June 27, 2012

Raspberry Lemonade Battenberg Cake

I had seen The Daring Kitchen around the interwebs and have found that it is a vast community all centered around food. How great is that?! I eagerly jumped on board to become a participant of The Daring Bakers’ Challenges. At the beginning of each month the challenge is unveiled and then on the 27th, all participants show off their creation to the public. I had a lot of fun making June’s challenge and must admit that I felt some anxiety as well. The Daring Bakers have been around since 2006 and so being a newbie is a little intimidating.

For the June 2012 challenge, The Daring Kitchen said, “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.”

From the allowable variations, I chose to make a raspberry lemonade battenberg cake which keeps the traditional coloring of these petite treats. I really enjoyed the flavor of the cake, the ground almonds provided a nice depth and texture. I thought that with the thick batter I would have dry cakes, but they were moist and kept more so with the raspberry jam that held it all together. My changes to Mary's recipe are noted below in brackets.

I’m excited to see what is in store for July and maybe I’ll give The Daring Cooks a try. Maybe.

Traditional Battenberg
3⁄4 C unsalted butter, softened & cut in cubes
3⁄4 C caster (super fine) sugar
1-1⁄4 C self-raising flour (or 1 C all-purpose flour, 1-1/2 t baking powder, and 1/4 t salt)
3 large eggs, room temperature
1⁄2 C ground almonds (can be substituted with ground rice)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
red food colouring, paste, liquid or gel (optional)[I omitted]
[1/4 C raspberry puree]
[zest from half a lemon]
[1 T lemon juice]

To finish
1/3 C apricot jam [1/3 C raspberry jam with 1 t fresh lemon juice added]
1 C marzipan, natural or yellow [white fondant]

Heat oven to 350° F. Grease an 8”/20cm square baking tin with butter. Line the tin with parchment paper, creating a divide in the middle with the parchment (or foil). [I didn’t have an 8-inch square metal baking pan and so used two 9-inch loaf pans that were sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and the bottoms lined with parchment. The cakes baked up well and it saved me from needing to concoct the divider.]

Whisk together the dry ingredients, then combine with the wet ingredients in a large bowl and beat together just until the ingredients are combined and the batter is smooth. [I used my trusty stand mixer to combine all of the ingredients.]

Spoon half the mixture into the one side of the prepared baking tin. [Since I was flavoring both halves of the batter, I placed half of the batter in the bowl that had the dry ingredients and folded in the lemon zest and juice. I then placed the batter in the prepared pan and smoothed the top.]

Add a few drops of red food liquid/gel/paste to the remaining batter, stir until the colour is thoroughly distributed, add more colour if needed. Spoon the pink batter into the other half of the prepared baking tin. Smooth the surface of the batter with a spatula, making sure batter is in each corner. [I didn’t use any food coloring, only adding in the raspberry puree.]

Bake for 25-30 mins until the cake is well risen, springs back when lightly touched, and a toothpick comes out clean (it should shrink away from the sides of the pan). [I only needed to bake my cakes for 21 minutes.]

Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out to cool thoroughly on a wire rack.

Once completely cool, trim the edges of the cake with a long serrated knife. Cut each coloured sponge in half lengthways so that you are left with four long strips of sponge. Neaten the strips and trim as necessary so that your checkered pattern is as neat and even as possible.

Gently heat the apricot jam and pass through a small sieve. Brush warmed jam onto the strips of cake to stick the cake together in a checkered pattern (one yellow next to one pink. On top of that, one pink next to one yellow).

Dust a large flat surface with icing 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. [Since I used fondant, I rolled it out per the instructions and then continued following Mary’s instructions.]

Brush the top of the cake with apricot jam. Place the cake on the marzipan, jam side down. Brush the remaining three sides with jam. 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.


  1. Great job on the this month's challenge! Looks beautiful.


    1. Thanks, ceecee! After seeing so many of the other fab cakes, I feel like I really need to step it up for next month. I can't believe you made three of them!

  2. What a good idea using raspberry puree to colour the cake! It looks really delicious

    1. Thanks, Ruth! I had higher hopes with the color, but the overall flavor of the cake was spot on. Your curlicues looked super fancy!

  3. Great job on your first challenge and welcome to the group! I'm really impressed with your thoughtful flavoring choice and that you knew how to flavor the cake so well without artificial flavors.

    1. Thanks, Sarah! If I can at all help it, I opt out of using artificial flavors and colors. I agree with your thoughts that this is a cake worth making again!

  4. Welcome to the Daring Bakers! And what a beautiful job you did on your first challenge. I love the colors and flavor combination, as well as the beautiful decoration you created. Wonderful job.

    1. Thanks, Shelley! It looks like all of your hard work paid off and I am drooling over the thought of your chocolate and caramel sauce combo!

  5. Beautiful cake! Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

    1. Thanks, Chef D! You and so many others made the chocolate plastique look easy, I'll have to try it out!