Good Old Victoria Sponge

After the past week we’ve all had it seems a bit trivial to be talking cake but if there’s one thing we can all agree on its a bloomin’ good Victoria sponge.  Ma tearoom has always excelled at this cake so I had a lot to live up to when I made this for friends recently.  The ingredients are what my Mama taught me but the ‘throw it all in and mix it up’ approach is a Mary Berry revelation! Best of all, it works!

You will need:

  • 225g (8oz) softened butter
  • 225g (8oz) caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 225g (8oz) self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder

For the buttercream & jam filling:

  • 50g (2oz) softened butter
  • 175g (6oz) sifted icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 4 tbsp strawberry jam (or whatever jam you prefer)
  • Icing sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C Fan)/Gas 4.  Grease two 20cm (8in) sandwich tins and line the bases.  In a large mixing bowl put the butter, sugar, eggs, flour and baking powder and beat until thoroughly blended together (I used an electric hand mixer for this and beat until the mixture was light and fluffy).  Divide the mix between the two tins and level the tops.

Bake in the oven for about 25minutes or until well risen and the tops of the cakes spring back when you press them lightly.  Leave to cool in the tins for a few minutes then turn out on to a wire rack.

While the cake is cooling make the buttercream filling: blend together the butter, icing sugar and milk until well combined.

When the cakes are cold spread over the buttercream on one and the jam on the other and sandwich together.  Dust with icing sugar.  De-le-cious!

This cake mix is so flipping versatile.  Keeping the basic ingredients you can change up the flavours of the cake and the buttercream according to your tastes, and using these tips from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible:

  • For a light chocolate version, blend 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder with 3 tablespoons of boiling water. Once cool, add to the bowl with all the other cake ingredients as above.  Fill with the buttercream only.
  • For a coffee version, beat the eggs and add in 2 generous tablespoons of instant coffee granules.  Then add the remaining cake ingredients and mix.  For coffee buttercream add 1 tablespoon of coffee essence to the mix.
  • For Orange, lemon or lime use the above ingredients but add the grated zest or your chosen citrus fruit to the cake mix and use a complimentary marmalade of lemon curd for the filling.

The possibilities are endless!