Battenberg Cake

If you are looking for something unexpected to serve your family, this Battenberg cake is just the thing. This recipe may challenge your baking, cake trimming, and assembly skills, but it is well worth the effort; we guarantee you will add this cake recipe to your go-to list of other show-stopping desserts. If you enjoy baking regional favorite cakes such as the New Orleans Doberge cake, you need to try a Battenberg. A British classic cake, this cake is also called church window cake, checkerboard cake, and domino cake. A Battenburg is a light sponge cake held together with jam and covered in marzipan. When cut, you will see a two-by-two, bi-colored check pattern. Even though your cake has two layers with different flavors, such as in this Pumpkin-Spice Battenberg, with the help of a sturdy piece of folded aluminum foil you only need one 9-inch square pan. Raspberry jam not only adds a great floral/tart flavor to the cake but acts as a glue to hold the cake layers together. When wrapping the cake in marzipan, use a bit of water to help seal the seam and correct any cracking that happened along the edges.

Battenberg Cake
Photo: Victor Protasio, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Prop Stylist: Kathleen Varner
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 40 mins


  • Baking spray with flour

  • 1 cup (8 oz.) unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 3/4 cups (about 7 oz.) self-rising flour

  • 1/4 cup (about 7/8 oz.) almond flour

  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa, divided, plus more for dusting

  • 1 1/2 cups marzipan (about 16 oz.)

  • 1/3 cup raspberry jam, warmed


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch square pan with baking spray. Cut a piece of aluminum foil into a 10-inch square piece. Fold 1 side over about 3 inches; continuing folding over in 3-inch increments until completely folded, creating a 3-inch-tall divider. Stand foil divider in middle of greased pan, folding each end over about 1/2 inch and making sure it fits as tightly as possible against pan. (You will be baking 2 different batters at the same time.)

  2. Beat butter and sugar in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. With mixer running on low speed, gradually add self-rising flour and almond flour, beating until just combined, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

  3. Transfer half of batter (about 1 3/4 cups) to another bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of the cocoa, and stir until well combined and smooth. Pour chocolate batter on 1 side of foil divider in prepared pan. Pour remaining vanilla batter into empty side of the foil divider in prepared pan. Smooth tops with a spatula.

  4. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 24 to 28 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto a wire rack, removing foil divider from middle and separating cake into 2 loaves. Let cool completely, about 30 minutes. Flip cake halves, and trim tops and edges, making sure they are even and smooth. Cut each loaf in half lengthwise, creating 4 equal long strips, 2 vanilla strips and 2 chocolate strips.

  5. Knead marzipan and remaining 3 tablespoons cocoa in a large bowl until combined. Roll marzipan out on a work surface lightly dusted with cocoa to a 1/4-inch thickness.

  6. Brush jam on tops and sides of cake strips. Gently press 1 strip of each color together at long sides; top with remaining 2 strips, alternately stacking to create a checkerboard pattern. Place cake in center of marzipan. Trim edges of marzipan so that it lines up with exposed cake ends; roll up tightly, rolling so sealed side is on bottom and top and sides are smooth. Refrigerate 1 hour before cutting slicing and serving.

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