Battenburg

Pirate Dreams
Posted on 06/29/2012 by cakecrumbs
  I'm not sure if it's just because of the theme that I'm noticing it, but this month seems to be all about layers. So many challenges on MasterChef this month involved layer cakes/desserts, our layers theme, and even this month's Daring Bakers Challenge was all about the layers.  

I'd never heard of a Battenburg Cake before this challenge. So much the better. I love exploring something foreign to me.



Normally I would try a unique variation of a classic recipe given, but Mandy's classic Battenburg looked so lovely. Besides I love almond buttercake, and loved the symbolism behind the pink and white squares said to represent the four princes of Battenburg. Classic it is.





I joined the layers with apricot jam and added a crumb coat of vanilla buttercream before wrapping the Battenburg in marzipan. I topped it with flowers for something a little different.



I folded the ends of the marzipan to give it a material type look. I wanted to make it look like a neat little package. As well as cooking this cake for the first time, this was my first time working with marzipan. I assumed it was similar to fondant and dived right in. I wasn't sure how well it would work for moulding and thought the flowers might sag, but they were fine. I used mini dragees for the centre bud.

Time to cut it open. It wasn't perfect, but I was glad it at least looked chequered. 



Have to remember to cut off the crusts next time to make it pretty.



If you'd like to see more pictures of this cake, check out the original post at my blog. 


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arrietty 29th-Jun-2012 07:07 am (UTC)
Oh I haven't eaten Batternburg cake since I was 10 years old. I emigrated to New Zealand at 10 from the UK and while living in the UK every so often my mum would buy a Batternburg cake from the local bakery. I used to always ask for the end pieces as it seemed to have more marzipan.

Never seen it for sale here in New Zealand. I should make it some time.

Thank you for sharing your masterpiece and for bringing up happy memories for me. :)
cakecrumbs 30th-Jun-2012 03:03 am (UTC)
Oh that's so lovely. Thank you for sharing that story with me.
belare 29th-Jun-2012 10:37 am (UTC)
I like the flowers, they look more natural that way.
cakecrumbs 30th-Jun-2012 03:04 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
amles80 29th-Jun-2012 11:36 am (UTC)
I have never heard of this cake before, but curiosity was not the main reason why I clicked the LJ cut... it was the prettiness of the first picture! You're a real artist, aren't you! :)
cakecrumbs 30th-Jun-2012 03:08 am (UTC)
Oh thank you, that's so lovely of you to say.
confectionqueen 29th-Jun-2012 01:47 pm (UTC)
I have a Brattenburg cake recipe sitting at home for a few years now. This makes me very tempted to try it out!
cakecrumbs 30th-Jun-2012 03:08 am (UTC)
Awesome. I hope you post it so we can all see. :)
rowangolightly 29th-Jun-2012 02:12 pm (UTC)
Oh my, that is gorgeous!

You are so very talented; I'm very impressed!
cakecrumbs 30th-Jun-2012 03:09 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. I assure you there's no talent involved. ;) Just lots of practise.
tsuki_no_bara 29th-Jun-2012 03:22 pm (UTC)
i've never heard of a battenburg cake either, altho i've seen checkerboard cakes. it's really pretty - i especially like how you wrapped the marzipan at the ends to make it look like it was gift-wrapped - and looks quite tasty.
cakecrumbs 30th-Jun-2012 03:12 am (UTC)
Thank you. :) I've see lots of fabric-looking cakes on Cake Wrecks' Sunday Sweets and always wanted to try it. Mine's a lot less delicate, though.
trixielollipop 29th-Jun-2012 06:42 pm (UTC)
This is the most beautiful cake I have ever seen. I really love the idea of using marzipan instead of fondant (almond is one of my favorite flavors) Did you make the marzipan yourself, or is it purchased from somewhere?
cakecrumbs 30th-Jun-2012 03:17 am (UTC)
Thanks so much. :) I made the marzipan, it's really easy. Haven't typed out any of the recipes this month because my router died and I'm stuck using my EeePC and it's a pain to use.
annealysse 29th-Jun-2012 07:17 pm (UTC)
:O That cake is beautiful! And it looks so, so delicious! Amazing work. :)
cakecrumbs 30th-Jun-2012 03:18 am (UTC)
Aw, thank you. :]
mercystars 29th-Jun-2012 07:46 pm (UTC)
add me to the 'never heard of this kind of cake before' list, but my goodness what a beautiful cake!!! and i love the flowers on top too, soooo pretty! you are quite talented!
cakecrumbs 30th-Jun-2012 03:20 am (UTC)
Glad I'm not the only one who hadn't heard of it haha. Thanks! I've just had a bit of practise over the last couple years.
blevo81 29th-Jun-2012 08:07 pm (UTC)
Looks great! The first time I've heard of this cake is on The Great British Bake Off. Will have to try it out!
cakecrumbs 30th-Jun-2012 03:21 am (UTC)
Awesome. :) Would love to hear how it goes for you!
eofs 29th-Jun-2012 08:13 pm (UTC)
What a beautiful way to finish a Battenberg, though it does feel slightly strange not seeing the pattern.

I've never plucked up the courage to bake a Battenberg, but recently have been thinking about a chocolate and cherry one. Or maybe being really brave and replicating this wonderful Mondrian one.
cakecrumbs 30th-Jun-2012 03:25 am (UTC)
Both sound delicious. :) Especially chocolate and cherry, I'd love to try that.

