Pistachio and elderflower Battenberg recipe

(2 ratings)

Our Pistachio and elderflower Battenberg is a delightful spring twist on the classic British treat and it only takes 30 minutes to bake.

Pistachio and elderflower Battenberg
(Image credit: Future)
Preparation Time45 mins plus cooling
Cooking Time30 mins
Cost RangeMid
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories515 Kcal26%
Saturated Fat18 g90%
Fat34 g49%
Carbohydrates46 g18%

This pistachio and elderflower Battenberg is sandwiched together with elderflower buttercream but you can swap for apricot jam or citrus curd for something zingier. 

A Battenberg cake looks very impressive and it’s not as difficult as you might think to make. You have to prepare your tin properly and be patient with the assembly process but then it’s very simple. There are only five steps in the method which shows it isn’t overly complicated. If you want to impress the kids, swap the food colouring for their favourite colours and watch their faces light up when you slice the cake. 


For the sponges:

  • 175g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra to grease
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 40g pistachios, finely ground in a food processor
  • Few drops green food colouring (optional)
  • 40g ground almonds
  • 2tbsp elderflower cordial

For the buttercream:

  • 100g white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 2tbsp elderflower cordial

You will need:

  • 20cm loose-bottomed square cake tin, greased and lined (see tip)




  1. Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan, Gas 4). For the sponges, beat the butter and caster sugar in a bowl using an electric hand whisk until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then fold in the flour. Split the mixture equally between 2 bowls and add the ground pistachios and green food colouring (if using) to one, and the ground almonds and elderflower cordial to the other.
  2. Spoon each batter into the prepared tin (see tip), one on each side of the divide, and level the tops. Bake for 25-30 mins until risen and a skewer comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the tin for 10 mins, then turn them out and cool completely.
  3. Meanwhile, make the buttercream. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, then set aside to cool. Beat the butter and icing sugar in a separate bowl until pale and fluffy, then mix in the cooled chocolate and the elderflower cordial. Cover and set aside for at least 30 mins to firm up.
  4. To assemble, trim the cakes with a serrated knife so both are the same size. Half each cake lengthways to form 4 long rectangles. Use two-thirds of the buttercream to sandwich the cakes together like a checkerboard, then use the remaining buttercream to very thinly ice the outside of the cake.
  5. Dust the work surface with icing sugar and roll out the marzipan to a rectangle about 42x22cm. Wrap the cake in the marzipan, then turn so the seamed side is underneath. Roll out the marzipan offcuts and use it to cut decorations. Trim the ends and slice to serve.

Top tips for making this pistachio and elderflower Battenberg

To minimise washing up and make the cake baking as efficient as possible we have a tip on how to divide your cake tin.

Cut a 30x20cm strip of baking paper and fold to make a 5cm-high pleat in the middle. Fold a piece of foil several times and position it between the pleated paper to form a stiff divide. Use to line the cake tin – this will form two sections to keep colours of the sponges separate.

How long does Battenberg cake last?

Once baked and assembled the cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature. It will last for up to three days. You can also wrap it in clingfilm and freeze it for up to a month. Defrost the slices as and when you feel like a treat. 

How do you eat Battenberg cake?

The cake should be served at room temperature and can be enjoyed on its own but is especially good with a fresh pot of tea. You can eat it with your fingers but for a fancy presentation, serve with cake forks on little saucers or plates. 

Profile picture of Jessica Ransom
Jessica Ransom

“I adore marzipan but if you don’t like the flavour, you could use fondant icing instead. Use vanilla extract and 40g more flour instead of the ground almonds for the sponge.”

For this recipe you need a 20cm square cake tin. It’s a really versatile size and shape and can be used for lots of bakes.

MasterClass 20cm Square Tin - View at Amazon

MasterClass 20cm Square Tin - View at Amazon

To maintain the quality of your cake tins we recommend hand washing them, even though they are dishwasher safe. The loose-bottom will make it easy to lift the cake out but if you buy a tin without this, just make sure the baking paper hangs over the edge so you can lift it.

We have lots of suggestions for Easter foods you can eat and make with the kids over the holiday.If you need some inspiration on where to start, we recommend these adorable Easter nests. We also have an easy guide on how to make your own Easter eggs if you don’t want to buy one. 

Jess Meyer
Food Editor

Jess is the Group Food Editor at Future PLC, working across brands in the woman’s lifestyle group, including Woman and Home, Woman’s Weekly, Woman, Woman’s Own, Chat, womanandhome.com and Goodto.com. Hailing from the Antibodies, Jess has a background in media and video production, with many years of experience working on tv and commercial video projects. After relocating to the UK, Jess studied at Leiths School of Food and Wine in London, graduating with a diploma in culinary arts before gaining a scholarship to study at the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Patisserie (ENSP) in France, where she learned the fine art of French patisserie.

With contributions from