A soft, airy cake filled with jam, undecorated at the top and served at teatime – this is essentially what describes the Victoria sponge.
It was Anna, the Duchess of Bedford, one of Queen Victoria’s Ladies-in-Waiting who is credited with introducing the concept of afternoon tea into the world. the trend caught on and soon, the queen herself, Queen Victoria (1819-1901) herself adopted the tradition of the afternoon tea and she and her ladies would attend the tea parties clad in formal wear making the occasion very much an event. It is said that this simple and light cake sandwiched with jam or marmalade was a favorite of the Queen Victoria and hence it was daubed the Victoria sponge.
The recipe has been adapted since then. The soft airy cake is not only sandwiched in jam, a layer of butter cream or whipped cream too is added to make it more flavorsome. I like to sprinkle mine with a layer of confectioners’ sugar to give it that pretty look and to add some extra sweetness to the lot.
Serve this unique British teatime treat at your own tea party. It is truly a beauty to look at.
Victoria Sponge Cake
- Flour - 225g
- Sugar - 225g
- Butter - 225g
- Eggs - 4
- Vanilla - 2tsp
- Raspberry jam - 1 jar
- Vanilla Buttercream
- Butter - 240g
- Confectioners’ sugar - 550g
- Vanilla - 2tsp
- Cream or Milk - 3tblsps
To make the cake
- Heat the oven to 180C. Grease and line two 8inch baking pans.
- Sift together the flour and the baking powder. Set aside.
- Beat together the butter and the sugar. Add in the eggs one at a time and beat well until the mixture is light and creamy.
- Gradually add in the flour and the vanilla. Mix well until everything is combined.
- Divide the batter into the two baking pans. Bake for approximately 25 minutes (no opening the oven door and peeping. the cakes will not rise)
To make the butter cream
- Beat the butter till light and creamy until it turns a pale color.
- Add the sugar, gradually, one tablespoon at a time. Whisk until completely combined.
- Add the vanilla and cream. Beat well until light and fluffy.
- Keep one cake on your cake tray. I keep the ugliest one at the bottom.
- Spread it with the butter cream. Next, spread a layer of raspberry jam on top of the butter cream
- Place the other cake on top of this, pretty side up. I always put the bottom of the cake at the top.
- Serve and impress!
Beautifully light yet unexpectedly decadent, the cake is fluffy and deliciously warm with sensual vanilla perfuming it’s spongy depths. The buttercream smoothens the senses with its satiny creaminess while the raspberry jam provides that piquant sweetness characteristic to fruits of summer. It is a summer cake in essence – with happy summery flavors bubbling forth beautiful memories of sunshine and lounging carefree in the afternoon breeze perfumed by the flowers of summer.
Serve with tea – aim to impress. The Victoria Sponge is a show stopper. It’s elegant, its sophisticated, it’s beautifully grand. Try it this weekend and feel like a cake boss!
- I doubled the cake batch for the cake shown in the pictures. And also because I am greedy.
- In any case I’ve found that doubling the batch yields better results. But if you want a smaller cake, this amount is quite sufficient.