of the mixture into one of the baking tins.

  6. Add the raspberry purée to the remaining mixture, then fold in the flour and bicarbonate of soda until well combined. Pour into the other loaf tin.

  7. Place both tins in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until well-risen, golden-brown and springy to the touch. Remove the cakes from the tins onto a wire rack and set aside to cool.

  8. Pass the raspberry jam through a fine sieve and set aside.

  9. Cut the sponges into identical 4cm/1½in wide x 4cm/1½in high strips, the length of the sponge, so you are left with two long raspberry strips and two long vanilla strips. Brush each side of the sponges with raspberry jam.

  10. Roll the marzipan into a rectangle about 30cm x 20cm/12in x 8in. Lay the marzipan onto a board and place a strip of raspberry sponge and vanilla sponge, lengthways 1cm/½in from the edge of the long side of the marzipan.

  11. Place the 2nd piece of vanilla sponge on top of the raspberry sponge so you have a mosaic effect of differing colours.

  12. Carefully fold the marzipan over the sponge, press down gently at the edge to seal the marzipan, then trim off any excess.

How-to videos

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How to cream butter by hand

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