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Fun Delicious Battenberg Cupcakes Without Frosting

A Traditional Battenberg Cake in cupcake form. These delightful Battenberg cupcakes still bring you all the flavours of the classic square cake in the form of a different way to enjoy it.

A stack of three Battenberg cupcakes with slices of mini Battenberg cakes falling all around them.

What Makes This Recipe Great!

  • A Classic Cake Made Simple – While the original Battenberg cake is beautiful, we’ve removed some steps and reduced the baking time, while still bringing you those classic flavours.
  • Perfect For Parties – We love how pretty these little cakes are. Display them on a layered cake stand for a sweet centrepiece for a party.
  • Easy To Make – If you’re a beginner in the kitchen, we’ll guide you through all the steps to help you create a delicious cupcake with ease.

About The Recipe – In More Detail

With the flavours of a pink and yellow coloured almond sponge cake encased in a layer of marzipan, a Battenberg cake always takes me back to childhood.

I wanted to revisit childhood memories with a version of Battenberg cake made into a cupcake. But why choose this over the classic Battenberg Cake? For starters, it’s a little easier to make, with less baking time and not as much organisation as a Battenberg cake. For the classic cake, you must bake two sponge cakes, with one coloured pink like our Coconut Ice Recipe. These are then sliced into square strips and stuck together in a checked pattern using apricot jam.

The outer layer is made from thick almond marzipan, which encases the cake layers, finishing that signature look.

Battenberg originated in the UK and has a regal history. It was invented to celebrate the marital union between Prince Louis of Battenberg and Princess Victoria.

I still use two colours for the cake sponges, but bake them as one which only takes 25 minutes in the oven. Once cooled, I then spread the tops of the cakes with apricot jam and decorate the top with a beautiful layer of marzipan and slices of mini Battenberg cakes to finish them off.

I wanted to keep these little cupcakes as close to the original cake as possible, therefore I am not using cream cheese frosting or buttercream in this recipe. 

Battenberg cupcakes are great for parties, edible gifts and bake sales that the whole family will enjoy.

An overhead view of Battenberg cupcakes laid in a random pattern with stars of gold and marzipan and small squares of Battenberg cakes in between.

Equipment Needed

  • Large Bowl: A large mixing bowl used to hold all the ingredients to make the cake batter. You will need separate bowls to colour half the cake batter too. 
  • Measuring Scale/Measuring Spoons: For accurate measurement of all the ingredients.
  • Wooden Spoon or Spatula: To mix the cake batter.
  • Stand Mixer with Paddle Attachment (optional): Instead of mixing the cake batter by hand you can use a stand mixer if you have one available. You can also use an electric whisk or electric mixer for ease. 
  • Cupcake Cases: Used to hold the batter during baking.
  • Cupcake/Muffin Tray: Holds the cupcake cases and provides structure during baking. A good tip to stop the bottom of the cupcake cases turning greasy is to place a little uncooked rice in the holes of the tray before adding the cases.
  • Toothpick: Inserted into the centre of a cupcake to check for doneness (comes out clean when done).
  • Cooling Rack/Wire Rack: Used to cool the cupcakes completely.
  • Rolling Pin: Used to roll out golden marzipan on a surface dusted with icing sugar.
  • Round Cookie Cutter: Used to cut appropriately sized round pieces of marzipan for each cupcake.

Ingredients

A labelled photo with all the ingredients needed to make Battenberg cupcakes.
  • Unsalted Butter: As this is a sweet recipe, there is no need to add salt. But, if you wish to add a little salt for flavour enhancement, this can be done separately as it is difficult to judge how much salt you are using with salted butter. Be sure to use softened butter.
  • Caster Sugar: You can use white caster sugar or golden caster sugar, whichever your preference.
  • White Plain Flour (All Purpose Flour): Use a white all purpose flour suitable for baking.
  • Ground Almonds: Not to be confused with almond flour, I use ground almonds to create a vanilla sponge with a hint of almond taste. 
  • Baking Powder: A leavening agent that helps the cupcakes rise and become light and fluffy.
  • Medium Eggs: Bind the ingredients together and contribute to the structure and texture of the cupcakes.
  • Milk: Use full-fat whole milk for richness.
  • Vanilla Extract: Adds a pleasant vanilla flavour to the cupcakes, enhancing their overall taste.
  • Red/Pink Food Colouring: Used to tint half of the cake batter, creating a distinctive colour contrast in the Battenberg cupcakes. I always recommend concentrated food colouring so that you don’t need to add too much extra liquid to the cake batter. If you want the contrasting sponge to have a vibrant colour, you can add a little yellow food colouring to that half. 
  • Apricot Jam: A fruity apricot jam filling that is spread over the top of the cupcakes acting as a glue for the marzipan and the optional Battenberg Cake decoration. Use a smooth apricot jam.
  • Golden Marzipan: Rolled out and placed on top of each cupcake, adding a sweet and almond-flavoured layer. You can use a decorative rolling pin to press a shape into it if desired.
  • Mini Battenberg Cakes (optional): I use slices of cute mini Battenbergs for decoration. 

