Introducing Victoria Sponge Cake may seem like an anomaly if you are British and grew up in England, but recently I've found out, living outside England for the last 6 years, that not many people know about this wonderful, tasty and simple cake. A classic cake from England reminiscent of drinking tea on the lawn in the summer around 4pm, with a nice slice of this cake is actually quintessentially (high English for typical) English. OK ! enough big words, what exactly is this cake and why is it so popular? I first introduced it to my colleagues when asked to make a cake for a colleague that was leaving, first of all, everyone was a bit diplomatic, wondering what sort of cake it was, with cream and jam sipping outside and then one person tasted it and that was it, it was gone. So for the next leaving do, guess what ? "Lameen, can you please bring a cake, but you know what, can you please bring that cake with cream and jam inside ?" So, in short, it is a sponge cake sandwiched between freshly whipped cream and high fruit jam – you see, I said it was simple.
So simple it is to make that all you do is place all the ingredients (225g of butter, 200g self-raising flour, 25g corn flour, 225g caster sugar, 4 eggs, 1 teaspoon each of vanilla extract, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder) into a food processor, pulse and then add about 4 tablespoons of milk to make it smooth, put it into two 21 or 23 cm sandwich tins, bake on 180C for about 20 minutes, take out of the oven, cool for about 2 hours, make the delicious sandwich filling (100g of good strawberry or raspberry jam and 150ml fresh cream whipped to soft peaks), place one cake down, spread the jam on top ad then the cream, place the other cake on top and sprinkle with icing sugar for an effect, and the rest is mouth-watering moist Victoria Sandwich Sponge Cake history – hope you can resist yourself to one slice ? Delicious isn't it…
Up close and personal, you can almost taste it from just looking at it and this pic was taken at work – I took my slice before it went.
Some tips – I know that not everyone has a food processor, so if you want to make this the traditional way, cream the butter and sugar together and then add a tablespoon of flour, mix and then an egg until all four eggs are incorporated, add the vanilla extract then sift the rest of the flour, the bicarbonate of soda and the baking powder together with the corn flour and some milk. Put it into two buttered sandwich tins and bake for about 20 minutes on 180C and take out when a stick comes out cleanish. Take out and let it cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, unmould and let rest for about 1-2 hours. Make the filling and spread, sandwich and EAT.
If you don't have corn flour, just use 225g of self raising flour.
If you want it more moist, like I do, use a food processor, or if making by hand, don't over mix as this makes the cake mixture more stiff and add a bit more milk.
If making in the summer, you can sandwich in between fresh strawberries.
For a more exotic filling, mix 250g mascarpone cream cheese with 50g caster sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and lemon curd or jam.
225g unsalted butter
225g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
200g self-raising flour
25g corn flour or custard powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda powder
3-4 tablespoon milk
2 x 21/23 cm sandwich tins, buttered
1/3 strawberry or raspberry jam from 400g jam jar
150ml fresh/double cream, whipped to soft peaks
fresh berries (optional)
sprinkle with icing sugar
Food processor (optional but highly recommended)
Two 21/23 sandwich tins
Bake for 20 mins on 180C, until a stick comes out cleanish
Inspired by a recipe from Nigella Lawson "How to be Domestic Goddess"