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Victoria sponge is one of the easiest yet elegant British cakes.
Victoria Sponge For Tea Time
The Victoria sponge has got to be Britain’s favorite cake for tea time. First of all, it’s very tasty but did you know it’s one of the easiest things you’ll ever make?
There’s a number of ways you can go about making one. You can start with a from-scratch cake as I do or you can use a cake mix. You can even buy a pound cake from the bakery!
The only thing that is a must is a red jam and whipped cream. The dusting of confectioner’s sugar is also optional.
Britons always refer to making a cake batter as “making the sponge.” I have no idea where that came from because they apply it to every cake batter, most of which are not sponge cakes as Americans know them.
British cakes have a slightly different texture to American cakes. They don’t go in for that super-moist texture. Most cakes have body–much like American pound cake. So if you opt to use a mix, then the one to choose is the butter-based yellow or gold mixes. Also if using a mix and round cake pans, you’ll want the 9-inch/23-cm sized pans. My from-scratch recipe uses 8-inch/20-cm pans but you’ll have more batter from a mix so use the larger pan.
For thinner layers using a mix, 10-inch/25-cm would probably be your best bet.
You will also have to level off at least one of the layers so it sits nicely on the serving plate. I do both because I like a flat top as well, so I level both and invert the top layer.
Just a note, but when I bake I generally use the metric system and weigh. This produces consistent results. For US measures see the “NOTES” section in the recipe card.
Red Jam & Cream
Raspberry is traditional, but strawberry is a close second.
The two jams mentioned are used most, but any flavor you like will do..
When it comes to the cream filling, I never skimp and make old-fashioned whipped cream. However, unless you’re going to eat it very soon after you put the cake together, the whipped cream needs to be stabilized. Some do this with cream cheese, but my preferred method is using instant modified food starch–that’s sold under the name of Instant Clear Jel.
- 235 g butter very soft
- 235 g sugar
- 4 eggs
- 235 g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup raspberry jam
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tbs confectioner's sugar
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Grease 2 8-inch cake pans and line the bottom with parchment rounds--grease the parchment too.
- Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy; about 4 minutes.
- Add the eggs, beating well after each addition, then add the vanilla.
- Fold the flour into the butter mixture until you cannot see any flour particles.
- Divide the mixture equally between the pans--weighing is the best way if you want it to look even and perfect.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely--you can safely cool the cakes in the pans.
- To assemble, unmold the cakes from the pans, carefully peel off the parchment and level off the top of at least 1 layer so it will be flat on the serving plate. Likewise you can level off the top of the other layer if you want a flat top. If you don't mind a domed top, that isn't necessary.
- Beat the cream until stiff peaks form (see post body on how I stabilize the cream). Spread the jan on top of the bottom layer then spread the whipped cream over that. Top with the other layer (leveled side on top of the cream if you want the flat top) and dust with confectioner's sugar if desired.