Saturday, 21 January 2012

Victoria Sponge

I've been contemplating the subject for my second post for some time now and have settled upon a Victoria Sponge, a cake I happen to have made last week for my lovely brother's birthday.  Note my choice of words here: settled upon, not settled for; some may think this cake a rather mundane choice, but if you're in that school of thought, let me assure you that a well-made Vicky SpONge (sic) is by no means boring.  After all, what other cake serves as such a satisfying accompaniment to your cup of tea?  All right, so I can think of a few, but I'd still argue that none of them complement my large mug of Yorkshire Tea quite so well as this one.

You may also be thinking that anyone can make a Victoria Sponge, it's simple enough, so why the post?  Mayhab you are right, but I've made enough dry, heavy versions of this cake in my life - and subjected my poor family and friends to eating them - to know that not all the recipe variations work.  For a start, I don't really buy the all-in-one method of chucking everything in a bowl at the same time and hoping for the best.  I also don't believe in buttercream fillings for this cake.  For a truly unctuous mouthful, I insist you sandwich your sponge with fresh cream.

So, because caring is sharing, here is my go-to (I'm sorry, I hate that phrase.  Let's ponder it for a minute: 'go-to'.  Urgh.  Almost as bad as the words 'lush' and 'on-trend'.  Almost.  I promise not to use it again) recipe for a perfectly light, buttery and moist Victoria Sponge.

For the cake:
225g unsalted butter or Stork
225g caster sugar (that's ideally been infused with a vanilla pod)
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
225g self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling:
Good quality strawberry or raspberry jam
One punnet of fresh strawberries or raspberries
300ml double cream, lightly whipped

Preheat the oven to 180C (or 160C for a fan oven). Grease and line two 8" sandwich tins.

Cream together the butter and sugar until they are pale and fluffy.  If you're using a freestanding mixer, use your K-beater attachment and beat for a good few minutes.

Add the lightly beaten eggs and beat again briefly.

Sift the flour and baking powder together three times (as stated in my last post, this is my key for a truly light sponge), then add a third to the butter, sugar and egg mix and beat to incorporate before adding another third, beating again, and then adding the final third and beating.

Lastly, add the vanilla extract and give your batter one final good mix before splitting equally between the two tins.

Bake in the oven for 22 minutes. To check the cakes are cooked, insert a clean knife into them; it should come out of the cakes with only moisture and a few crumbs on it. If there is gooey batter on the knife, give the cakes another two to three minutes in the oven.

Once baked, remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool slightly before removing them from the tins and placing on a cooling rack.

To assemble, spread a thin layer of jam on the top of one of the cakes.  If using raspberries, lightly crush them before sprinkling them over the jam-covered cake.  If using strawberries, slice them in halves or thin slices and place over the jam-covered cake.  Next spread over the cream, taking it to within 1cm of the edge of the cake.  Place the second cake layer on top and finish with a nice sprinkling of sifted icing sugar or cocoa powder.  Alternatively, if you have cream left over, spread that on the top of the cake instead of icing or cocoa.


  1. I think your photography is so good, it's almost cruel - that filling in the Victoria Sponge is just too tempting!

  2. Oh my god. Finding this site has made me implode .
    I will be trying many of these .

    1. Aaah, so pleased you like it! Hope you enjoy trying out the recipes! xxx

  3. Made this cake which was really very easy. It was a big hit- incredibly light, moist, and very flavourful. A perfect viccie sponj. Thanks!!! :)