I remember Victoria Sponge cake being one of the first cakes I attempted to make by myself when I was younger, it’s what got me into baking. My mum had clipped the recipe out of a magazine for me and the measurements were in ounces. The outcome wasn’t too bad but it was a little bit meh – it was dense and the flavour always had a heavy eggy undertone, so I soon stopped making it.
Fast forward around seventeen years. One of my managers at work brought in the loveliest Victoria Sponge I’d ever tasted. It had the lightest texture and I soon fell in love with the cake once again. I decided to go on a quest to learn how to make it properly.
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The cake itself is easy to make and consists of a few simple ingredients, but I found that the true magic of the cake comes from the technique in which the ingredients are brought together. I will explain this in the “Tips” section below.
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(see below for full list of ingredients)
- Unsalted Butter: This needs to be at room temperature to prevent the mixture from splitting/curdling.
- Caster Sugar: Most Victoria Sponge recipes call for equal parts flour, sugar and butter, however I like mine a little less sweet. Therefore I reduce the sugar by around one third, since some of the sweetness will also come from the jam filling.
- Eggs: This binds the ingredients together. It is also important for the eggs to be at room temperature to prevent curdling.
- Self-raising flower: This is the base ingredient of the cake. Self-raising flour gives the perfect amount of rise.
How To Make Victoria Sponge
Step One: Preheat your oven to 150 °C fan (170 °C conventional / gas mark 4 / 338 °F).
Step Two: Grease and line two 18 cm round cake tins.
Step Three: Cream together 160 g unsalted butter, 1.5 tsp vanilla extract and 110 g caster sugar until light and fluffy.
Step Four: Add 3 beaten medium eggs to the sugar, butter and vanilla mixture one tablespoon at a time, mixing well between each addition of egg.
Step Five: Sift 160 g self-raising flour on top and fold it into the mixture using a wooden spoon.
Step Six: Divide the batter between the two prepared cake tins and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake springs back when you press lightly on the top and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Step Seven: Leave the cakes to cool for five minutes before removing from the tin and removing the baking paper. Leave cakes to cool on a wire rack.
Step Eight: Spread 125 g smooth strawberry jam on top of one of the cakes then top with 50 ml whipped double cream, before placing the other cake on top. Finally, sift 1 tbsp icing sugar over the top.
How To Serve Victoria Sponge
- Serve with tea or coffee.
Tips for Making Victoria Sponge
Follow these 4 key tips to get the best results.
- Tip 1: Ensure that the eggs and the butter are at room temperature before making the cake batter. This stops the batter from curdling. Curdled cake batter prevents the cake from rising adequately and results in crumbly cake.
- Tip 2: Cream the butter and sugar together until it is light and fluffy. It’s really worth using an electric mixer for this step. Now this doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive – I made this successfully with a simple Silver Crest hand mixer from Lidl which served me well for a number of years. However, I recently upgraded to a Russell Hobbs 24672 Desire Hand Mixer, which I love – it’s a little quieter and more compact, but is still reasonably priced.
- Tip 3: If the mixture does start to split/curdle when the eggs are added then I fix this by putting the mixture in the microwave for about 10 seconds.
- Tip 4: When adding the eggs to the creamed butter and sugar mixture add it in a little at a time and mix well. Around one to two tablespoons of egg at a time is ideal. The mixing in between each addition aerates the cake batter which helps to produce that light and fluffy texture when baked.
- Tip 5: Sift the flour and fold it in to the batter gently, this helps retain the air in the cake, again for that light fluffy texture at the end.
Victoria Sponge Recipe
30 – 35 minutes
For the sponge cake:
- 160 g unsalted butter
- 110 g caster sugar
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 160 g self-raising flour sifted
- 3 medium eggs beaten
For the filling:
- 125 g smooth strawberry jam
- 50 ml double cream whipped
- 1 tbsp icing sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 150 °C fan (170 °C conventional / gas mark 4 / 338 °F).
- Grease and line two 18 cm round cake tins. I would recommend the MasterClass 18 cm Deep Cake Tin which is superb quality.
- Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg to the sugar, butter and vanilla mixture one tablespoon at a time, mixing well between each addition of egg.
- Pour the flour in and fold into the mixture using a wooden spoon.
- Divide the batter between the cake tins and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake springs back when you press lightly on the top and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Leave the cakes to cool for five minutes before removing from the tin and removing the baking paper. Leave cakes to cool on a wire rack.
- Spread jam on top of one of the cakes then top with the cream, before placing the other cake on top. Finally, sift the icing sugar over the top.
- Most Victoria Sponge recipes use equal parts sugar, butter and flour, but I find this too sweet. In my version I’ve reduced the sugar by about a third since the jam also adds some sweetness.
- I use Hartley’s Seedless Strawberry Jam for the filling.
- I’m not that big on dairy so I substitute the cream with Elmlea Plant Double Cream Alternative. It has a lovely rich creamy taste and whips really well. It also has less fat than regular double cream, if you’d like to save some calories (I know it’s cake, but if it can taste great and be healthier that’s always a win in my book).