Matcha, vanilla and cashew Battenberg

I'm training for an off-road marathon at the moment (yes, more fool me) - so naturally tea & cake are on my mind after a long run.

I had a lot of love for Mr. Kipling's mini Battengerg cakes; the kind of thing I'd demolish when coming in from DJ'ing at 3am as a teenager. I'd still do a whole pack now to be honest, even if they are sickly sweet.

I've tried to create a different version of the classic Battenberg, bringing in a more savoury flavour with matcha and some cashew to give the cake a more interesting flavour.

You'll have some cashew butter left over at the end - stick some in your morning porridge while it cooks.

Makes 1 cake (and some extra cashew butter)


For cocoa marzipan

  • 250g ground almond
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 15g cocoa powder
  • 1 whole large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • Splash of water if needed

For the matcha sponge

  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 15g matcha tea
  • 40g ground almonds
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2g fine salt
  • 2g baking powder

For the vanilla sponge

  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2g vanilla powder or strong vanilla essence
  • 2g baking powder

For the cashew butter

  • 200g salted and roasted cashew nuts
  • 20g maple syrup
  • 15g coconut oil (solid or liquid state)

For the cashew buttercream

  • 125g of the cashew butter
  • 55g unsalted butter
  • 125 icing sugar
  • Splash of milk


  • Stand mixer
  • Cake tin - ideally a multi-size tin with moveable walls (Alan Silverwood make a good one) or if not, two 20 x 20 cm tins
  • Food processor or blender


Combine all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, starting with the icing sugar (so it sits at the bottom and doesn't fly everywhere during the mixing). Briefly whisk the whole egg and egg yolk, then make a well in the sugars and pour it in. Bring the whole lot together with your hands; it will take some time, and you'll get messy, but the marzipan will come together in the end. Keep pressing or kneading it down so that the moisture is all absorbed and you get a smooth sweet pastry-like texture. If it looks too dry, just add a splash of water.

Pat this down into a round, wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for at least 2 hours to cool.

Matcha cake

If you're using an Alan Silverwood tin, Move the walls to give you two 3 x notch section widths. Line your cake tin with baking paper sprayed with a little bake easy or coconut oil spray, then pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees C.

Place the butter, sugar, flour, matcha, almond, salt and baking powder in the bowl of a stand mixer with the beater attachment in place. Beat on a low speed initially, then speed it up as the butter starts to combine. Crack in your 3 eggs then let the whole lot mix on a medium speed for a few minutes until everything is smooth.

Spoon this into one of your lined tins or one section of a multi-size tin. Smooth the top so that it looks as even as possible - the mix is thick, so you can't really tap it down; try to do it by eye with a flat spatula.

Immediately clean & dry your stand mixer bowl, then move to the next stage

Vanilla cake

The process is identical, swapping out the slightly different measurements and vanilla for matcha.

Place the butter, sugar, flour, vanilla powder, almond and baking powder in the bowl of a stand mixer with the beater attachment in place. Beat on a low speed initially, then speed it up as the butter starts to combine. Crack in your 3 eggs then let the whole lot mix on a medium speed for a few minutes until everything is smooth.

Spoon this into the other of your lined tins or the second section of a multi-size tin. Again, smooth the top by eye.

Place both tins or the single tin in your oven, and bake for 35 minutes. When a chopstick inserted in into the very centre comes out clean remove the cakes from the oven - then leave to cool completely while you make the butter.

Cashew butter

Put the cashews in your food processor or blender, and leave to blend for around 5 minutes. You might need to give it the occasional shake or open the lid and scrape down the sides. After becoming a powder, the cashews will eventually begin to release their oil and become a kind of paste. When this starts to happen, add the maple syrup, coconut oil and continue to blend until it has a smooth but solid structure.

If there is any excess oil in the bowl, try to drain it away - or, if there's a lot, put the butter in a muslin cloth and squeeze any extra oil out. Reserve the butter for the next step.

Cashew buttercream

Weigh out 125g of the cashew butter, then and that and the unsalted butter to the bowl of your stand mixer. Beat on high with the beater attachment for a number of minutes until the butters are combined and fluffy. Add the icing sugar in several stages, beating slowly first, then on high again until each portion of sugar is combined. If the buttercream looks too solid, splash in some milk and beat again.

Once you have a light, spreadable buttercream, move to the next stage.


Peel the baking paper from your cooled cakes.

Take the matcha cake first. Measure and mark the centre point on both ends, then cut down the centre as evenly as you can. Next, turn the cake so that the freshly cut face is on top. On one cake, closely slice off the cooked top and bottom, then measure what's left. Mark and measure the second half of the cake, and make the same two cuts.

Finally, measure the distance between the two sides you've just cut. Turn the cake once more so that it reveals the final cooked section. Mark out the distance you've just measured and trim the cooked side away. Repeat with the other half of the cake, and this should leave you with two perfectly cut pieces of the same size. If there are any imperfections, place the cakes side by side and gradually shave a sharp kitchen knife over the top so that they match.

Repeat this process with the vanilla cake.

Take a large sheet of cling film and place it on your biggest work surface, then take the marzipan and drop that in the centre. Place a second sheet of cling film over the first, sandwiching the marzipan in the middle. Begin to roll it out, trying to make a large rectangle with its edges as wide as the edge of the cling sheet - trim off any excess so you get a clean line, but keep spare marzipan for filling any holes on the underside. The thickness should be no more than about 2mm at all points. When you're happy, peel off the top layer of cling film.

With a large angled spatula, spread a thin layer of cashew buttercream over the rolled out marzipan, then another on one side of one of the matcha cakes. Use the spatula to move one of the matcha cake over, then one of the vanilla cakes so that they are side by side in the very centre of the marzipan rectangle with the buttercream between them.

Next, spread another thin layer of buttercream over the top of the two cakes that are on the marzipan, and then again on one side of the next matcha cake that's yet to be brought over.

Move the vanilla cake over first this time, then the final matcha cake so that they alternate.

Almost there - carefully pull one side of the marzipan up and over so that it covers the side furthest away from you and then comes up to around half the cake. Repeat with the other side - with any luck, you'll have a perfect join. If you've got too much marzipan then trim some away and try again. If there's not enough, pull them as closely as you can and use any trimmed pieces to fill the gap

Smoothen the marzipan around the cake with your hands, taking care not to dent it. Finally, wrap the whole thing in another sheet of cling so it's all tight, then invert so the seam is on the bottom. Place in your fridge for at least 30 minutes.

After it has cooled down, use a kitchen knife to slice both ends off so that you get a clean finish. The cake can now sit outside the fridge and come to room temperature, ready for eating.

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