New recipes and updates

Get new recipes
in your inbox

Cuisine Fiend

Find a recipe by ingredient

Raspberry and lemon Battenberg

Thu, 23 April, 2020

What’s pink and yellow and rolled in marzipan? Old fashioned Battenberg had been as pretty as a picture long before unicorns came to Instagram.

raspberry and lemon battenberg cake

Battenberg - a strange cake

Battenberg is a bizarre cake: a pink and yellow chessboard made of sponge, stuck together with jam and all of it wrapped in marzipan. My inquisitive mind can’t help but speculate how this may have come about as I am a staunch believer in cooking serendipity.

How was Battenberg invented?

A marble cake gone wrong because the chef forgot to swirl? A Swiss roll made by a geometry obsessive? A Victoria sponge in a fancy dress? And yes, the latter is actually probably the closest to the mark as the cake was allegedly created on the occasion of the marriage of Princess Victoria, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, to Prince Louis of Battenberg in 1884.

battenberg wrapped in marzipan

Homemade marzipan is the key

Whatever its origin, I was distrustful for a long time, mainly on account of the marzipan involved. Shop-bought marzipan was all I knew, which is vile stuff, reeking of almond essence and tasting like a scented candle.

Combine it with the pink (PINK!) sponge pointlessly cut into squares and glued together with jam (MORE SUGAR!!!) and I was inclined to relegate it to the Dessert Overkill category.

But if you try and make marzipan at home – and as I discovered it is neither difficult nor costly – it's a game-changer and the world of marzipan confectionery opens up.

Nor is Battenberg quite such an overkill if consumed sensibly in small quantities. The chequered slices pink and yellow simply look fun and it’s definitely a baking exercise to coax kids into the kitchen.

Do I need a special tin for Battenberg?

You might think a super-special tin is required but it’s surprisingly easy to keep the two coloured sponges separate from each other with just a folded up strip of parchment; it is well-behaved sponge that rises regimentally evenly. If it does not come out perfectly rectangular, you can trim it to shape - and what can be better than bonus cake trimmings for the chef?

classic batternberg cake with raspberry and lemon

How to roll out marzipan

Rolling out the marzipan is the only tricky part: make sure your work surface is liberally dusted with icing sugar – when else will the little ones be told they should spill sugar all over the kitchen? – and the marzipan is at room temperature so if you make the whole cake on the same day, don't chill the marzipan.


Still, it can well be made in advance and even frozen though it keeps very well being a mainly sugar paste, but make sure it’s ambient temperature when you get rolling.

Raspberry and lemon Battenberg

Servings: 10Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Rating: (1 reviews)


  • For the sponge:
  • 175g unsalted butter, softened
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 175g plain flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • a few drops of rose water
  • pink food colouring
  • zest grated from 1 lime
  • For the marzipan:
  • 110g shelled hazelnuts
  • 110g ground almonds
  • 240g icing sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • juice squeezed from 1 lemon
  • For the filling:
  • ½ jar good raspberry jam


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Butter a 21 x 15cm Battenberg tin. You can use an ordinary 20 x 20cm square cake tin: line it with a strip of parchment folded up across the middle to separate the two cakes.

2. Beat the butter with sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one, then stir together the flour, salt and baking powder and add it in one go. Beat until combined.

battenberg cake batter

3. Transfer half of the mix (345g) to a clean bowl. Stir the rose water and pink colouring into this portion and the lime zest into the other. Spoon the mixes into the prepared tin and bake for 20-25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the cakes comes out clean. Take out of the oven and cool in the tin.

sponge for battenberg

4. Prepare the marzipan while the sponges are cooling: in the food processor whiz the hazelnuts into powder. Add the almonds, icing sugar and pulse to mix. Add the egg yolks and lemon and pulse until the marzipan comes together. Turn out onto a work surface and knead until it’s soft and pliable; add a little more lemon juice if it’s still crumbly.

homemade marzipan

5. When the sponges are cold, turn them out and cut each in three strips about 3 cm wide and 3cm thick; trim any uneven sides.

cutting sponge for battenberg

6. Dust the work surface with icing sugar. Roll out the marzipan to a thickness of 3-4mm, to roughly a 30 x 36cm rectangle. Spread the marzipan with a little jam.

7. Place a pink and two yellow strips on the marzipan, spreading jam on their sides to stick them together. Spread more jam over the top, then repeat with reverse colour strips also melded with jam to create a checkered pattern.

how to assemble battenberg

8. Wrap the marzipan around the cake tightly, trim to join it on the top side. Pinch the joint and any cracks on the sides together with your fingers, then turn it over to a serving tray or plate, seam side down. Trim the excess marzipan around the edges.

how to wrap bettanberg in marzipan

9. Keep the cake at room temperature, slice with a bread or pastry knife.

NEW recipe finder

Ingredients lying around and no idea what to cook with them? Then use my NEW Recipe Finder for inspiration!

Recipe Finder

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published

Characters left 800
Recipe rating
Email address*
Web site name
Be notified by email when a comment is posted

* required

Your comments

Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Ashok - thank you. I'm so happy you enjoyed it!
4 years ago
Guys, Thanks For sharing this Great Recipe. My Family Loved it. I am definitely sharing this recipe and this website with my friend. Hope they also love it. Thank you again for sharing such a great recipe.
4 years ago

Cuisine Fiend's

most recent

About me

Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


Sign up to receive the weekly recipes updates

Follow Fiend