Mini Battenberg Cupcakes

I was browsing the cake aisle at the supermarket, which is typically one of the places I linger for the longest during most food shopping trips. I was busy daydreaming about cakes when I decided a Battenberg, has for too long, been square and I wanted to give this delicious little cake a makeover. Say hello to the Batternberg Cupcake.

Everyone is obsessed with cupcakes these days and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that at all, you can have so much fun with mini cakes and the possibilities for this tiny little cake in all it’s forms are endless. Making cakes into cupcakes, reduces the baking time too, as well as these Battenberg cupcakes, my carrot cupcakes and brownie cupcakes are good examples of this.

So I am hopping aboard with all the cupcake crazies and presenting my version of a super yummy little cake! These have a much quicker baking time than a whole battenberg cake, so you don’t have to wait so long to enjoy them. You can have fun filling and decorating your mini cakes with the kids too!

cupcake batter in a bowl with red food colouring added

What is Battenberg Cake?

Battenberg, or Battenburg is a sponge cake, made from different coloured sections that are held together with jam.

The 4 sections of sponge cake are then covered in a sheet of golden marzipan and served in slices which show a distinctive checker board pattern in two colours. Usually pink and yellow.

Battenburg 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.

You can now find it being sold in most supermarkets in the UK and is still very popular to this day.

cupcake batter placed in 12 cupcake cases

Mini Battenberg Cakes

The trouble with Battenberg cake, is the time it takes to make it. Cooking two sponge cakes separately and then slicing and assembling them, can all seem like quite a bit of faff when you have a craving for cake.

Cupcakes take much less time to bake, so you can have these mini Battenberg cupcakes ready to eat in much less time than a traditional cake.

Whilst these don’t share the traditional square shape of a Battenberg, they still maintain the yellow and pink layers, are filled with apricot jam and are topped with a golden marzipan too. You are missing none of the flavours of a traditional Battenberg cake at all and let’s face it, the taste is what cake is all about! They are great for birthday parties and celebrations too.

example of filling the cupcakes with jam

Making Battenburg Cupcakes

When baking cupcakes, allow your ingredients to reach room temperature before using, that means the butter, egg and milk shouldn’t be too cold. This helps to prevent overmixing and uneven baking.

Don’t overmix your cupcake batter, otherwise your cupcakes will be too dense and fragile. Overmixed cake batter will not rise as well as properly prepared batter. Overmixing cake batter develops the gluten in the flour making the cakes chewy instead of light and fluffy. This is the opposite to bread dough, when it is desirable to allow the gluten to develop well with prolonged kneading. Mix your batter only until the ingredients have fully combined and then stop.

Mix up your cake batter as described and then separate into two before adding pink or red food colouring to one half. You can layer each cake up with whichever colour you choose to do first, or mix it up and do some of each.

To make your little cakes, you need to bake your layers one at a time, this ensures that the pink and yellow colours in each one remain separated.

If you want to prevent your cupcake cases from becoming too oily, add a little uncooked rice underneath each case in the base of the cupcake tin. The rice will help absorb excess oil and prevent the cases from being too greasy. However, you still want moist cakes, so there will be a little soak through in the cases no matter what. Try doubling up on the cases for each one if you are trying to keep the pattern visible. Cook the cupcakes in one case and then place it inside another one (without removing the first) once the cake has cooled so that the pattern on the liner still shows.

You can also use waxed cupcake liners if you can find them, which don’t allow a soak through as much.

I used a specific cupcake corer to make the holes in these cupcakes, ready for the jam. But don’t feel you have to rush out and find one. To core your cupcakes you can use an apple corer or melon baller or simply a knife. Use a knife to make a square cut and carefully pull it out to reveal the hole. Just be sure to allow the cakes to completely cool before attempting to core them. If you do it too soon, you risk crumbling your cupcakes and ruining their shape.

And don’t throw away those cupcake cores! You can use them to top ice-cream, blend into milkshakes, make cake pops, add to sweet pie crusts, make mini trifles and so much more. If you have no immediate use for them, put them in a bag and pop them into the freezer for another day.

I have used an apricot jam to represent the original Battenberg cake flavour. Jam is important to add taste but also to adhere the marzipan to the top of the cupcake. For best results, use a smooth jam without large pieces of fruit in it.

example of the marzipan topping

Recipe FAQ

How do I store my cupcakes?

You can store these cupcakes in an airtight box for 3-4 days.

Can I freeze these cupcakes?

Yes, just be sure to core them first. If you do want to freeze them, avoid filling with the marmalade and topping with marzipan until you’re ready to eat them.

battenburg cupcake cut in half

Mini Battenberg Cupcakes

Author: Becky
Try turning your favourite Battenberg cake into these little cupcakes. Guaranteed to impress and they taste delicious.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Servings 12
Calories 327 kcal


  • 175 g Unsalted Butter softened
  • 175 g Caster Sugar
  • 150 g Self Raising Flour
  • 50 g Ground Almonds
  • 0.5 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3 Medium Eggs
  • 2 tbsp Milk
  • 0.5 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Pink/Red Food Colouring
  • Apricot Jam
  • 200 g Golden Marzipan


  • Preheat oven to 160C
  • Mix flour, sugar, ground almonds and baking powder in a bowl.
  • Add the butter, milk, eggs and vanilla and mix thoroughly to remove any lumps and form a batter. Stop as soon as the ingredients are fully combined.
  • Divide the batter into two and mix some food colour into one portion until you have your desired pink colour.
  • Place a spoonful on the non-coloured batter into each cupcake case and put in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Remove cupcakes from the oven and spoon the pink batter on top in the same quantity and return to the oven for another 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool completely.
  • Core each cupcake and fill with apricot jam, spread some more jam over the surface of the cupcake to allow the marzipan to adhere to it.
  • Roll out the marzipan on a surface dusted with icing sugar to stop it sticking.
  • Using a cutter, cut an appropriately sized round piece of marzipan for each cupcake and place on top, sticking it to the jam coating.

Recipe Notes and Guidance

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: 327kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 6gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 42mgPotassium: 80mgFiber: 1gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 430IUCalcium: 43mgIron: 1mg
Keyword battenburg cake, British cake recipe, cakes into cupcakes
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  1. How many cupcakes does this make?

    1. Becky Author says:

      Depending on the size you make the cupcakes, it’ll make approximately 12-15.

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