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Regal Treats: Victoria Sponge Cake

Delicate sponges generously filled with fresh fruit or flavourfull jams, balanced with freshly whipped cream are a quintessential British speciality.

It is said that Queen Victoria (a sweet toothed girl herself) used to accompany her tea with a slice…or two of a sponge sandwhich filled with strawberry jam and cream, sprinkled with caster sugar.

So much so, that this cake became known as Victoria Sponge Cake.

Mrs. Beeton included a recipe for “Victoria Sandwiches” in her book of Household Management, the recipe hasn’t really changed much since her days.

A sponge cake is a simple yet balanced combination of butter, eggs, sugar and flour.

Other variation of the sandwich is the Wimbledon filled and topped with whipped cream and sliced strawberries.

To make a classic sponge cake for a standard 22cm cake tin you will need:

  • 225g white flour
  • 225g caster sugar, plus a little extra for dusting the cake (you can use icing sugar instead: top it with cream and strawberries or passion fruit or even decorate with a soft meringue)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 225g soft butter
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp baking powder

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup of strawberry jam
  • 1/2 cup of freshly whipped cream (This is entirely optional, but I would recomend a cream layer if you are using passion fruit.)
Sometimes I make my own jam, in which case I use 450g of chopped strawberries and 1/4 cup of caster sugar, I simply cook them on a steady medium heat for about 15 minutes, moving constantly and let it cool completely before filling the cake.

Preheat the oven at 180C 

Grease and dust your cake tin. Many people use two shallow tins, I prefer using one and slice the cake.

In a large bowl whisk butter and sugar until you have a creamy, frothy mix, add the vanilla extract and the eggs, continue mixing. You want to get as much air as possible.

Mix the flour and baking powder and sift them on top of the mix. Then using a spatula or a spoon incorporate them making circular movements and cutting through in the middle, repeat this method until the batter is thoroughly mixed.

Transfer to the cake tin, even the mix and holding the tin firmly bang it a couple of times against your working surface to get rid of bubbles in the batter.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Let the cake cool for 15minutes.

Slice and let cool for another 10/15 minutes.

Spread the jam on the bottom layer, cover with the whipped cream and place the top sponge.

You can just sprinkle some icing or caster sugar; add cream and strawberries or passion fruit for a Wimbledon cake or you can even decorate with a soft meringue.


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