We’re giving an old-fashioned favourite a royal reinvention, celebrating the arrival of the baby heir with Battenbergs. Rumoured to have been first made in 1884 to mark the marriage of Prince Louis of Battenberg to Princess Victoria, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, the Battenberg cake already has associations with the monarchy. Try out this recipe for baby blue letter blocks, perfect for patriotic parties this weekend…
Royal Baby Battenberg cakes recipe
To make the almond sponge
175g soft butter
175g caster sugar
150g self-raising flour
50g ground almonds
½ tsp baking powder
3 x eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp almond extract
To make the blue sponge-
Ingredients for almond sponge
6 tsp blue food colouring
100g apricot jam
1kg natural marzipan
50g blue roll-out icing
1. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line a 20 x 20cm square baking tin
2. Begin by making the almond sponge. Place the butter, sugar, flour, ground almonds, baking powder, eggs, vanilla and almond extract into a mixing bowl. Beat together thoroughly until smooth. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and bake for 25-30mins.
3. Repeat this process for the blue sponge, but this time add the blue food colouring to the mixture.
4. When both the sponges are completely cool, cut them carefully into small cubes of approximately 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5cm. You may find a sharp serrated bread knife best to ensure the cakes do not crumble.
5. To assemble, use the apricot jam to stick together stacks of 8 sponge cubes in 2 by 2 blocks. Order the cubes so that the colours alternate to achieve the signature checkered pattern when the cakes are cut.
6. Roll out the marzipan to a thickness of 3-4mm. Cut out net shapes to cover each block. Coat the sponge blocks with jam, then lay over the marzipan.
7. Knead 50g of marzipan with the blue roll-out icing to combine. Roll to 2mm thick and cut into shapes to decorate. Use number-shaped cookie cutters or draw free-hand with a small sharp knife. Stick the numbers and shapes to the blocks with jam to spell out anything you please.
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Laura Almond, ACHICA writer
View all posts by Laura Almond, ACHICA writer