Classic Victoria Sponge

Sometimes it’s just about the simple things. When the complexities of life take over we often turn toward the constant, assuredness of what we can rely on, the comfort and satisfaction of a humble classic. You can always trust on the simple, yet classic flavours of this cake. I’ve spoken previously how baking and more specifically cake making can seem out of the capabilities of our cooking skills, appear inaccessible and too complicated. However, a traditional cake like a Victoria sponge is something everyone can and should have a go at attempting. The combination of a light pillowy sponge filled with decadent cream and a sweet berry jam is a wonder to behold and for me brings as much pleasure as more complicated cakes.

Make the most of summer strawberries in a classic Victoria Sandwich

As always there’s just a couple of notes to help explain a few things and set you on your merry way. In baking the measurements are vital so unless you’ve made this cake countless times and are extremely confident make sure to use a weighing scale. Even then I would always recommend weighing everything to ensure accuracy. The butter should be at room temperature, which means easily spreadable. This is important so as to cream together with the sugar properly so if it’s coming straight from the fridge it’s not ideal. To counteract this you can put the butter into a microwaveable bowl and give it 10 second blasts in the microwave at the defrost setting. Keep an eye on it. You can use salted or unsalted butter here but if using unsalted add about ¼ teaspoon of salt to the recipe. With a cake like this that requires so few ingredients it’s essential to use as good quality components that you can source and afford. It goes without saying that the eggs should be free-range or organic and you should try to use a jar of strawberry jam that has a decent fruit content it will make a difference. This recipe is designed for 20cm sandwich pan tins. If you’re new to baking know that there are different sizes of tins so again check to see if you have the appropriate equipment before use.

Victoria Sandwich Sponge: simple yet decadent

Ingredients

  • 225g caster sugar
  • 225g softened butter, plus a little extra for greasing the tins
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp milk

To Serve

  • About ½ jar of strawberry jam
  • 227g (1 punnet) strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 250ml of cream, whipped

To finish

  • Icing sugar

Victoria Sponge

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C Fan/200°C/400°F and grease the two sandwich tins and line with baking parchment
  2. In a large bowl or food mixer with the beater attached, beat together the sugar and the butter until soft, fluffy and pale in colour.
  3. With the motor running on a low speed add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated into the mixture.
  4. Using a spatula add the flour, baking powder, and fold into the mixture. Be careful not to over mix however as this can give a tight texture to the finished cake. Add the milk to loosen the batter until you have a dropping consistency.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins. If you’re like me you can weigh the amounts but dividing by eye is just fine. Place on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in their tins for a few minutes before gently turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. When the bases are cool place one bottom up on your serving plate and spread with the jam. Top with the strawberries and the whipped cream. Place the other base top-side up on top of this and dust with icing sugar.

Serve with a cup of tea for a comforting classic

Classic Victoria Sponge

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