This Vegan Battenberg Cake is a version of the traditional British Battenberg and is just as good as the original. Consisting of light fluffy almond sponges arranged in a chequered pattern, sandwiched together with jam and wrapped in a thick layer of almond marzipan. It’s easier to make than you think and tastes divine.
This recipe has been made in collaboration with Renshaw, who make the BEST cake decorating products! All opinions expressed in this post are my own. (For more information along with affiliated links, check out my disclosure policy.)
Delicious Vegan Battenberg Cake
No cake is more British than a traditional Battenberg cake. Did you know that it is also called a ‘church window cake’ and was created in the late 1800’s. A bit of history! You will often see the Battenberg served up at an afternoon tea, or at any celebratory occasion. There is something extremely nostalgic about the pink and yellow squares wrapped in a layer of sweetly scrumptious marzipan which no other cake seems to achieve.
I’m am so excited to finally share my recipe for the much loved ‘Battenberg’ cake. I grew up on Battenberg when I was younger. I remember it well as it was my dad’s favourite, he would eat the cake and I would scoff on the marzipan. It’s such a classic, nostalgic and loved cake that I wanted to create this vegan version which would do it justice. This recipe got a 10 out of 10 from my dad, so it must be AMAZING – haha!
What is a Battenberg Cake?
Battenberg (or Battenburg) is a classic British cake consisting of almond flavoured sponges coloured yellow and pink, sandwiched together with jam and wrapped in marzipan, and when sliced reveals the chequered pattern.
It’s one of those recipes and bakes which looks like it would be a very technical and hard to make, but it’s actually really easy and also fun. You just need a few tools, a bit of time and some simple ingredients and you’re ready to go! Keep scrolling to learn how to make this scrumptious cake!
Tools you’ll need:
- Tin : You can go all out and be fancy and get yourself a Battenberg tin, or you can do what I did and make your own. Use an 8 x 8 inch loose-base square tin and line it fully with greaseproof paper. Allow the paper to hang either sides of the tin, this makes it easy to remove the cake when ready. I’ve linked to the tin here.
- Tin foil + greaseproof paper : This goes with the above, but in order to prevent the cake from sticking to the tin, line it with greaseproof paper. Wrap some card in tin foil, and cut it to fit snug in the middle of the tin. This will act as the divider for the two different coloured cakes.
- Food grade brush : Make sure to use a food grade brush to brush on the jam. I have linked the one I use here.
- Sharp knife : Once the cakes have baked, remove from the tin, allow them to cool then cut them with a very sharp knife. It’s best to use a serrated knife to prevent cracking. I’ve linked the best serrated cake knife here.
- Weighing scales : It’s best to use a set of electronic scales when measuring out batter, as this makes for accurate measurements! If you use cups, it’s not necessarily an accurate way of baking as opposed to grams.
Ingredients you’ll need to make a Vegan Battenberg:
- Self raising flour : You want to use self raising flour for this recipe, as the cakes need to have a good height to them. You can use plain flour, but you risk baking a flat Battenberg.
- Ground almonds : The ground almonds give the cake a slightly denser texture, and a delicious flavour, identical to the classic Battenberg.
- Sugar : Use fine white caster sugar.
- Baking powder : The baking powder helps the cake to rise.
- Dairy-free butter : Make sure to use vegan block butter, such as Naturli Vegan Block, Flora Plant Block Butter or any vegan block butter available to you. If you use margarine, you risk the cake not being as stable.
- Dairy-free milk : You can use any dairy-free milk, soya, almond, oat etc. Soya does work the best in cakes and is the one I would recommend.
- Almond extract / almond flavouring : To give the classic Battenberg flavour, use almond flavouring or almond extract. Either will work perfectly.
- Apricot jam : Apricot jam is used in the traditional Battenberg, and works beautifully with the almond flavours of the cake. Use it to sandwich the cake layers together, and attach the marzipan. Optional- You can use strawberry or raspberry jam.
Marzipan (from Renshaw)
Pink food gel : To give the cake a gorgeous pink shade, I used the Rainbow Dust ProGel in the colour ‘Raspberry’. The Rainbow Dust ProGel is the ONLY food colouring I use. You can buy liquid food gels, and natural food colourings in most supermarkets, but I would highly recommend ProGel. All of ProGel colours are vegan friendly! They are extremely highly pigmented, meaning you only need a tiny drop in your batter or icing, and it doesn’t effect the consistency of the cake. Note that the colour of the cake may look slightly peachy but looks pinker when it’s cooked and cut! I’ve even used their red ProGel to make the BEST Vegan Red Velvet Cake, which is in my Award-Winning baking book.
The main part of a Battenberg is that it’s wrapped in a gorgeous layer of marzipan. I used my favourite white marzipan from Renshaw. Renshaw is my go-to store for all my baking ingredients and tools, such as fondants, icings, food colours, edible glitters and of course marzipan. This marzipan is vegan friendly, and SUPER delicious!
Make sure to check out the Rainbow Dust ProGel here.
How to make a Vegan Battenberg Cake
You will be so impressed with how EASY and simple the cake is to make. It only takes a couple of ingredients, which you possibly already have in your kitchen cupboards, along with a few tips and tricks. You’ll be a Battenberg PRO when you make this recipe. Happy Baking!
Mix all of the cake batter ingredients together, then divide equally in half into two separate bowls. Leave one batter plain, and colour the other with pink food gel. Mix to combine, then pour into the tin. Bake, and allow to cool before cutting and assembling.
Cut the cake colours in two so you end up with 4 pieces of cake (2 plain yellow, and 2 pink).
Roll out the marzipan into a large rectangle shape. Brush apricot jam over the marzipan. Lay a pink and a yellow slice of cake side by side at one end of the marzipan, brushing jam in between to stick sponges. Brush more jam on top of the sponges, then sandwich the remaining 2 slices on top, alternating colours. Smooth the marzipan over the cakes to cover. Trim any excess cake or marzipan. Cut both ends off of the Battenberg to neaten.
- Slice and serve
Use a sharp knife, cut the Battenberg into slices. Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee!
Vegan Battenberg FAQ
Is this recipe vegan?
- YES! This recipe is fully vegan and doesn’t contain any animal ingredients. Always make sure to double check your ingredients before using to make sure they are 100% vegan friendly.
Can this cake be made gluten-free?
- Unfortunately not. This cake has been made and recipe tested using gluten based self raising flour. I am yet to perfect a gluten-free vegan Battenberg, but will keep working on it!
I don’t like Apricot, can I use a different flavour?
- Of course you can! I have tried this recipe with strawberry and raspberry jam and they worked perfectly! The colour of the jam may tint the cakes slightly pinkish.
How to remove the cake from the tin?
- I always recommend a loose base tin! It makes removing cakes from the tin a breeze, simply push up the base and allow the cakes to cool, then peel away the grease proof paper! I have linked the exact on here. if you are going to be making a Battenberg, either buy a Battenberg tin or a loose base 8×8 tin!
Can I freeze my Battenberg?
- You can freeze the cake. It keeps well for up 2 weeks. After that the texture may be a little dry, but still tasty none the less.
How to store a Battenberg cake?
- The marzipan surrounding the cake helps to keep the sponges fresh and moist. In order to help with freshness, store the cake in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can also store in the fridge for up to 5 days but make sure to allow the cakes to come to room temperature before serving.
What to do with the trimmings?
- Simple answer, eat them- haha! They’re very taste with a cup of tea or coffee – even nicer dunked! Alternatively, you can cut the pieces into squares, and use them to decorate cupcakes / cheesecakes.