Pistachio and raspberry/bay Battenburg

Pistachio and bay batternburg recipe - Ink Sugar Spice

BattenburgRectangularSomething a little different from the traditional Battenburg, this cake incorporates pistachios and a fresh raspberry sauce which has been flavoured with bay leaf.

I have made my own marzipan, and have included the ingredients but please don’t think you have to do this – you can use shop bought (I do think it’s inferior but in the overall scheme of things you’d only notice if you’d recently eaten homemade). I will add the recipe I use for marzipan to another post. It is a very old marchpane (marzipan) recipe that I work from, but I note that it has not really altered for most modern chefs and cooks and many use the same ingredients (if in marginally different ratios).

I made the cake in a normal square cake pan, not one of those specialist Battenburg tins. I’ve taken images of how I prepped the tin, so anyone can follow

I have also chosen to make the cake in a 2 x 3 layout, rather than just 2 x 2 squares. This cake can be made into either – or even more geometric combinations. The cake is baked in two halves: one for each flavour and then you cut it accordingly. Normally in specialist Battenburg pans there are four cavities, one for each quarter.


  • Large bowl and two medium bowls
  • Food processor (at a pinch you could use a large pestle and mortar)
  • 20cm square cake tin
  • Plenty of greaseproof paper/baking parchment
  • Kitchen foil
  • Small saucepan
  • Fine sieve
  • Spatulas and wooden spoons
  • Large serrated knife (a bread knife is great for this)
  • Cake lifter or a couple of fish slices/large spatulas for moving the cake


  • Unsalted butter, softened – 175g (plus extra for greasing)
  • Caster sugar – 175g
  • Eggs, large – 3
  • Plain flour – 130g
  • Ground almonds – 40g
  • Pistachio paste -4 teaspoons
  • Fresh raspberries – 150g
  • Bay leaf – 1
  • Baking powder – 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • Fine salt – a pinch
  • A few drops each of green and pink food colouring (entirely optional)
  • Apricot jam for spreading/sticking the cake together and the marzipan on – you’ll need half a normal sized jar
  • Marzipan – make you own (ingredients are listed below and I will write a separate recipe post soon) or shop bought
  • Extra icing sugar to roll the marzipan out

For the marzipan

  • Ground almonds – 225g
  • Icing sugar – 225g
  • Egg white – about 40g (the white of one large egg or one and a ‘bit’ medium)
  • Lemon juice – 2 teaspoons
  • Almond essence – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Rose water – 1/4 teaspoon

Method – prepare the tin

  1. Take a large piece of kitchen foil and fold it over on itself at least twice to make a long strip, about 30 cm long and about 6 cm in depth
  2. Proffer it up to your baking tin to measure the size – it needs to span across the middle of the tin to divide it into half. Crease the foil to meet the sides of the tin exactly and leave the foil strip in the tin (for now)
  3. Grease the tin to help the greaseproof paper stick to the tin while you are measuring and cutting
  4. Cut a long strip of greaseproof paper to the width of the tin
  5. Place the long strip of paper into the cake tin and over the foil strip – crease the greaseproof paper so that it fits neatly into the tin, across one half of the bottom, up one side of the foil, down the other side of the foil, across the other half of the tin and then up the other sidefoil-paper
  6. Take out both foil and greaseproof paper
  7. As the greaseproof paper only covered the bottom and two sides of the tin, now cut two small strips of greaseproof to match the bare sides of the tin
  8. Grease the tin liberally, so that the paper will ‘stick’ to it
  9. Place the two small greaseproof sides into the tin
  10. Now add the foil strip again, bending one end to the left and one to the right (this stops one side of the cake from being smaller)
  11. Lay the large pre-creased greaseproof sheet on top and smooth all the corners downempty
  12. Your tin is ready – you will pour the pistachio batter in one side and the raspberry and bay in the otherfilled

