Rainbow Battenburg Cake

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September 2, 2015 by dgarnett2013

Rainbow Battenburg Cake: Everything Sweet: The Merigue Girls by Alex Hoffler and Stacey O’Gorman


Serves 10

For the sponge: 

  • 400g unsalted butter, softened
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 8 free-range eggs
  • 400g self raising flour
  • 300g ground almonds
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • milk to loosen


To colour: 

  • pink food colouring
  • orange food colouring
  • yellow food colouring
  • green food colouring
  • blue food colouring
  • purple food colouring


To assemble: 

  • 200g apricot jam
  • 500g block of marzipan
  • icing sugar for dusting


To watercolour: 

  • 20ml vodka
  • Food colouring of your choice


Serves 10

To line the tin:

Divide the tin into separate sections with tin foil.

Grease a 40cm x 27cm x 2.5cm tin with butter, then take a piece of foil double the length of your tin. Press the end of the foil into the end of the tin, then widthways pleat the foil and mould it into the side edges, so that it stands up on its own. Repeat this until your tray has nine separate sections roughly 4cm across.

Thoroughly grease the foil all over (including up the sides), then cut nine strips of greaseproof paper, each 4cm wide, and place one in each section so that the base is covered.

To make the cake:

Preheat your oven to 170℃.

Whisk the butter and sugar in a very large bowl with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking continuously.

Fold in the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and almond extract.

Add a splay of milk to loosen the mixture if needed.

Divide the mixture evenly between nine bowls (about 200g per bowl). Colour each bowl of mixture whit one of your six different food colourings, doubling up on three of the colours (we repeated pink, yellow and orange). Make sure the batter is very intense in colour, as it will fade during baking.


Carefully fill the sections and bake for 25-30 mins. When you insert a skewer, it should come out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

To assemble: 

You should now have nine, long colourful cake blocks. Trim off any dark edges, and makes rue they are all equal in size.

Heat the jam in a small pan until runny, then sieve.

On a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, roll out the marzipan to roughly 40cm x 30cm and 0.5cm thick.

Use a pastry brush to paint jam all over the sides of each length of sponge.

Place one pink, one orange and one yellow sponge side by side alongside the 30cm edge of the marzipan, leaving a 4cm gap between the sponge and the edge.

Brush the top of the sponge with more jam, then layer one green, one blue and one purple sponge on top, brushing jam in between to help them stick.

Now stick the final three sponges on top, pink, orange and yellow, again brushing jam in between.

Smother the whole of the marzipan with jam, then fold the 4cm marzipan flap up, and secure it to the sponge.

Carefully lift up the rest of the marzipan and smooth it over the cake with your hands, squishing it together and moulding it squarely around the corners, so that it is nice and tight. Connect the other edge of the marzipan to the very corner of the 4cm flap and cut off any excess.

Once it’s all connected, carefully mould and tweak with your hand to form a perfect rectangular prism. Trim both end of the cake, using a sharp serrated knife to reveal a clean Battenburg. battenburg3

To watercolour: 

Dip one end of a muslin cloth into the vodka and then into a small amount of food colouring. Test is by dabbing it on a bit of marzipan scrap until you have a lovely shade. Simple dab all over the marzipan and repeat with other colours. Or use a stencil.


We substituted marzipan for royal icing, because Rose doesn’t like marzipan.

Made with Rose and Charlie at the end of the holidays.

camber8 camber10


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