Victoria Sponge Cake

Dear Cissie,

Whenever I’ve moved house (which now totals at 7 times in my life) I have made it a ritual to test out a new oven with a Victoria Sponge. It’s the perfect cake, in my opinion, to test an oven. It’s easy to whip together, requires two tins so you can see the way the heat distributes on the shelves, and it’s a pale enough sponge that you can see if there are heat spots. (For the record my current oven has a tendency to brown cakes on the far left hand section the tiniest bit quicker than everywhere else). Plus, it always tastes great.

I had in the past used the bog standard method of equal parts butter, sugar, self raising flour, then half the number of eggs to the ounces. E.g 4oz flour, 4oz butter, 4oz sugar, and 2 eggs, or 6oz x 3 eggs. But after trying your recipe I believe I have a new winner. This Victoria sponge is lighter than any one I’ve made before. It’s paler visually as well, but still has a wonderfully inviting warm colour to it. It’s texture is soft and fluffy without being dry, and when paired with whipped cream and jam it is utterly sublime. So thank you, I will never use my old method ever again!

Recipe:

  • 3 oz of margarine or unsalted butter, softened
  • 2.5 oz caster sugar
  • 4.5 oz self raising flour + 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs* , beaten
  • A splash of milk (approx 50ml)
  • For the filling:
  • 150ml double cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • Strawberry jam
  • Icing sugar to dust
  1. Preheat the oven to 175c and line two 6inch sandwich tins
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar for a good 5 minutes (if using an electric whisk, longer if hand held) until the mixture is incredibly light and fluffy
  3. Gradually add in the sieved flour + baking powder, alternating with the beaten eggs, beating in between each addition.
  4. Add a splash of milk to loosen the batter to a soft dropping consistency if needed.
  5. Split into the two tins and baking for approximately 15-20minutes, until they are a pale golden colour and a skewer can be cleanly inserted & removed. Leave to cool on a wire rack
  6. For the filling: Whip the double cream with the vanilla and sugar until soft peaks are achieved, spread on top of one cooled cake half, add the jam, and sandwich with the other cooled cake half. Dust with icing sugar and serve with tea.

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