Additions and Substitutions

  • Plain Flour: You can use self-raising flour in place of all-purpose flour but reduce the baking powder by 2 tsp.
  • Milk: Plant-based milk like almond or soy milk can be used as a dairy alternative.
  • Vanilla Extract: Almond extract can be used for a stronger almond flavour.

Additions:

  • Raspberry Jam: Instead of apricot jam, raspberry jam can be used for a different fruity flavour.
  • Powdered Sugar: Dust the tops of the cupcakes with powdered sugar for decoration.
  • Edible Gold Dust: Add a touch of elegance by dusting the marzipan with edible gold dust.


Step-By-Step Guide – How To Make Battenberg Cupcakes

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

  • Preheat your oven to 160°C (320°F).

Step 2: Combine Ingredients

  • In a large bowl, combine softened unsalted butter and caster sugar and beat together until creamy.
  • Whisk the eggs briefly and add to the creamed butter along with the milk and vanilla extract. Mix together without overbeating the batter.
  • In a separate bowl combine the flour, ground almonds, and baking powder. Mix together.
A hand is using a blue spatula to mix butter and sugar together.
A hand is tipping vanilla extract into a glass bowl containing an egg butter sugar mixture.

Step 3: Add Dry to Wet

  • Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and fold in to create a smooth batter free from lumps.
  • Stop mixing as soon as all ingredients are fully combined.
An overhead view of a bowl containing all the ingredients of the cake batter before mixing.
A hand is using a blue spatula to mix the cake batter ingredients together.

Step 4: Divide and Colour Batter

  • Divide the batter into two portions in separate bowls.
  • In one portion, mix in pink/red food colouring until you achieve your desired pink colour.
A hand is tipping pink food colouring into a bowl containing cake batter.
A hand is using a blue spatula to mix pink food colour into cake batter.

Step 5: Fill Cupcake Cases

  • Spoon a portion of the uncoloured batter into each cupcake case.

Step 6: Add Coloured Batter

  • After adding the uncoloured batter, spoon the pink batter on top in the same quantity.
Two hands are using two spoons to spoon cake batter into cupcake cases.
Two hands are using two spoons to put pink cake batter on top of uncoloured cake batter inside cupcake cases.

Step 7: Bake Cupcakes

  • Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean.

Step 8: Cool Cupcakes

  • Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack.
An overhead view of 12 baked cupcakes inside a cupcake tin.
12 pink cupcakes cooling on a wire rack.

Step 9: Spread Apricot Jam

  • Spread apricot jam over the surface of each cupcake.

Step 10: Roll Out Marzipan

  • Roll out the golden marzipan on a work surface dusted with icing sugar to prevent sticking.
A hand is using a spoon to cover the top of cupcakes with apricot jam.
Two hands are using rolling pin to roll out golden marzipan.

Step 11: Cut and Place Marzipan

  • Using a cutter, cut appropriately sized round pieces of marzipan for each cupcake.
  • Place the marzipan on top, pressing it gently onto the jam-coated surface.
12 cut out circles of golden marzipan.
A hand is placing circles of golden marzipan on top of cupcakes that has sat on a cooling rack.

Step 12: Add Decoration

  • Place a little dollop of Apricot jam in the centre of each cupcake, on top of the marzipan.
  • Slice the mini Battenberg cakes into pieces and place one square on top of the jam on each cake.

