Home Home Home Home Home Home Home


My adventure at Ben & Jerry's in Vermont!


Unicorn Love: the Eating Disorder Recovery Blog


 Buy my brilliant books!

Buy my new book!

Buy my first book, too! 

CakeSpy Online Retail!



Fantastic appliance for cake making on DHgate.com


Craftsy Writer

Entries in uk (2)


Britishly Delicious: Battenberg Cupcakes

Battenberg Cupcakes

CakeSpy Note: This is a guest post from Nicola Cappin of Sunningdale Cakes.

The Americans have their cupcakes, the French their macarons, but the British are just plain bonkers for Battenberg.

Batten-what?! You ask? Battenberg is a tea time treat that like many other British cakes has risen in popularity in recent months.

In the past couple of years the country has gone positively baking mad, thanks in part to a reality tv show called The Great British Bake Off, in which some of the country’s top amateur bakers battle it off baking traditional English goods such as the pink and yellow chequered cake called Battenberg.

Battenberg Cake

The whole concept of anything British has become much more popular over here in the UK in the last two years. Unlike the Americans and French, our national pride has never been particularly strong. But throw in a Royal Wedding, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and a rather spectacular summer of Olympics and Paralympics and we are suddenly all very proud to be British again!

Ask any Briton over the age of about 70 what tea time is, and they will probably tell you its when they sit down at 4pm to a cup of tea (emphasis on the cup, not a mug) and a slice of cake and a biscuit.

Tea Time

The original custom is generally believed to be credited to Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford in the early 19th century, who needed something to stave off the afternoon hunger pangs between lunch and supper.

Queen Victoria favoured a slice of sponge with her afternoon cup of tea. And so, the Victoria Sponge was name. It’s still one of the most popular baked goods here and its a relatively simple two layer sponge, sandwiched with lashings of whipped double cream and raspberry jam and topped with a dusting of icing sugar

If you want to try your hand at it - check out this BBC Good Food recipe.

But, Battenberg is one of my favourites to go with my afternoon cup of tea. The rectangular cake is made up of strips of almond sponge - some tinted with pink food colouring in a chequered pattern, sandwiched together with apricot jam and wrapped in marzipan. Here's an interesting history of it.

Now, don’t get me wrong, we love our cupcakes to here also! The American-style Hummingbird Bakery has sent most of us positively crazy about these little sponge cakes with the beautiful enticing store and their cookbooks.

Here at Sunningdale Cakes, the business I set up, we are constantly in demand for cupcakes. So this week I though I would look outside the box (excuse the pun) and create a Battenberg cupcake.

Happy Baking!

Nicola Cappin is the owner of Sunningdale Cakes, based in Hertfordshire in the UK.


Battenberg Cupcakes

Sunningdale Cakes Battenberg Cupcakes

Note: This is not formatted as an American-style recipe; if you need conversions, this site is handy.

Makes 8 cupcakes


  • 175g butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 140g self raising flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • Pink food colouring


  • 70g butter
  • 350g icing sugar
  • A couple of tablespoons of milk
  • ½ tsp of almond extract or more to taste


  1. Preheat the over to 170 degrees C.
  2. Beat together butter, sugar and eggs until mixture appears light and creamy.
  3. Mix in flour, ground almonds and baking powder and the vanilla.
  4. Split the cake mixture between two bowls. In one bowl add a drop of pink food colouring and mix in. In the other bowl, add the almond extract.
  5. Place the pink cake mix in a food piping bag and put to the side. Put the almondy cake mix in a separate food piping bag.
  6. Line a cupcake tray with cupcake cases and pipe a stripe of cream cake mix on one side of the cupcake case and a stripe of pink cake mix on the other side.
  7. Then repeat your piping - alternating. So that you pipe pink on top of the cream, and the other way round.
  8. Bake in the over for 22 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  9. While the cupcakes cool, prepare the frosting by beating the butter, then adding the icing sugar, almond extract and milk, until you get the right consistency.
  10. Pipe or spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes and decorate with marzipan if desired.