All of the cakes I'd seen posted just showed a dissected photo showing the patterns, so I wanted to create something that was as nice outside as inside. But I agree, it doesn't really look Battenburg without the pattern.
sidmaron 29th-Jun-2012 09:46 pm (UTC)
Since I'm not from the UK I've never heard of this before, but it looks so tempting and delicious.
I really want to try it out~ :3
cakecrumbs 30th-Jun-2012 03:27 am (UTC)
Thanks :D It's so easy to make.
kmazzy 29th-Jun-2012 10:05 pm (UTC)
i love your wrapped battenburg!! almond is one of my favourite flavours. it's not traditional but i think it's even tastier using cherry jam.

i made an orange & lemon battenburg for my Mum's birthday once. i left it on the sideboard and when we went to eat it it was covered in ants! there was a trail of ants coming in from the back door all the way to the cake. i wasn't going to let ants ruin my cake though so i just hoovered them off. i wish i had a photo of it.
cakecrumbs 30th-Jun-2012 03:31 am (UTC)
Cherry jam sounds so yum. I only had apricot on hand, so it was lucky for me that that's the traditional one to use.

What cheeky ants!
starbriite 29th-Jun-2012 10:15 pm (UTC)
That looks delicious! Diet killer for sure :P
cakecrumbs 30th-Jun-2012 03:31 am (UTC)
Haha, totally! Almonds are healthy, though, right? ;)
bookwormmel 30th-Jun-2012 12:43 am (UTC)
I love the look of the cake! Your decorating is amazing!

I was so disappointed by the layers challenge on Masterchef.
cakecrumbs 30th-Jun-2012 03:34 am (UTC)
Thank you!

Oh I was, too! It was definitely the only challenge ever on MasterChef were I was like, "I could have done better". Though I was glad to see Emma finally eliminated. Unexpected, though, given she prided herself on desserts.

Peter Gilmore's cake earlier in the month looked amazing, though. I plan to try it soon.
ecosopher 30th-Jun-2012 03:37 am (UTC)
What a fantastic job you've done with that! My husband is from Yorkshire and told me about Battenburg cakes years ago... I have never tried to make it myself, although we've eaten some bought ones since. Not sure my skills (or patience!) are up to trying something like this but it's certainly lovely to look at :)
cakecrumbs 30th-Jun-2012 03:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I could be biased because spending 2-3 days making a cake is not unusual for me, but this was really quick and simple to make, I baked it before the footy started and worked at assembling decorating it between quarters, so I wasn't even paying the much attention. I reckon you could nail it easily!
reina_ursa 30th-Jun-2012 07:16 am (UTC)
This looks absolutely delicious and so pretty too! You did an amazing job! <3
cakecrumbs 30th-Jun-2012 03:28 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you so much. ♥
eldanna 30th-Jun-2012 12:04 pm (UTC)
Living in the UK, I'm extremely familiar with the Battenburg (it was originally created to celebrate a royal marriage between Britain and, you guessed it, a prince of Battenburg) cake, as it's sold in every store over here and is one of those quintessentially British things like Bakewell Tarts. Still, this has to be one of the most beautifully done ones I've seen! I'm sure it tasted very yummy indeed.
cakecrumbs 30th-Jun-2012 03:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you for such a lovely comment. It's interesting how this seems to be such a staple in the UK, but everyone over here was like, "You're baking a WHAT?" Glad to have finally learned all about this part of your culture.

I've at least heard of Bakewell Tarts but never had one -- something else I should try soon.
vriginsuicides 30th-Jun-2012 08:11 pm (UTC)
how pretty!
cakecrumbs 1st-Jul-2012 04:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you. ♥
jacq22 1st-Jul-2012 12:30 am (UTC)
Oh the memories. Battenburg was a Sunday tea treat, Bakewell Mum made, and does anyone remember Welsh cakes, pastry cake cherries? icing...almond flavour?
Licitatii Juridice very well1st-Jul-2012 05:35 am (UTC)
Best article
deborahkla 1st-Jul-2012 11:44 am (UTC)
I imagine you're speaking of the Australian Master Chef, since we haven't had anything so interesting (yet) in the USA version--in the last episodes the chefs had to make either Tiramisu, Trifle or Strawberry Shortcake--nothing so delicious and elaborate as a Battenburg cake!

I wish more US bakeries used Marzipan, which I absolutely love. The closest you get to it is in the Swedish princess cake.
cakecrumbs 1st-Jul-2012 04:49 pm (UTC)
Yes, the Aussie one, I'd have no idea what was on the US MasterChef. We had Peter Gilmore bring on his gorgeous 8-texture chocolate cake, and then last weekend there was an elimination challenge where the contestants had to choose one of a number of cakes, taste and name it, and the first two who got it wrong had to bake a layered cake to fight to stay in the comp. During the taste-test portion, when they were showing the cakes I even glimpsed a Battenburg - no one guessed it, but I was so excited that I knew what it was haha.
ranger_girl0301 1st-Jul-2012 08:55 pm (UTC)
Amazing job!! The material look worked perfectly.
cakecrumbs 2nd-Jul-2012 03:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much. ♥
aishizuki 2nd-Jul-2012 01:48 am (UTC)
I am not a member of the community, but as this community is always featured on the LJ homepage, I get to see posts from here.

Your cake looks really beautiful! Simple yet splendid. I'm from the Philippines, and I've never heard of a Battenburg, but looking at the pretty photos and reading those descriptions... Man, I wish they sold some here too.

Thanks for sharing your wonderful concoction! :)
cakecrumbs 2nd-Jul-2012 03:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you for stopping by to leave such a lovely comment. :]
antique_faery 2nd-Jul-2012 02:24 am (UTC)
That is beautiful and is making me so hungry omg!!!! Great work! :)
cakecrumbs 2nd-Jul-2012 03:11 pm (UTC)
Naw, thanks! You might have to bake one to alleviate the hunger. ;)
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