Step 12: Serve or Store

  • Serve the marzipan-topped cupcakes immediately or store them for later.
 A hand is using a spoon to place little dollops of apricot jam on top of marzipan cupcakes.
I hand is placing squares of mini Battenberg cakes on top of Battenberg cupcakes.

FAQ

Can I use almond flour instead of ground almonds?

No, almond flour is not a suitable substitute for ground almonds in this recipe.

Can I use a different type of food colouring?

Traditionally Battenberg cakes are pink and yellow. But you can certainly, use any colour of your choice or even omit it for plain cupcakes.

Can I make these cupcakes ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the cupcakes in advance and add the marzipan topping just before serving.


Pro Tips and Guidance

  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensure that your butter and eggs are at room temperature. This helps in achieving a smooth and well-incorporated batter.
  • Gentle Mixing: Be cautious not to overmix the batter. Once the ingredients are combined, stop mixing to avoid dense cupcakes.
  • Consistent Cupcake Sizes: Use a measuring spoon or ice cream scoop to ensure uniform cupcake sizes. This results in even baking.
  • Cupcake Cooling: Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before applying jam and marzipan. This prevents melting and maintains the cupcake structure.

A front view of a Battenberg cupcake with a slice cut out to show the middle surrounded by slices of Battenberg cake and other cupcakes in view.

Storage


Storage:
Store the Battenberg cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature.

Freezing: These cupcakes can be frozen, but I would recommend to freeze them without the marzipan or decoration and jam to maintain texture. Place in an airtight container or wrap well in clingfilm/plastic wrap.

Defrosting: Defrost cupcakes in the fridge before bringing them to room temperature. Apply jam and marzipan after defrosting.


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Download your Free US/UK Conversion Kit

+ Bonus Baking Tin Converter!

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An overhead view of Battenberg cupcakes laid out in a random pattern with stars of gold and marzipan and slices of Battenberg cake in between.

Fun Delicious Battenberg Cupcakes Without Frosting

5 from 3 votes
Try turning your favourite Battenberg cake into these little cupcakes. Guaranteed to impress and they taste delicious.
Print Recipe Pin Rate Save
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 384kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 175 g Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 175 g Caster Sugar
  • 3 Medium Eggs
  • 0.5 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tbsp Milk
  • 150 g Plain Flour
  • 50 g Ground Almonds
  • 2.5 tsp Baking Powder
  • Pink/Red Food Colouring, a few drops
  • 120 g Apricot Jam
  • 200 g Golden Marzipan
  • 3 Mini Battenberg Cakes, for decoration

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 160°C (320°F).
  • In a large bowl, combine softened unsalted butter and caster sugar, cream together until smooth.
  • Lightly beat the eggs and add to the butter mixture with the vanilla and milk, mix everything together.
  • In a separate bowl mix the flour, ground almonds, and baking powder until combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix thoroughly until the batter is smooth and free of lumps. Stop mixing as soon as all ingredients are fully combined.
  • Divide the batter into two portions in separate bowls. In one portion, mix in pink/red food colouring until you achieve your desired colour.
  • Spoon a portion of the uncoloured batter into each cupcake case.
  • After adding the uncoloured batter, spoon the pink batter on top in the same quantity.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean.
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Spread a layer of apricot jam over the surface of each cupcake. Reserving a little to stick the decorations on.
  • Roll out golden marzipan on a surface dusted with icing sugar to prevent sticking.
  • Using a cutter, cut appropriately sized round pieces of marzipan for each cupcake. Place the marzipan on top, pressing it gently onto the jam-coated surface.
  • Place a small dollop of apricot jam onto the centre of each cupcake on top of the marzipan.
  • Slice the mini Battenberg cakes into squares and stick one to the top of each cupcake.
  • Serve immediately or store.

Recipe Notes

See How to Make in the Post for More Details
 
  • Allow your refrigerated ingredients to come to room temperature before using.
  • Don’t overmix the cake batter.
  • Use an apple corer, melon baller or knife to core your cupcakes.
  • Use a smooth apricot jam to prevent lumps underneath the marzipan. 
  • Save the cupcake cores for another recipe, they can be frozen for use another day. 
  • Place uncooked rice underneath each cupcake liner to help absorb any excess oil. 
  • Cakes can be stored for up to 4 days in an airtight container, or frozen before adding the jam and marzipan. 

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 384kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 116mg | Potassium: 89mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 450IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 1mg

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