Battenberg cake is a light sponge cake. When cut in cross section, displays a distinctive two-by-two check pattern alternately coloured pink and yellow. The cake is covered in marzipan and, when sliced, the characteristic checks are exposed to view. It was originally invented by the chefs of the British Royal household to celebrate the marriage of Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine and Prince Louis of Battenberg.
The chefs of the British Royal Family were introduced to the German style of cake making during Queen Victoria's reign. This included the use of bright colours and marzipan. The first Battenberg cake was made in that German style to celebrate the wedding of Queen Victoria's granddaughter, Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, and was named after her husband to be, Prince Louis of Battenberg.
Due to anti-German resentment in Britain during the First World War, Prince Louis anglicised his name from Battenberg to Mountbatten; however the cake named after him continued to be called a Battenberg.
Source: quoted from Wikipedia
Now that you have a better knowledge of the cake and how it earned it's name, let's move forward with the challenge. This month Queen Elizabeth celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, 60 years on the throne! In honor of her Jubilee, the daring bakers went British with a Battenberg Cake. The inspiration of the recipe, the namesake and even the creator of this recipe are all British. What an exciting time in the Queen's reign and life, and what a fun way to help her celebrate!
I loved making this cake, it was an incredibly fun challenge. This challenge takes two separate flavored cakes and combines them in a fun and festive, almost checkerboard pattern. There aren't too, terribly many components to this cake but the end result is a beautifully fun and festive cake that is perfect for any celebration.
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.
Now, for today's giveaway!
One lucky reader with receive a $20.00 gift card to King Arthur Flour!
Picture source: King Arthur Flour
From fine chocolates, various types of flours, baking pans, and icing tips; King Arthur Flour is your one-stop-shop for all of your baking and cooking needs. I am so excited to be able to give one of you a $20.00 gift card to help stock your pantry or baking toolbox! Good luck!
Full disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored and paid for soley by Lynsey Lou's.
Coffee and Walnut Battenberg
For the cake:
¾ Cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cubed
¾ Cup sugar
1¼ Cups self-rising flour
3 Large eggs, room temp
½ Cup ground almonds (ground rice can be substituted)
3/4 tsp baking powder
3 tsp milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
1½ tsp instant coffee powder or granules
3 Tbsp walnuts, roughly chopped
For the buttercream:
½ Cup unsalted Butter
2 Cups powdered sugar
½ tsp instant coffee
1½ tsp milk or cream
1 Cup (8 oz) Marzipan, natural or yellow
Preheat oven to 350.
Grease an 8x8 cake pan and line with parchment paper, creating a divide in the middle of the pan using either parchment paper or foil (or prepare Battenberg tin by brushing the tin with melted butter and flouring). Set aside.
In a large bowl combine the flour, ground almonds, and baking powder and stir to combine, set aside. Place butter in a large bowl and beat on high for 2-3 minutes, until light. Add the sugar and beat on high an additional 1-2 minutes, until the mixture is combined and fluffy. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just combined. Evenly divide the mixture in two separate bowls. In one bowl add the vanilla, 1 1/2 teaspoons milk and the chopped walnuts and stir to combine. Spoon the walnut mixture into the one side of the prepared baking tin. Dissolve the coffee in the remaining 1½ teaspoon milk and add to the remaining batter, stir until just combined. Spoon the coffee batter into the other half of the prepared baking tin. Smooth the batter with a spatula, making sure batter is in each corner
Bake for 25-30mins until the cake is well risen, springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick comes out clean. Once baked completely, remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack to allow to cool completely.
For the frosting:
Place butter in a large bowl and beat on hight for 2-3 minutes, until light and creamy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time and mix until combined. Reduce mixing spead to low and slowly pour in the coffee and milk. Once all the liquids are added, increase speed to high and beat for an additional 1-2 minutes until mixture is combined and light and fluffy.
Once the cake has cooled completely, trim the edges serrated knife. Cut each cake in half, lengthways, so that you are left with four long strips of sponge. Clean the strips and trim as necessary so that your checkered pattern is as neat and even as possible.
Spread a thin layer of buttercream onto the strips of cake to stick the cake together in a checkered pattern (one vanilla next to one coffee cake. Then stack one coffee on top of the vanilla, next to the vanilla place the coffee). Dust a large, clean surface with powdered sugar then roll the marzipan in an oblong shape that is wide enough to cover the length of the cake and long enough to completely wrap the cake. Spread the top of the cake with a thin layer of buttercream. Place the cake on the marzipan, buttercream side down. Spread buttercream onto the remaining three sides. Press the marzipan around the cake, making sure the join is either neatly in the one corner, or will be underneath the cake once turned over. Carefully flip the cake over so that the seam is under the cake and score the top of the cake with a knife, you can also crimp the top corners with your fingers to decorate. Neaten the ends of the cake and remove excess marzipan by trimming off a small bit of cake on both ends to reveal the pattern.
Recipe source: Mary Berry, Baking Bible