Hazelnut Battenburg Cake

Wednesday 16 June 2010

You can't get more British than a traditional Battenberg cake, a tasty teatime treat that when cut in a cross section displays a wonderfully distinctive two-by-two check pattern of pink and yellow, each layer having been spread with apricot jam and then the whole thing covered in a tin and tasty layer of delectable marzipan. Or can you???

Well, I am all about preserving traditions. I am a great traditionalist at heart. I am also a bit of an innovator. I also like to stretch the norm a bit and to explore the possibilities that traditions present to us . . .

Traditional dishes are lovely, and I adore them . . . but they can also be a wonderful canvas upon which to paint new traditions and create new ideas.

It has been claimed that the original battenberg cake was created in honour of the marriage in 1884 of Queen Victoria's granddaughter to Prince Louis of Battenberg, with the four distinct squares of cake representing the four Battenbery princes . . .

My version was created in honour of the fact that I love chocolate and Todd doesn't. This is a happy medium between the two, giving us each a little taste of what pleases most . . .

Imagine . . . a checkerboard cake, consisting of a deliciously moist yellow cake alternating with a moreishly scrummy hunk of mocha cake . . . cut into rectangles and glued together with oh-so-addictively indulgent chocolate hazelnut spread.

I like to unwrap it like a gift . . . first peeling off the marzipan and nom noming down on that . . . and then each little square gets my full attention . . . could anything on earth be any scrummier???

Well, probably yes . . . but for right now, at this moment in time . . . no.
This is the perfect teatime indulgence for today!

*Hazelnut Battenburg*
Makes one cake
Printable Recipe

Mocha and vanilla layers, sealed together with yummy hazelnut chocolate spread, and then wrapped in the traditional marzipan wrap! Scrummy!

6 ounces self raising flour
(1 1/4 cup)
1 tsp baking powder
6 ounces caster sugar
(scant 1 cup)
6 ounces soft margarine
(3/4 cup)
3 eggs, beaten
2 to 3 drops of vanilla extract
1 TBS cocoa powder, sifted
1 TBS strong black coffee
hazelnut chocolate spread, as needed
1 pound (16 ounces) prepared marzipan
Caster sugar to roll the marzipan out on

Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. Grease and base line two one pound loaf tins. Set aside.

Place the flour, baking powder, sugar, margarine and eggs into a bowl. Beat well together with an electric whisk. Divide the mixture in half. Stir the vanilla into half of the batter. Stir the cocoa powder and coffee into the other half. Put each mixture into one each of the prepared tins. Bake for about 20 minutes, until risen and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and lift out of the pans to cool on a wire rack. Once cool, trim both cakes to make neat, matching rectangles. Cut each in half lengthwise. Sandwhich one of each flavour together with chocolate spread. Then join both pairs together alternately with more chocolate spread to make a single block. Dust the counter top with some caster sugar. Roll the marzipan out thinly on it into a rectangle large enough to wrap around the cake. Spread the cake on all four sides with more chocolate spread and then wrap the marzipan around, crimping the corners and trimming the ends. Dust with more caster sugar if needed. Cut into slices to serve.

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  1. Marie, I will have to send this recipe to my friend in Germany. His family owns an old small castle named the "Battenburg". The little village they live in is called Battenberg. Isn't that something?
    This cake is so beautiful and marzipan around it, heaven!

  2. Se ve preciosa, que maravilla. Un saludo

  3. Marie, ANYTHING with Marzipan gets my attention. Add chocolate hazelnut spread and I'm in heaven. I grew up with it and am seriously addicted. Fabulous!
    xoxo Pattie

  4. I've never worked with marzipan, but I NEED to have this cake, so maybe it's time to try! :)

  5. they are really lovely! I have never heard of these( I'm american..but that is no excuse :)) What are the flavors of the original cakes?

    I will be researching all day...

  6. Creating a cake that represents your 4 princes...or in your case your taste preferrences...in both ...a wonderful cake!
    and I love the pealing away of the layers ...
    Most enjoyable!
    xoxo~Kathy @
    Sweet Up-North Mornings...

  7. My goodness, Marie! I was just lying in bed last night, before going to sleep, and reading about Battenberg cake in a cookbook (a book of pastry chef Nick Malgieri's, called A Baker's Tour). I'd never really noticed this cake before. The photo of it in the book looked exactly like what you've pictured in your post. What a beautiful coincidence!

    Gorgeous cake . . .

  8. This is such a great twist on the original recipe. So moreish as well. I always used to have Battenbergs when I was little for tea and used to peel off the marzipan first before eating the squares one by one!

  9. Fabulous! Quick, invite me for tea!


  10. The cake looks very English and yes, tempting to the core.

  11. I just came across your blog and I love it! I love anything marzipan :) The cake is so beautiful!

  12. Fantastic! I love battenburg but the sponge can be a bit tastless, your version looks delicious. I always eat mine in little squares too. Thanks for the hisroty behind it, didn't know that

  13. Totally beautiful Marie! I remember eating that when i was a just a "tot" :)

  14. Gordon Hamilton17 June 2010 at 02:53

    This reminds me of my Gran. Very fond memories. It was her favourite and she used to go on and on about it and buy it from the long gone British bakers' chain, "Lightbodys'.". Thanks, Marie, both for the wonderful recipe and the wonderful memories.

  15. I love this Marie, but I do have a confession. I loathe marizipan, but by golly, I'd be eating the centre of this delicious cake in an instant, I'm sure you'll understand!
    Millie ^_^

  16. A great twist on the original - and check you with your history on the cake! Very impressive ;0)

  17. We'd love to have you come over to DessertStalking to sharesome of your fine work. All the info you need is in our submission guidlines and FAQ. Hope to see you soon!

  18. Thumbs up! I love this recipe.

  19. Being a Brit trapped in America for the past eight years, I now realize how much I miss this cake. I may have to try my hand at making one.

  20. Yay I found your chocolate battenberg cake. This I am going to try. It looks gorgeous. Thank you Marie x

  21. Yum! This looks great. Have been experimenting with battenberg variations and yours looks delicious!


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