Rubik's Battenburg Cake





Introduction: Rubik's Battenburg Cake

About: Stasty is a simple and tasty food recipe blog. I love to cook and I love to talk about food, so this blog is really my ramblings and thoughts about cooking and eating. Some of the recipes are my own and some...

Why make this cake?
The Rubik’s cube is close to my heart as I am a child of the eighties and the Rubik’s cube always brings me back to a time of joy and wonder. It’s hard to imagine kids today being as fascinated as I was by such a simple but clever toy. I wanted to make a cake that epitomizes this ingenious and timeless invention. I knew it would have to be a clever cake that would make you question how it was made. Thankfully I had the help of my other half and his engineering brain to assist with the planning and general maths of this cake. It took an entire day to make but was definitely worthwhile, especially when we cut the first slice.

Materials List
One Basic Battenberg – White coloured and Yellow coloured cake
- 6 oz. of butter
- 6 oz. of castor sugar
- 3 eggs
- 6oz of self-rising flour
- 2 drops of almond essence (optional for the white)
- Zest of half an unwaxed lemon (optional for the yellow)
- few drops of yellow food colouring

One Basic Battenberg – Red coloured and Orange coloured cake
- 6 oz. of butter
- 6 oz. of castor sugar
- 3 eggs
- 6oz of self-rising flour
- few drops of red food colouring
- Zest of half an orange (optional for the orange)
- few drops of orange food colouring

One Basic Battenberg – Blue coloured and Green coloured cake
- 6 oz. of butter
- 6 oz. of castor sugar
- 3 eggs
- 6oz of self-rising flour
- few drops of blue food colouring
- few drops of green food colouring

To finish
- 14oz of blackcurrant jam sieved
- 14oz. of plain white marzipan to cover the entire cake
- 2oz of icing sugar for rolliing out the marzipan

- Weighing scales
- Electric beaters
- Large mixing bowl
- Battenberg Tin
- Wire rack for cooling
- Large Serrated knife
- Saucepan
- Sieve
- Rolling pin
- Pastry brush
- Ruler

Step 1: Baking the Cakes

Pre-heat the oven 180 degrees Celsius. Grease and flour a Battenberg tin. My Battenberg tin was 8inches x 6inches and had 4 individual sections to put the different colours.
You'll need to make three cakes and each cake will comprise two of the colours needed - white/yellow, then red/orange and finally blue/green.
Cream together the butter and the sugar until it becomes light and creamy. Gradually add the beaten eggs. Then, carefully fold in the sieved flour.
Next split the mixture to make the two different colours. Take half of the mixture out, and place in another bowl. Add a few drops of food colouring to one batch. To the other half, add a few drops of a different food colouring.  For the white sections of the cake. I slightly over-beat the egg mixture and didn’t add any colouring. This achieved a pale off-white effect. Spoon the mixture into the separate sections of the tin. Place in the oven for 30-35 minutes. To test if it’s ready place a clean knife through the center, the knife should come out clean when it is fully cooked. If the cake rises over the tin, use a serrated knife to even off the top. Let the cake cool in the tin, once fully cooled, remove from the tin and place on a wire rack.
Repeat twice using the same method, ingredients and remaining food colours for the red/orange and blue/green cakes.
Optional: You might want to flavour the cakes as well as colour them. I used lemon zest for the yellow, orange zest for the orange and vanilla for the white. You want to find complimentary flavours that will work as a cake, so it's probably best to resist the temptation to put mint flavouring in the green as it could taint the whole cake.

Step 2: The Grid

Decide on the colour combinations. It is important that each slice is different. Each section overlaps so each slice of the cake reveals a differing combination.
I have included the map we created that would guarantee that each slice was different to the one previous.
Note: I've used the colour black on the map to represent white in the cake, because white looked clearer as the background of spreadsheet.

Step 3: Cutting Guide

With a ruler draw out a cutting grid that is the size of the tin. (Our tin was 8 inches x 6 inches). We drew our grid with pen and ruler on a sheet of A4 paper and measured all our cakes piece with this.
Cut out the cake pieces using your paper grid. We did this all together so we were left with deconstructed cake pieces of different sizes.

