Gluten Free & Dairy Free Battenberg Cake!

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 Day three of Coeliac UK awareness week and the gluten free baking continues!

Today I wanted to bake something I haven’t eaten for years and years, a Battenburg Cake! I use to absolutely love these as a child. A pot of tea, a tray of sandwiches and a selection of cakes was always a real treat for us all and it was always on a Sunday evening when we got in from swimming. It was the only time we were ever allowed to sit in the lounge and eat whilst watching the television, we were usually watching our favourite Sunday evening programme, the Muppets! The simple things in life are often the best, and there is nothing I love more, when we have visitors, than serving up afternoon tea and cakes in the lounge, always with a pot of tea, never a tea bag tea for these occasions!!!

After making this cake, I really do not know why I  didn’t attempt to make one sooner! It was so so easy and so very very delicious! I certainly wasn’t disappointed! I decided to use a simple all-in-one victoria sponge recipe with a few drops of almond essence added to the cake mixture for flavour, I used  apricot jam to hold it all together and I covered it in the traditional marzipan! Unfortunately our local shop only had white marzipan so the whole cake therefore had to be pale pastel colours to compliment the pale marzipan instead of the brighter colours I remembered as a child!

Gluten Free and Dairy Free Battenberg Cake Recipe!

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 225g Dairy Free Spread ( I used Vitality Dairy Free)
  • 225g Caster Sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 225g Gluten free self raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder (ensure this is Gluten Free baking powder as some do contain Gluten)
  • Few drops of Almond Essence
  • Pink food colouring

To decorate

  • 500g Marzipan (check this is both gluten free and dairy free!)
  • 4 tablespoons apricot jam
  • Icing sugar for dusting worktops

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas mark 4
  • Grease a 20cm square tin and line with double thickness greaseproof paper as shown below, with a fold in the middle to  keep the cake mix separate whilst baking.

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  •  Place all the cake ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat together, either by hand or with an electric mixer, until well combined.

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  • Divide the mixture in two, placing one half into one side the baking tin, spreading the mixture so it is level and goes right into corners of the cake tin.
  • Add a few drops of the pink food colouring into the remaining mixture in the bowl and mix to get an even coloured pink cake mix. Add a few exra drops if you want a darker pink sponge!

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  •  Place the pink mixture in the other side of the baking tin, again spreading the mixture so it is level and goes right to corners of the cake tin

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  • Bake on the middle shelve for 25-30 minutes until the cake is golden, evenly risen and a skewer when inserted comes out clean.

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  • Leave the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning it out onto a cooling rack and eave upside down to cool.

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  •  Once the cakes have cooled completely, turn them the right way up and trim the top of the cake to level it,  next place the cakes on top of one another and trim all the sides to produce a nice and  even rectangular cake. Finally cut down the middle of both the cakes to produce 4 evenly sized cake pieces. Rearrange to form the checkerboard appearance of a battenberg cake.

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  • Lightly dust the work top with the icing sugar and roll out the marzipan to approximately 40cm/20cm ensuring there is enough to cover all sides of the cake.

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  • Brush the jam,using a pastry brush, onto the inside sides of the sponges to stick them all together.

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  • Next brush some jam on the middle of the marzipan and place the cakes on top.

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  • Brush on the jam to coat the remainder of the sponge and then carefully bring up the marzipan to cover all the cake and seal all the edges together. You may need to trim off any excess either end of the cake. Turn over and smooth the the marzipan if necessary, then pinch all of the edge of the marzipan together to produce nice neat edges

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  •  Using a knife score diagonal lines on all sides of the cake to produce a criss cross pattern.

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  • Place the cake on a plate or cake board and you’ve finished! Well, apart from tidying the kitchen and  the washing up!!

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Cut, eat & enjoy with a beautiful pot of tea!!
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