Method – preparing the cake

  1. Put the raspberries in a saucepan and squash them with a wooden food or fork
  2. Place over a medium heat and ad the bay leaf
  3. Cook gently, stirring all the time, for about 3-4 minutes until the raspberries are very mushy and forming a thick juice
  4. Discard the bay leaf
  5. Push the raspberries through a sieve over one of the smaller bowls – you do not want the pips
  6. Turn the oven on to 160C fan / 180C conventional
  7. In the large bowl cream the sugar and butter together until they are lightened and a little fluffy
  8. Add one egg and a large spoonful of the flour and beat or whisk in
  9. Now add the send egg and another spoonful of flour and beat or whisk in
  10. Finally add the last (and third) egg and the remaining flour and the baking powder, ground almonds and salt and whisk in
  11. Now separate the batter evenly between the two smaller bowls (one will already have the raspberry juice in). You may want to weigh the bowls to ensure they are even
  12. Mix the raspberry juice into the cake mix in that bowl – now is the time to add a little food colouring if you want to and you think the colour of the sponge is not enough
  13. Gently spoon the raspberry mix into one half of your carefully prepared tin and smooth the top
  14. In the other bowl, mix in the pistachio paste and, again, add some green colouring if the sponge is not vibrant enough for you
  15. Spoon the pistachio mix into the other half of the tin and smooth it over
  16. Bake the cake for about 35 minutes
  17. Now is a good time to make the marzipan if doing this yourself – pulse the almonds and sugar together in a food processor. Then, put all the ingredients together and knead briefly until it is incorporated, but try not to over knead or it will become ‘sweaty’. If you’re doing this on a hot day, pop it in the fridge until you use it
  18. Check the cake is done by inserting a skewer into each side. Please note the top of the sponge bakes differently on both sides as the raspberry juice and the pistachio paste do alter the batter. However they do bake at the same rate: very fortunate!
  19. Leave to cool in the tin

Method – preparing the cake

  1. Once cooled (doesn’t have to be completely cold) carefully remove the two sponges from the cake tin and place them side-by-side on a board
  2. Level off the tops so they are flat
  3. Cut the sponges into two or three lengthways each (depending if you are doing a 2 x 2 or 3 x 2 cake)
  4. Place the long cake slices together as for constructing the cake (you are not doing this now) – you need to alternate between the colourspart-assembled
  5. Check they’re all even and trim off any areas now
  6. Roll out the marzipan on a your countertop or table that’s very liberally dusted with icing sugar. It needs to be larger than the cake
  7. Warm the apricot jam a little and either take out any lumpy bits or sieve it
  8. Spread some apricot jam over the middle of the marzipan, roughly the size of the cake (larger, not smaller than the cake itself)
  9. Spread the apricot jam over the first layer (that is two or three sponge strips) of sponge and make sure it goes in between where the sponge strips meet too – the jam needs to cover every side of each sponge strip (although don’t do the ends)
  10. Lift up the first layer and place it on the marzipan
  11. Repeat the jam spreading over the top layer, making sure the jam goes in between too
  12. Lift up the second layer and place it on the first
  13. They should already be done, but make sure the top and sides of the built-up cake is all jammy
  14. Trim off the marzipan to the front and back of the cake (you can already size this up)onMarzipan
  15. Lift up one side of the marzipan and smooth it up the side of the cake and partly over the top – trim the marzipan along the midline of the cake and remove the excess
  16. Repeat with the other side and trim it off midline, so it meets the other edge of the marzipan
  17. This join line will be the base of the cake
  18. Gently lift up the cake and invert it onto a cake board or plate
  19. If the ends need neatening up you can do this now with a sharp knife
  20. The Battenburg is now ready

Don’t throw away those trimmings from the sponge – these go great with some additional raspberries, a handful of nuts and some whipped cream or custard as an impromptu, messy but delicious dessert.






Published by Ink Sugar Spice

I’m Lynn and I’m a baker, pasta maker, patissiere, cook, crafter, designer, artist and illustrator. There's little that I can't make by hand. I have been making bread and pasta, baking and creating recipes for 30 years since a teenager. I was featured as the 'pasta fanatic' in episode three of Nadiya's Family Favourites on BBC2 (July 2018) https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2018/31/nadiyas-family-favourites I work as a web and graphic designer/copywriter/social media manager and have an honours degree in theatre design and have many artican crafts, carpentry and design skills. 💙 #pasta #food #baking #bread #patisserie #confectionery #art #crafts #recipes #blogger #design #illustration

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