Orange and lemon Battenberg cake

Battenberg cake

  • serves 8
  • Easy

If you've never made a Battenberg cake before then this zesty version is just right for you. Our simple-to-follow recipe makes light work of a technical bake


Try our Battenberg cake then check out our victoria sponge cake and our chocolate éclairs.



  • self-raising flour 150g
  • golden caster sugar 150g
  • salted butter 150g, softened plus extra for the tin
  • eggs 3 at room temperature, beaten
  • baking powder ½ heaped tsp
  • unwaxed lemons 2, zested
  • oranges 2, zested
  • orange food colouring gel
  • yellow food colouring gel


  • salted butter 70g, softened
  • icing sugar 180g, plus extra for dusting
  • thyme 3 sprigs, leaves stripped and finely chopped
  • lemon 1 unwaxed, ½ zested and 1½ tsp of juice
  • orange 1, zested and 1½ tsp of juice
  • white marzipan 300g


  • Step 1

    Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and butter the sides and bottom of a 20cm square tin. Cut a 20cm × 40cm piece of baking parchment and the same of foil. Butter the foil and then put the baking parchment on top so that they’re stuck together.

  • Step 2

    With the foil-side facing up, fold in half widthways like a book, then open out, turn over and push up the centre fold to make a 4cm pleat, that sticks up, down the centre.

  • Step 3

    Line the base of the tin with the foil-side down, ensuring the pleat is uppermost and is dead in the centre of the tin, to create 2 identical rectangles within the tin. Ensure the paper-lined foil is pushed into all the corners of the tin with a slight overhang on either side.

  • Step 4

    Put the flour, sugar, butter, eggs and baking powder in a bowl and whisk until just combined. Divide the mixture between two bowls. Whisk the lemon zest into one plus enough colouring to make a strong custard colour. To the other, add the orange zest and enough colouring to make quite a bright orange colour.

  • Step 5

    Spoon each mixture into seperate halves of the tin. Make sure the divider is straight before smoothing the surface of each.

  • Step 6

    Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until the cakes have risen and are springy to the touch. Allow to cool for a few minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack and removing the divider.

  • Step 7

    Meanwhile, make the icing by beating together the butter, icing sugar, thyme, zest and juice until fluffy and smooth.

  • Step 8

    Trim the brown off long edges of the cakes and then cut each cake into 3 lengthways, ensuring all 6 strips are the same size and shape so that the cross section of each is a square.

  • Step 9

    Put a lemon, orange and then another lemon strip next to each other and use the icing to stick them together. Spread some more icing over the top and then stick the 3 remaining strips on top, alternating them in a chequerboard effect icing in-between them and on top.

  • Step 10

    Roll the marzipan out, on a clean worksurface dusted lightly with icing sugar, to a rectangle 20cm × 30cm or the same length as the cake and 4 times its width with a little extra to trim away.

  • Step 11

    Invert the cake onto the marzipan, iced-side down and 2cm in from the edge. Spread the remaining icing over the rest of the cake, apart from the chequerboard ends.

  • Step 12

    Carefully roll up the cake in the marzipan and seal where the marzipan joins. Trim any ends off to neaten.

  • Step 13

    Put the cake, seal-side down on a plate. Crimp the two top edges and score a diamond pattern on the top using the back of a knife before serving.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 605
  • Fat 29.7g
  • Carbs 79.4g
  • Fibre 0.9g
  • Protein 6.2g
  • Salt 0.8g