Umm, the cake. I’m talking about the cake. Why? What did you think I was talking about? (chuckle chuckle)
I have long wanted to try my hand at a Victoria Sponge. First, because I brake for cake. Second, it is just so quintessentially English (although it is common to find this cake at eateries in Scotland as well). It’s strange, but in all the times I have dined in Scotland, I never once ordered a slice of Victoria Sponge. We’re going to remedy that today.
I researched several different recipes and it seems that each are pretty consistent, with just some minor variations among them. Equal parts butter, sugar, and flour seems to be the common thread. For my cake today, I decided to try a recipe by BBC Good Food (I chose a different mixing method and also chose a different filling).
Let’s get baking!
Step 1: Set your oven and gather your ingredients
Preheat oven to 190°C/ 375°F
*In this recipe, the sugar, butter, and flour are measured in grams. I used a good kitchen scale to get precise measurements.
For the cake:
200 g caster sugar
200 g butter at room temperature
4 eggs, beaten and at room temperature
200 g self-rising flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp milk
For the filling:
1 C heavy whipping cream
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Your favorite jam
For the top of cake:
Also known as a Victoria Sandwich or a Victorian Cake, the Victorian Sponge became popular during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901).
Step 2: Prepare your pans
Grease the bottom and sides of two 8″ round cake pans with butter. Cover the bottom of each with a circle of oven proof/nonstick parchment paper.
Step 3: Mix together ingredients
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine caster sugar and butter (which should be at room temperature).
Beat in each egg one at a time. Eggs should be at room temperature in order to prevent curdling of the sponge mixture.
Next, mix in the flour and baking powder.
Add the milk.
Beat the ingredients together until you have a smooth, soft batter.
Anna, the Duchess of Bedford (1788-1861) and one of Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting, is credited as the inventor of tea time.
Step 4: Fill pans
Divide the mixture evenly between the two cake pans, smoothing the surface with a knife or spoon.
Step 5: Bake
Bake the cakes at 375° for 20 minutes. Cakes are done when they spring to the touch and when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
Step 6: Turn out cakes
After cakes have cooled on a rack for 10 minutes, turn cakes out onto a sheet of parchment or other non-stick surface. Gently peel off the parchment circles. Continue to cool completely.
Even though the Victoria Sponge originated in England, you will find it served in coffee shops, tea rooms, and bakeries throughout Scotland.
Step 7: Prepare cream filling
Beat 1 C heavy whipping cream and 1/4 tsp vanilla extract until you have whipped cream (I used our trusty Ninja but a hand mixer would work well too).
Step 8: Fill and prepare
Take one of the cakes (bottom side facing up) and evenly spread a layer of your favorite jam. *I used Stonewall Kitchen-Black Raspberry Jam…my favorite!
Gently spread the whipped cream over the jam. Top with the second cake (top side facing up). Dust the top of cake with confectioner’s/powdered sugar.
Step 9: Make a pot of tea, set a pretty table, and enjoy!
So, what is my final verdict on the Victoria Sponge?
Oh. My. Goodness.
Delicious! Definitely sponge worthy (sorry, couldn’t resist).
This cake is simple and quick to make, the texture is moist, light, and airy, and it isn’t overly sweet. I’m really glad that I chose to make a whipped cream filling instead of the heavier sugar and butter filling. It far exceeded my expectations. Mr. C enthusiastically approved as well!
If you want to impress your friends and family, definitely make this gorgeous cake. If you decide to make it, leave me a comment and let me know how it went.