Amaretto and Almond Battenberg Cake

Amaretto and Almond Battenberg Cake

Carefully sliced to reveal its intriguing checkerboard design, Amaretto and Almond Battenberg Cake boasts squares of sponge cake coated in jam and wrapped in vanilla fondant. Tinting half of the confection red instead of pink dresses the British specialty for Yuletide.

Amaretto and Almond Battenberg Cake
Makes 2 (7½x3-inch) cakes
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1¼ teaspoons red gel food coloring
  • ⅓ cup amaretto-almond jam
  • 1 (24-ounce) box white vanilla fondant*
  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Spray an 8-inch square cake pan with cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper, and spray again. Fold a sheet of foil 3 to 4 times to create a sturdy 8-inch-long, 1-inch-tall strip. Place in center of prepared pan to form a divider. Spray divider with cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined after each addition. Beat in almond and vanilla extracts.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. With mixer at low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating just until combined.
  5. Pour half of batter into a separate medium bowl. Add cocoa and food coloring; stir until combined.
  6. Pour tinted batter into one side of prepared pan, and pour remaining batter into other side of pan.
  7. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out cakes onto wire racks, and let cool completely.
  8. Place cakes on a cutting surface. Using a serrated knife, trim off dark outer edges. Cut each cake lengthwise into 2 (7½x3-inch) rectangles, and then cut each rectangle into 4 (7½x3-inch wide) pieces.
  9. In a small saucepan, melt jam over low heat, stirring to loosen.
  10. Using a pastry brush, coat tops and one side each of a white piece and a red piece with melted jam. Position these pieces next to one another so that the jam sides touch, and gently press together. Stack another red piece on top of bottom white piece, and brush interior side of red piece with jam. Place another white piece next to jam-coated red piece, and gently press together. Repeat with remaining cake pieces to form a second cake.
  11. Knead and roll out fondant to ⅛-inch thickness. Use a sharp knife to cut a 14x8½-inch rectangle from fondant. Cover with plastic wrap. Knead and reroll fondant scraps, and cut a second rectangle.
  12. Brush tops of each cake stack with melted jam. Wrap each cake with fondant, pressing and smoothing fondant to adhere to cake. Turn cake. Using kitchen shears, trim long edge of fondant, letting ends overlap slightly. Using fingers, press seam to seal. Gently roll cake over so seam is on bottom. Fold and tuck in ends of fondant to keep cake moist.
  13. Using straight edge, such as a plastic ruler, press down on fondant approximately every ½-inch to create angled stripes. Repeat, reversing direction of angled stripes, to create a diamond pattern.
  14. Place cakes on cutting board, and wrap each securely in plastic wrap, making sure plastic is in contact with fondant to prevent it from drying out.
  15. Just before serving, unwrap cake. Using a long, serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion, trim ends and cut cake into ¾-inch-thick slices.
*We used Wilton Decorator Preferred White Fondant.

For more recipes from this brilliant table, see “Blue & White Teatime” in the November/December 2019 issue, available at

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