December 17, 2018
England is a very confectionary-centric country. The English love their baked goods. Like LOVE! Almost to an unhealthy degree. Growing up there means I’ve eaten my fair share of iced fingers, sticky buns, muffins, eclairs, and Battenberg. Explains why, as a pudgy little kid, I had so much trouble running cross country in gym.
At Christmas there are two main staples baked in kitchens and bakeries all over the UK. Christmas Cake (booze-infused, fruit-filled, deliciously dense cake wrapped in marzipan and fondant icing) and Battenberg, or as it’s commonly called in England, Window Cake.
While Battenberg is available all year round, it’s something I remember seeing more at Christmas at parties, family gatherings, and get-togethers. It’s a simple set of ingredients, vanilla sponge, apricot jelly, and marzipan that, when combined, whisks me back home to England.** I hope you enjoy this delicious cake as much as I do!
**Please note - If upon eating, you are magically transported to the UK, Andrew, Sayvee, or any of its officers cannot be held liable for return airfare, or any travel costs associated with your magical displacement.
6 Oz (¾ cup) of butter
6 Oz (¾ cup) of sugar
3 Large eggs
1 Tsp of vanilla extract
6 Oz (¾ cup) of self-raising flour
2 Drops of pink food colouring
3 Oz of apricot jam (warmed)
7 Oz of marzipan (ready to roll)
Preheat the oven to 400℉.
In a large bowl beat together the butter and sugar.
Add the eggs and continue to beat together.
Stir in the vanilla extract.
Add the flour and continue beating until the mixture is smooth.
Place half the mixture into a rectangular greased baking pan (so it fills half the pan).
Add the food colouring to the remaining mix and whisk together. Pour the remaining ‘pink’ batter into the other half of the pan. (if you’re worried the batter will mix, you can place a folded piece of metal foil down the middle before adding the second half of the mix).
Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the cake rises. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
Take off the edges and cut the cake in half separating the light and pink halves. Then cut each down the middle, creating four ‘blocks’.
Assemble your cake like you’re laying bricks, using the warmed apricot jelly to secure them together. One pink and light on the bottom, the same on top but opposite placement to create the ‘window’ effect.
Roll the marzipan out into a rectangle and brush it with the remaining apricot jelly. Place your new block of cake in the middle and roll the cake up in the marzipan, sealing it with the apricot jelly.
Cut off the ends so they’re perfectly square. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
Serve with a nice cup of tea!