Victoria sponge is the centrepiece of a traditional tea table. It’s one of my favourite cakes and I’ve been making the recipe on repeat over this winter in Sydney, trying to get exactly the right consistency. It’s a labour of love!
I’ve blogged another version before, see here. That is a great recipe, but I’ve since refined my technique if not the ingredients, to make my current version.
The secret to this recipe is making a sabayon with the eggs and sugar, as you would with a Genoise sponge, before adding the other ingredients. This isn’t a Genoise, but the technique works well. The other secret is cooking the cake at 160 degrees C, a relatively low temperature.
And you need to fill the cake with both strawberry jam and strawberries! As well as lashings of cream of course!
Here’s the recipe. These quantities will make 3x20cm layers or 2x23cm layers. I’ve included the quantities for a smaller cake at the end of the recipe.
4 free-range eggs at room temperature
200g caster sugar
11/2 tablespoons tepid milk
200g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
200g strawberry jam (homemade is good)
300g fresh strawberries
250ml whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C. Grease the baking tins, whether you are using 3 tins or 2. Line the bottom of the tins with baking paper.
In an electric mixer using the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs and sugar for 5-8 minutes until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is tripled in volume.
Meanwhile carefully melt the butter in the microwave.
With the motor running, pour the melted butter into the mixture. Add the tepid milk. Turn the mixer off and fold the flour and baking powder into the mixture using a metal spoon, being careful not to lose too much volume.
Pour the batter into the prepared tins, smoothing the tops if necessary.
Place into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake cones out clean.
Remove from the oven and cook in the tins before turning out onto a wire rack. Be careful with step – these sponges can be quite fragile!
While the cakes are cooling, whip the cream and the vanilla to soft peaks.
Once the cakes are quite cold, you can assemble them with the filling. Place one cake on serving plate. Spread half the strawberry jam over the layer. Spread half whipped cream on top of the jam. Top with 1/3 halved strawberries (quartered if they’re big).
Place another layer on top and repeat fillings.
(If you’re only making 2 layers, then adjust the quantities of jam, cream and berries.)
Place the top layer on the cake. Dust with icing sugar and place some whole strawberries on top of the cake.
This cake is best cut and eaten a couple of hours after being made. That way the flavours have developed and soaked into the sponge. And while it’s best to eat the cake on the day, it’s still pretty delicious the next day, that is if there’s any left!
Small Cake Ingredients
2 free-range eggs at room temperature
125g caster sugar
1 tablespoon tepid milk
125g self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
100g strawberry jam (homemade is good)
125mls whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons icing sugar
This cake can be baked in 2x20cm tins for 20 minutes.