Battenberg Cake: Pretty in Pink British Patriotic Glory

Battenberg Cake
Thanks to Tesco for the image on How to make a Battenberg cake.

Here’s a most patriotic British sponge cake just as legendary as bread and butter pudding or spotted dick. Let’s do this!

What is Battenberg Cake?

It’s a light sponge cake featuring a lot of jam and marzipan. When you cut the cake, it features a rather pretty and unique check pattern.

Yes, it’s a very fetching looking cake. A rather artistic delight! It’s particularly on our conscience, too, as it became a huge talking point on the Church of Wittertainment.

Dr. Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo turned the cake into another of the show’s in-jokes.

And many fans of the film review show on the BBC now identify to each other with Battenberg cake.

How to Make Battenberg Cake

The most excellent Cupcake Jemma is here to talk you through the finer details. Again, we’re not chefs, dammit. What do we know?

But we’ll let you know the ingredients. Because we’re nice like that. Here they are:

200 grams of unsalted butter, softened, with some for greasing

200 grams caster sugar

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

3 large eggs

200 grams of self-raising flour, sifted

1 level tablespoon baking powder

¾ x 10g tube pink food colour gel

115 grams of apricot jam

Icing sugar, for dusting

1 x 500 grams of pack natural marzipan

Get all that lot cobbled together and you have that pretty in pink type cake thing. It really is rather marvellous to loot at, no?

The History of Battenberg Cake

This one is as British as they come! The very first Battenberg cake came about in 1884 to celebrate Prince Louis of Battenberg marrying Princess Victoria.

So, yeah, the cake is named after Battenberg of Hesse. But it’s very English, we assure you.

However, some folks do dispute this and suggest the cake was already in existence before then.

Food historian Ivan Day says British bakers simplified the cake to make it easier to create on a production line. So, the monarchy stuff is possibly just patriotic guff.

Whatever’s going on with its origins, we have to say this is a sweet and tasty little cake. Light sponge, nice colours etc. We prefer to stare at it than eat it. Bon!

7 comments

  1. These cakes seem to show up in a lot of Japanese media, I’ve noticed. I think they show up in Yoshi’s Cookie, though I remember them appearing in the modern version of the Game & Watch game Egg.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Nothing un-English about Battenberg Cake! Why, it’s as English as Queen Victoria – you know, she was half German, she married a German, and her daughter became Queen of Germany (OK, that joke isn’t original to me…). The Battenbergs themselves were, of course, entirely English, and Prince Louis of Battenberg was the First Sea Lord when the First World War broke out. How English is that? When he was criticised for being a German he insisted he was actually English (but felt he had to resign anyway). His son, Prince George of Battenberg, served aboard HMS New Zealand during the First World War, where he was not even a little bit German despite the rest of the family back in the Grand Duchy of Hesse. I suppose the surname was a tiny bit of a give-away, but that was nothing compared to George Frederick Ernest Albert Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, who happened to be King. I wonder if he ate Battenberg Cake?

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s blasphemy on this fair island, sir! If you dared mutter those words here the tabloids would identify you as an enemy of the state!!

      Excellent historical insights all the same! The House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was drenched in Battenberg cake, I’m sure. That an caviar. And scones. Proper British, you know?

      Like

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