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Battenberg Cake

Battenberg cake is a type of light sponge cake, British in origin. It is often referred to as a frivolous British cake enjoyed with the afternoon tea. It is usually covered with marzipan. The appearance of the cake when cut into a cross section is quite spectacular. It displays a checkered pattern consisting of four alternate checks pink and yellow in color. The coloring is obtained by dyeing the cake mixtures with edible dyes and baking two long cubes of sponge cakes which are joined together with a layer of apricot jam in between.

The variations of the cake depend on the flavor of jams used with raspberry, strawberry, lemon curd and coconut flavorings being substituted for the traditional apricot jam.

The name, Battenberg cake is also shared by a smaller version of sponge cake, white in color and covered with Marzipan. The two ends of the cake are dipped in chocolate while the central portion remains white. It is set firmly before being consumed. The appearance is strikingly similar to the checkered appearance but without the customary 2X 2 grid.

History of Battenberg Cake Recipe

The exact origin of the cake has not been documented but the popular legend revolves around the theory of the cake being specially baked during the marriage of Queen Victoria’s granddaughter to Prince Lois of Battenburg. Each of the four squares within the cake is believed to have represented the four prices of the region.

Ingredients Used and Popular Battenberg Cake Recipe

Flour, whole milk, butter, castor sugar and apricot jam are the usual ingredients required for baking the classic version of the cake. Some quantity of marzipan is kept ready for rolling the cake in after it is baked. Edible dyes in pink and yellow are essential items for baking the cake as well.

The method of baking is similar to that of a sponge cake with the method of joining being the most important part of a Battenberg cake. Both the cakes are equal in size and cut lengthwise with a yellow and a pink half being joined together at the sides with the apricot jam. The second halves are place on top in an alternate manner and the liquid jam acts as the glue in holding the cake together.

Variation of Battenberg Cakes

The Malaysian Kek Lapis Sarawak is a layered sponge cake consisting of two colors eaten on festive occasions.


The Battenberg cake is eaten traditionally on St. George’s Day throughout Great Britain.