Foolproof Victoria Sponge
This is a light sponge that is impossible (E&EO) to get too wrong. Use it as a birthday cake, sit in your underwear and gorge on it, feed it to your cats. I don't care, I'm not your mum. Some variants are listed at the end.
Weights for some ingredients are not listed here, check the Instructions
For the cake:
- 4 eggs
- Caster sugar
- Unsalted butter
- Self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
For the decoration:
- Strawberry jam
- 150g icing sugar
- 75g unsalted butter - at room temperature to make it easier to work
- 20cm high-sided cake tin (if using sandwich tins split between two 20cm tins and skip the cutting in step 13)
- Large mixing bowl
- A spoon
- An electric hand whisk while make life easier but if you can do this by hand too
- An oven
- Wire cooling rack
For the cake:
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F
- Either line the tin with parchment paper or to save having to do complex geometry get a little butter on your fingers, grease the tin, drop in a spoonful of flour and shake it around until the inside if covered. Tip out and discard any loose flour.
- Weigh the eggs and set aside.
- Weigh out the same amount of butter, sugar, and flour as the eggs.
- In the mixing bowl beat the butter until it is smooth and creamy
- Into the butter beat the sugar
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating into the creamed sugar. You can use the electric hand whisk on a slow setting to work the eggs into the mix.
- Sift the flour and beat into the mixture one spoonful at a time making sure there are no lumps.
- Beat in the vanilla extract.
- Check the consistency of the cake mix, it should drop smoothly off a spoon. If it looks a little too thick add some milk to loosen to mixture.
- Spoon the mixture into the tin. Allow to settle and bang the bottom of the tin on the work surface to knock out any bubbles.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until either the top of the cake springs back when pushed gently or a skewer/knife comes out clean.
- Tip out onto the wire rack to cool.
- Beat the icing sugar into the butter to make a buttercream
- When the sponge has cooled down sit it on its side and cut it half with a bread knife. If you try this when it's warm it'll break apart.
- On the bottom half spoon on the strawberry jam and spread with a knife until it is even.
- On the top half spoon on the buttercream and spread until even.
- Gently flip the top half and reassemble the cake. Push it down a little to glue the halves together
- Sift some icing sugar over the top.
- Serve with tea.
The sponge is nice but it's made even better with a few adjustments, skip the decoration listed in the main recipe.
- Raspberry and White Chocolate: When the cake mix is complete in step 8 gently fold in a handful of raspberries and as much white chocolate as you conscience allows. This can be greasy if you add too much chocolate; in which case leave out the same weight of butter as the chocolate you add.
- Lemon Drizzle - into the mix at step 7 add the zest of one lemon, being careful not to include the pith as it's unpleasant. Mix the juice of the lemon with 80g of caster sugar. Cook the sponge as instructed then when cooked prick it with a skewer and pour the lemon syrup mixture slowly over the cake making sure it gets absorbed while allowing a little to run down the sides.
- St Clements - As per Lemon Drizzle but add some orange juice to the drizzle, adjust the amount of sugar to maintain a syrupy consistency.