This post may contain affiliate links for which I earn a small comission at no extra cost to you. For more info, check out my Disclosure Policy. Thank you for your support!
This Gluten free Battenberg is an absolute British teatime classic which looks super complicated but is actually very easy to make.
The classic chequerboard of pink and yellow almond sponge is sandwiched together with apricot jam and wrapped in a layer of marzipan.
It's the perfect cake for a gluten free afternoon tea - and gluten free Battenberg is the perfect baking project for the weekend.
Creating the pattern of sponge is simple to do and I have lots of tips and tricks to help you out.
I've got some top tips in the blog post below including ideas for substitutions and the specific products I used which are gluten free.
Or skip to the recipe nearer the bottom of the page (there's a 'jump to recipe' button at the top of the page) if you want to get stuck in.
Battenberg ingredients and substitutions
There's a full printable recipe card below with the method and quantities, but here's a few pointers on the ingredients used in this recipe.
The basic ingredients are the same as with any gluten free cake - butter, caster sugar, and gluten free flour.
If you want to make this cake dairy free, you can easily do so by substituting the butter for a dairy free spread instead.
I always use the gluten free plain flour from FREEE - you'll need a plain flour blend rather than a single flour like coconut or almond flour.
You can easily substitute this for self-raising gluten free flour if you prefer.
Simply change the 2 teaspoons of baking powder into half a teaspoon and omit the xanthan gum if your flour already contains it.
Xanthan gum is essential in gluten free bakes as it helps to replicate the texture you'd normally get from gluten.
How to line a cake tin for a Battenberg
If you are a Battenberg super-fan then you can buy a specially-made tin for making gluten free Battenberg.
However, if like me you're only making this occasionally, the best bet is to fashion your own tin from a 20cm square cake tin.
All you need is some parchment-lined foil which is easy to shape to divide your tin into two as follows:
Cut a rectangle of the parchment-lined foil which is 20cm wide and twice as long as the tin.
Set it paper-side-up and fold in half along the long length, open it, then push the fold upwards to make a pleat.
Crease firmly and then press the paper into the tin with the centre pleat running down the centre, creating two sections approx 20cm x 10cm.
Any excess foil can be folded over the sides of the tin - if it’s long enough, tuck it underneath the tin when baking so it doesn’t flail about in the oven.
This method means you can easily cook both sponges in one tin and keep them separate.
Once you've prepared the tin once you'll find it gets easier each time.
Just make sure you grease it well so that the cake will come out nice and easily when it has finished baking and cooled.
My gluten free Battenberg recipe
This recipe uses a 2lb loaf tin making a large Battenberg cake which is perfect for sharing.
I reckon you'll get about 10-12 slices out of this depending on how thick you like them.
And please do leave a review to let others know you loved it too! It would mean the world to me.
- 175g unsalted butter
- 175g caster sugar
- 130g plain gluten free flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 50g ground almonds
- ¼ tsp xanthan gum
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp almond extract
- Pink and Yellow food colouring
- 400g golden marzipan
- ½ jar apricot jam
- Icing sugar for dusting
To line your tin:
- Preheat the oven to 180C / Fan 160C / Gas Mark 4. Grease a 20cm square baking tin.
- Cut a rectangle of parchment-lined foil which is 20cm wide and twice as long as the tin. Set it paper-side-up and fold in half along the long length, open it, then push the fold upwards to make a pleat. Crease firmly and then press the paper into the tin with the centre pleat running down the centre, creating two sections approx 20cm x 10cm. Any excess foil can be folded over the sides of the tin - if it’s long enough, tuck it underneath the tin when baking so it doesn’t flail about in the oven!
Make the cake batter:
- Add the sugar and butter to a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk until pale and creamy.
- Add the eggs and almond extract and beat again until it forms a runny mixture.
- In a separate bowl mix the gluten free flour (see notes if using self-raising GF flour), baking powder, almonds and xanthan gum. Add the flour mixture into the cake mix and beat again until combined.
- Separate the mixture evenly between two bowls and add a few drops of pin food colouring to one. Mix together well until it is no longer streaky - go as subtle or vibrant as you like with the colours, I find it best to add a little at a time until you’re happy.
- If using, repeat the process in the second bowl with the yellow food colouring. I only used a tiny bit so it wasn’t too vibrant.
- Pour the pink coloured batter into one half of the tin and smooth down. Pour the yellow batter into the second half and smooth down. Bake the cake for approx 25-30 minutes until risen and a skewer in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and cool for 10-15 minutes. Use a butter knife to run along the sides of the cake (to separate it from the tin) then leave in the tin until cool. Once cool, gently remove the cake from the tin.
To assemble the Battenberg cake:
- Set the sponges on a chopping board and cut each sponge in half long-ways to create four strips of cake - two pink and two yellow. Trim any edges where the cakes may have risen unevenly so you have four neat and even rectangles of cake.
- Dust a clean worktop with icing sugar and knead the marzipan until workable, then roll out into a rectangle approx 20cm x 30cm.
- Warm the apricot jam slightly (approx 10-15 seconds in a microwave). Brush the bottom of one strip of the pink sponge with some jam and then lay it neatly along the short edge of the marzipan. Brush the bottom and side of one of the yellow pieces of sponge with jam lay it next to the pink sponge strip so that the jam-side sticks the two together.
- Brush the tops of the two pieces with jam and repeat the process with alternative colours, so the second yellow strip is on top of the first pink strip, and vice versa. Brush jam on the sides were the two top pieces of sponge join too. You should have a chequerboard effect on the ends.
- Brush the three exposed sides of the whole cake with jam and carefully wrap the marzipan neatly over the top of the cake, smoothing out any bumps as you go, and then join it at the seal - which should be along the bottom edge. Trim any excess marzipan off.
- Trim the exposed short ends of the cake so you have a neat finish and then serve.
- If using self-raising gluten free flour, only add ½ tsp of baking powder and omit the xanthan gum if the mix already contains this.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 420Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 127mgCarbohydrates: 59gFiber: 1gSugar: 48gProtein: 5g
Need some more gluten free baking inspiration?
Want to have a go at some of the other gluten free cake recipes on the blog?
Give some of these other gluten free bakes and creations a try and see what you think!
There are plenty to choose from depending what sort of bake you fancy:
And if you have any recipe suggestions, please let me know in the comments what you’d like to see next!
Oh – and don’t forget to sign up for my e-newsletter where you’ll know about all my latest posts and competitions first!
Like this Gluten Free Battenberg recipe?
Make sure you pin these recipe cards below for later!
Do head over and follow me on Pinterest too for more gluten free recipe inspiration.