Victoria Sponge Cake


Me, aged 4

My love of cooking, baking and food was ignited in me at an early age. I stayed with my Aunty Hilda after school, whilst I waited for Mum to come home, and we baked. The Victoria Sponge Cake was her signature bake. It still amazes me how you can take a few simple ingredients and transform it into some kind of heaven!

Victoria Sponge Cake

Serves 8
SPONGE: 225g (8oz) butter, soft * 225g (8oz) caster sugar * 225g (8oz) self-raising flour * 2tsp baking powder * 4 large eggs, beaten

FILLING: 4 tbsp raspberry or strawberry jam * 220ml (7 floz) whipped cream * icing sugar, for dusting * 115g (4oz) strawberries, hulled and sliced for decoration

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Cut 2 greaseproof paper circles, grease two 18cm/7 inch sandwich tins with butter and put the circles inside. Grease the circles. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl, then add the caster sugar, self-raising flour and baking powder. Slowly add the eggs to the bowl and using the electric mixer on slow speed, beat for 2 minutes until smooth. Divide the mixture equally between the prepared tins and level the surfaces with a spatula. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.

The cakes are ready when they are risen and pale golden. The tops should spring back when lightly pressed. Cool for about 2 minutes; loosen the edges with a knife. Push the cakes out of the tins on their bases, invert them and remove the paper bases. Cool the cakes the right way up on a rack. I’ve cut my edges off, as I burnt them, but you may be more successful. It happens!

When the cakes are cold, remove the lining papers and invert one cake layer onto a plate. Soften the jam with a palette knife and spread on top of one cake. Whip the cream to a firm consistency and spread over the jam. Decorate with strawberries. Add the other cake on top. Dust with icing sugar.

I have collated all my favourite recipes into one book, FOOD FOR ALL OCCASIONS.

This recipe comes from the section TRADITIONAL PUDDINGS, a selection of the best of British cakes and desserts.