Step 4: Building the Cake

Roll out a long even slab of marzipan. We rolled ours out to be about 10 x 26 inches (10 = 8 inches plus another 2 inches spare to work with, 26 = 4 x 6 inches plus another 2 inches).
This will depend on your cake and tin size. Place the jam in a saucepan and warm over a low heat. Next, sieve the warm jam into a separate bowl to remove any seeds in the jam.
Begin with the bottom layer. With a pastry brush coat all the outside of the cake cubes and arrange on top of the marzipan with unjammed face pointing outwards.

Step 5: Sticking It All Together

Continue building using your spreadsheet to figure out where all the pieces go and applying the jam to stick it together.

Step 6: Wrapping in Marzipan

Once you have all three layers of cake in place, ensure that the outside of each piece of cake is covered in jam so the marzipan will stick.
Gently place the marzipan over the cake and cut off the spare on the edges.

Step 7: Slicing

To cut the cake use the grid to figure the correct place to slice to ensure you reveal a different colour slice. Voila!



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46 Discussions

A m a z i n g

Fascinating concept! Only problem is that here in the USA we don't have access to marzipan to cover the cake, nor the cake pan. We have to use frosting or fondant. That would be the only drawback in making the cake for those of us across the pond.

For those of us here in the states I did find a source for the cake pan here: There are many great recipes for marshmallow fondant on instructables along with some very fantastic cakes.

5 replies

Plenty of marzipan in our stores on East coast... you can also order marzipan via customer service and they will call you when they get it in.... or get almon's paste which is almost the same as marzipan:

Holly - if you haven't made this yet and still want to - it turns out making marzipan from scratch is trivially easy. It's almond flour, confectioners sugar, and an egg white. For a Battenburg cake you probably also want a drop of yellow food dye to make yellow marzipan. Also the fancy cake tins are overkill - just use a regular tin and cut the cake up into quarters and made 2 cakes instead :-)

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gtoal thanks for the response. I would be leery of making my own marzipan with a raw egg white, I would used meringue powder instead. I'm confused about what you mean about a regular tin. Here in the US we have so many different sizes of cake pans that it would be impossible to figure out what a regular tin is. Can you tell me what size tin you are referring to when you suggest a regular tin? Inches please as we haven't learned to use metric sized over here yet. :)

You could use those cartons of egg whites ( - much cheaper in local stores) - they're pasteurised and for the small amount used here, you'll never taste any difference... I use a cake tin that's 8x4in (similar to but I would imagine anything up to 9x5in would be OK too. I assume you have one like this already, but if you're buying one specially for this then you could go for the specialised Battenburg one... (of course that's one more thing to take up shelf space that you won't use very often, whereas a plain loaf tin will be used frequently, eg for a quick banana bread or date & walnut loaf)

I have seen Marzipan in Wal-Mart and small grocery stores in Oklahoma so it is available in the USA. You could look online at the Walmart site and you might be amazed.

Jesus, such beautifully vivid colors! Fantastic! :)

I love this!!! My son and I used to use the rubiks cube all the little addiction...the cake looks fabulous!

my son decided he wants one of these for his birthday cake, got 3 months to practice :) thanks for the instructable

have you thought of making it w. ricecripy treat and food coloring?

I did, I thought of making the Green cake mint flavoured but I thought it might make all other pieces minty too (even with the jam insulation). Maybe blueberry for the Blue and Raspberry for the Red?

blue would be blueberry, white vanilla, red stravberry or cherry or raspberry, green could be lime, yellow pineapple or lemon, and do I have to say what flavour would orange be? :D

My friend is obsessed with Rubik's cubes. (He's solved a 7x7 and can finish a 3x3 in under a minute. He even mentioned Rubik's cubes in his graduation speech.) Anyway, I'm making this cake for his birthday, but instead of using the battenburg recipe I used boxed white cake mix and jello to flavor and color the cakes.
For red I used strawberry, orange orange, yellow lemon, green lime, blue blueberry, and the white is plain. I also colored my cream cheese frosting (homemade) black :D

Oh. My. Gosh.

This is fabulous! I've seen checkerboard before, but
this 'takes the cake', pardon the pun.

So much fun, so colorful! Bravo!