Batter Chatter: Interview with Cupcake Artist Clare Bateman-King

If you've ever seen the cupcakes of Clare Bateman-King, you know that you're looking at the work of true artist. With a perfect cake consistency and intricate, tasteful sugarpaste decorations, her cupcakes reflect not only a culinary know-how, but creativity and a sense of wit. And while many of us can't readily enjoy her treats with her being based in the UK, we certainly can enjoy the visuals on her website (clarescupcakes.moonfruit.com), and Cakespy's interview below will give you the scoop on what's baking (and the lowdown on the UK's take on red velvet cake!).

Cakespy: How did you get started in cupcakery?
Clare Bateman-King: Bit of a family history here--my mum was a professional cake decorator when I was younger, even making cakes for the Royal Family at one stage. I don't think I ever remember one time in the house where the dining room wasn't full of a work in progress wedding cake and boxes of Sugar roses . However, I only got into it very late on...a few years ago when for some reason the novelty of making little works of art on small cakes hit me.

CS: Do you work solely by special order, or do you have a retail
location? How long have you been running your business?

CBK: Special Order, mostly for PR press launches and the like, which is how the business element started. I used to always make cakes for friends, one of them had a friend who needed cakes for a press event for a beauty product, and it all began from there about 2 years ago.

CS: What are your most popular cupcake themes?
CBK: Usually the flowers--lots of requests for boxes of 'pretty' cakes! The Baby Shower cakes are very popular too..we're only just getting into the 'shower' thing here in the UK even though you have been doing it for years there.

CS: What are your most popular flavors?

CBK: Good old vanilla or chocolate...though banana toffee seems to be a hit!

CS: How long does it take to decorate a cupcake for you? They're so intricate!
CBK: Depends on the cake--some obviously more than others. Things like the Palm Tree ones take a whole (lot of time) as there are a lot of elements--making the chocolate trees, then the sugarpaste shoes etc...then assembling them and hoping the tree will stay upright!

CS: Do you just make cupcakes, or do you have any other specialties?
CBK: Just the cupcakes. Have done a few larger cakes, but not as much fun as lots of little mini cakes!

CS: How often do you eat cupcakes?
CBK: Far too often. I always have half / one from each batch I make to test the quality before I send them out so it doesn't help the diet!

CS: What is your favorite type of cake?
CBK: I love anything almond or coconut!

CS: Your cupcakes are so beautiful and gourmet--tell us the truth, do
you ever eat store bought or prepackaged desserts or treats?

CBK: Yes, I do, and to be fair, some of them are great! I don't feel too bad doing it, as mine are rarely ordinarily decorated cakes like store ones, so it feels different somehow. And I did once see a UK celebrity chef buying a ready meal in my local supermarket, so hey, we all do it!

CS: Red Velvet cake is all the rage in the US--what is the general thought on it in the UK?
CBK: 99.9% of people in the UK wouldn't have a clue what that is. I know as I lived in LA for two years, but it's not a known cake here. Ironically I was on the net just last week looking at recipes...going to try a batch very soon.

CS: If you weren't a cupcake artist what do you think you'd be doing?
CBK: It is actually my 'second job'. I'm on maternity leave at the moment with a four month old baby, but my 'main job' is working in sales and marketing for a film trade magazine! Normally it would be daytime in the office, and evening and weekend creating cakes--it's a great release! I imagine when I have more children the day job my go and the cakes will be full time.

CS: What's next for your business? Anything new coming up?
CBK: Always looking or new ideas to be creative on cakes--maybe I should introduce Red Velvet to the nation! Looking forward to introducing lots of new flavours, see if we can get people off the chocolate/vanilla dependency!

Cakespy note: you can also enjoy photographs of Clare's cupcakes on the Cake Fun Flickr Pool.

© Cakespy, all rights reserved. Powered by Squarespace.