4th of July Battenberg Cake

Battenberg cake is traditionally an almond flavored cake with yellow and pink squares (said to represent the four princes of Battenberg) glued together using apricot jam, the whole cake is covered in marzipan, and the top is patterned with a knife. The first Battenberg cake was made to celebrate the marriage of Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, Princess Victoria, to husband Prince Louis of Battenberg.

I made a red, white and blue, 4th of July Battenberg Cake for this month’s Daring Baker’s challenge. I used blueberry jam to glue the blue strip and cherry jam to glue the red strip to the white almond cake strips. Since I’m not a fan of marzipan nor fondant, I opted to make a white chocolate plastique to wrap the cake in.

Mandy of What The Fruitcake?! came to our rescue last minute to present us with the Battenberg Cake challenge! She highlighted Mary Berry’s techniques and recipes to allow us to create this unique little cake with ease. Lisa, Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives, was her baker in crime and had an amazing Battenberg lined up but came head to head with the Evil Lord Humidity, which unfortunately thwarted her arsenal of batter and marzipan.

I’m not sure I had just one Evil Lord when it came to this month’s Daring Baker’s challenge. One evil doer would certainly be high altitude. Mandy’s Battenberg cake rose beautifully, but unfortunately mine sank in the middle. I did make a couple of high altitude adjustments, but apparently not enough.

The second villain in my story was the weather. Utah’s been hot and dry. Not a drop of rain for weeks. Mandy warned the DBers about the chocolate plastique getting too soft in the humidity, but my plastique was so dry it cracked when I tried to wrap it around the cake.

I thought about taking it off and decorating it with buttercream, but the white chocolate was so tasty, I decide to serve it “as is.” I debated whether or not to post it, but decided it was a fun, tasty cake that deserved to be shared even if it was less than perfect.

Visit the Daring Kitchen for the Battenberg Cake recipe and tips, and to see all the fabulous and creative Battenberg cakes the Daring Bakers baked up this month.

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    Leave a Comment:

  1. Rhonda Swanson says

    I love less than perfect cakes! Looks great to me and yummy!! I love the thought to use different flavored jams to adhere together. Thanks for sharing!

  2. says

    Loved how you turned the English Battenberg into a July 4th celebration. I had the same issue with my first go when I used the modelling chocolate. No humidity here in Calgary (as well as being 5000+ altititude). It was much easier with marzipan. I hope you make this again and serve it next week for the holiday!
    Best, Sandie

  3. says

    Gorgeous Battenberg, Barbara!

    I think I was very lucky when I made my first ever batch of chocolate plastique, it just seemed to come together just like the recipe said, I didn’t realise it was going to give so many people problems. Sticky/melted, dry/cracking, not cool!

    But, I’m really glad you posted your Battenberg anyway, even though your chocolate plastique didn’t want to cooperate it still looks good enough to eat and enjoy 😀

    Thanks for taking part in the June challenge!

  4. says

    Barb, I’m so sorry your chocolate plastique cracked, but all that matter is the taste, and truthfully, even with the cracks, I think it looks lovely – especially with the 4th of July colors! Regarding the Battenberg pan..looks can be deceiving. Even after it came out of the pan ‘perfectly’..I decided to ‘trim’ it because I felt it was too bulky. Remember, I’m lopsided – so I killed the perfection. You’re only seeing the good side ;D

  5. says

    I am so glad you went ahead and posted it, because it really looks great and very fun and festive. I had a lot of trouble with my sponge sinking, too… I really think you did a fantastic job.

  6. says

    Yay GF…we are brothers {sisters} in arms! I didn’t raed the warning about the plastique and the weather but went on with the plastique. My word…I could have wept too, and like you, debated forever whether to post it or not. Bravo…am glad you posted & I did too. Love your red, white and blue. What a stunning Battenberg!

  7. says

    I love that you still shared it. It makes me feel better about all the less-than-perfect things I churn out. Although your less-than-perfect still looks pretty fantastic to me!

    I’m off to find out about modelling chocolate.

  8. says

    Awesome! I love that you showed it flaws and all. It gives people an idea what to expect with the temperature at home etc. I know NYC is having a heat wave starting tomorrow that will be vicious. I am thinking the cakes would be great, I may do a different icing or something..and save this one for cooler weather…

  9. says

    You did a great job on this cake Barbara. It’s so pretty! Isn’t is funny how weather and humidity can be such a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen? And I was wondering how the weather was in Utah. Warm huh?

  10. says

    What a fun cake. I loke that you are honest enough to post even with the cracking. We all have problems and glitches sometimes, even though it would be so easy to hide it…you didn’t. Nice to know that sometimes things don’t go perfectly but we can still make a great dessert.

  11. says

    This is such a pretty Battenberg cake (loved reading the origin of them too). I can’t imagine having to bake while contending with high altitudes and humidity issues. Cracked chocolate plastique or not…this is a lovely, lovely cake and I’m sure it was super delicious.

  12. says

    Love the idea, Barbara. There are certain recipes I can’t make in Florida as well. Weather certainly affects everything. Still, I bet it tasted divine.