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Recipe for A Traditional Victoria Sponge Cake

Updated on March 18, 2016
A Victoria Sponge cake is a great treat to have with afternoon tea.
A Victoria Sponge cake is a great treat to have with afternoon tea. | Source

A traditional Victoria sponge cake is one of my family's favourite treats for afternoon tea and as well as being delicious, it's incredibly simple to make. The cake consists of two layers of cake sandwiched together with jam and buttercream. There are variations on the recipe with some people using fresh fruit or cream in the filling, but I am sticking with the recipe passed to me by my grandmother. Of course, she wouldn't be entirely happy with me using an electric mixer, but I like to cut down on preparation time. If you have the inclination, mix everything together by hand in a big bowl, using a wooden spoon.

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 25 min
Ready in: 35 min
Yields: A 6 inch round cake which will give 6-8 servings
Ingredients for a Victoria Sponge cake.
Ingredients for a Victoria Sponge cake. | Source

Ingredients - for the sponge cake

  • 1 cup softened butter, unsalted
  • 1 cup caster / superfine sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1 cup self-rise flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder, (baking soda)
  • 1/4 cup milk, whole fat
  • raspberry jam to fill the cake
  • buttercream to fill the cake
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Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffyAdd the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between additions.Sift the flour well and add to the cake batter.Transfer to prepared cake pans and put in oven for 20-25 minutesWhen ready, leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes.  The cake should be golden brown and springy to the touch.Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.Cover one layer of the cake with raspberry jam.Spread buttercream icing over the other half of the cake Sandwich the two layers together. .  Dust the top with icing (confectioner's) sugar.  Slice and serve.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy | Source
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between additions.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between additions. | Source
Sift the flour well and add to the cake batter.
Sift the flour well and add to the cake batter. | Source
Transfer to prepared cake pans and put in oven for 20-25 minutes
Transfer to prepared cake pans and put in oven for 20-25 minutes | Source
When ready, leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes.  The cake should be golden brown and springy to the touch.
When ready, leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes. The cake should be golden brown and springy to the touch. | Source
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. | Source
Cover one layer of the cake with raspberry jam.
Cover one layer of the cake with raspberry jam. | Source
Spread buttercream icing over the other half of the cake
Spread buttercream icing over the other half of the cake | Source
Sandwich the two layers together. .  Dust the top with icing (confectioner's) sugar.  Slice and serve.
Sandwich the two layers together. . Dust the top with icing (confectioner's) sugar. Slice and serve. | Source

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F / 180 C and prepare two 6 inch round baking tins by greasing and flouring them.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar. Make sure the sugar is well mixed in to the butter. The texture should be light and fluffy.
  3. Crack four eggs into a separate bowl, ensuring that you remove any stray pieces of shell. With the mixer on slow speed add the eggs, one at a time, to the batter. After each egg is added, mix thoroughly to ensure it is incorporated completely before you add the next.
  4. Sift the flour and baking powder together and add to the batter. If you sift the flour a couple of times, you'll get more air into it and the result will be a lighter cake.
  5. Mix until the flour is incorporated and then add the milk. Stir the milk into the cake batter.
  6. Divide the cake batter as equally as possible between your two prepared cake pans and put in the oven for approximately 25 minutes. It's safest to check the cakes after 20 minutes and give them an additional 5 minutes if necessary. The cakes are ready when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. The sponges should be springy to the touch.
  7. After removing from the oven, leave in the cake tins for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Once completely cooled, spread raspberry jam (or any other kind you like) onto one half. Spread buttercream over the other half of the cake and then carefully sandwich the two layers together. Lightly dust the top with icing sugar and serve.

Did You Know?

The cake is named after Queen Victoria who was said to be a big fan of this simple sponge cake.

Sometimes the cake is called a Victoria Sandwich rather than a Victoria Sponge.

Some traditionalists believe that the only filling for a Victoria Sponge should be a layer of jam.

This is a great cake to make to introduce your kids to baking because it is so simple.

Some modern bakers save time by putting all the ingredients together in a bowl and mixing them, rather than going through each step of the baking process - the results are still very good.

The recipe is also great for making cupcakes or as the basis for creating a great chocolate cake - simply add cocoa powder and reduce the amount of flour used.

The sponge cake will last for up to 3 months in the freezer. When you're ready to use it, simple allow to defrost at room temperature and then sandwich the layers together with the filling of your choice.

Buttercream recipe

You can use any buttercream recipe for this cake, but I find it's best not to make the frosting too sweet. My favourite recipe for this is:

  • 1 cup softened butter (unsalted)
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Simply mix together the ingredients until you have a smooth consistency. It helps if the butter is really soft and you should sift the icing sugar to get rid of any lumps.

Suggestions for alternative fillings

There are hundreds of possibilities for adapting this receipe but here are some of the other fillings I have used in the cake to great effect:

  • Lemon curd and whipped cream.
  • Fresh strawberries and whipped cream.
  • A simple layer of strawberry flavoured buttercream.
  • Fresh blueberries and vanilla buttercream.

Are you a fan of the Victoria Sponge?

4.7 stars from 10 ratings of Victoria Sponge

Comments

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  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Mmmmm - this will go in my must-try-it stack of recipes. I think the moderation on sugar use in England is something we need to adopt here in the U.S. Thanks for sharing this! Voted up and up!

  • biancalyne profile image

    biancalyne 5 years ago

    This look amazing! Definitely something I will be trying.

  • Mmargie1966 profile image

    Mmargie1966 5 years ago from Gainesville, GA

    Honestly Allie, I was in England in 1984 and found their "sweets" are not nearly as sweet as American sweets. However, your dessert recipes include sugar and sound so good. I'm trying to drop a few pounds so I won't be able to try them until after October when my son's wedding will be.

    I can't wait to try these, though. I've saved a few in my favorites!

  • kathyinmn profile image

    Kathy 5 years ago from Jordan MN

    I will have to try this. It sounds very tasty!

  • chef-de-jour profile image

    Andrew Spacey 5 years ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

    Absolute classic. This is the first cake I ever saw (and ate) standing warm and powdered on a metal stand in the kitchen - the cake, not me.

    That filling! A big slice of sponge cake and two or three mugs of tea and good company - what could beat that?

    Voting up.

  • Cristale profile image

    Cristale 5 years ago from Florida

    Mmm, sounds good and looks filling. I will have to try this!