The Victoria Sponge – A British Classic

Victoria Sandwich

By and large I have to admit that I’m not much of a cake man – I often find, perhaps unsurprisingly, that they are a little too cakey for my liking. By that I mean there is a little too much sponge and not enough of anything else. However, if done perfectly, a Victoria Sponge can be absolutely delightful. I think the key to making a good sponge is to use high quality eggs, because their taste really comes through in the mixture. As such, if you use bad eggs it will just taste a little dodgy – luckily we keep our own chickens, so that was covered for perfectly. Another bonus of the victoria sponge is that it’s so simple, and therefore cheap to make – it isn’t even iced. It really is the perfect British cake to be enjoyed, as Queen Victoria did, at 11 o’clock with a spot of tea.

It was my 21st birthday yesterday, hence the lack of blog material, for which my dear old mother, bless her soul, made a lovely strawberry cheesecake. I will, at some point, blog this cheesecake, because as a few of you will know cheesecake is my favourite dessert. How can anyone get enough of a nice thick “buttery biscuit base?”

For my birthday my parents took me and my girlfriend, as well as my grandparents, to a lovely little Greek restaurant called ‘The Olive Branch’. If ever you’re in Aberystwyth you must visit this “taverna”, as the food is very nice, the portions large and the price relatively small. In case anyone was wondering I had ‘Houmous Kavurma’, or houmous with lamb, as a starter, followed by ‘Kleftiko’, or slow cooked lamb with rice, as a main. You can already see I’m a massive fan of lamb, notwithstanding the fact I had a roast leg of lamb – not all to myself – on Sunday. It must be a Welsh thing! Enjoy the cake!

Victoria Sponge with Strawberry Jam and Cream

Serves 12

Ingredients:

• 3 large eggs

• Butter, caster sugar and self-raising flour in equal measure – in order to get exact amounts weigh the eggs and use the same weight of these ingredients, this should be roughly 7 ounces

• 1 tsp vanilla extract

• 150ml whipping cream

• 150g strawberry jam, may have to beat it to make it spreadable

• Icing sugar for dusting

Method:

1. Grease and line two 18cm sandwich tins, heat oven to 180C.

2. Cream together the sugar and the butter, with a hand whisk, until light and fluffy.

3. Beat in the eggs one by one. This requires thorough mixing between each egg. Sieve in the flour and fold in gently until just mixed.

4. Divide the mixture between the sandwich tins and bake for around 25 minutes, or until they make no sound when listened to.

5. Rest, before turning onto a wire rack and allowing to cool. When cool, fill with jam and then whipped cream, before dusting with icing sugar.

Cost:

The entire cake, filling and all, should cost no more than around £1.90 to make. I think this is fantastic considering that in most coffee shops a slice of victoria sponge would cost £2.

29 thoughts on “The Victoria Sponge – A British Classic

  1. Jess

    As well as good quality ingredients, some skill is needed in making perfect light an airy sponge, I love the science behind baking and the job of each ingredient in holding the structure and creating the yummy taste.
    Yours looks lovely and perfect, happy birthday and hope you enjoyed you slice of cake with a cup of tea!

    1. frugalfeeding

      Thank you very much. I don’t actually drink tea, it’s not particularly nice, but I did enjoy it with a nice fresh coffee. It was deeeelish! I think cooking time is the most critical thing with a sponge like this, and the gentle folding in of the flour, if it;s not gentle then you simply knock all of the air out!

      1. Jess

        I teach food tech and I can’t tell you how much I cringe every time a pupil bangs the side of the bowl with the spoon knocking out all the air (along with all the fingers in bowls). I make them do the creaming method the old fashioned way, with a wooden spoon and a bit of elbow grease, I’m a cruel teacher!

  2. Caroline

    Happy birthday! Your cake looks fantastic – perfectly risen!

    I always add the rind of an orange and the juice of half to my victoria sponge – which some people think detracts from the purity of the recipe, but then, when it comes to baking, I’m not a purist! I also go a bit all out on my fillings – a layer of jam with fresh strawberries on top, then extra thick double cream – chantilly yesterday, as it was on offer! Not really frugal, but it was for a friend’s 30th!

    1. frugalfeeding

      Thanks alot! I’m a slight purist, but maybe I’ll try it next time I make one. I couldn’t really call it a victoria sponge if I did that though. Sounds lovely, hehe. I’m sure my girlfriend wouldn’t let me do that though :P, although it did have a lot of jam in it, and a fair splodge of cream.

  3. erin

    holy yum that sounds good.. As soon as the scale I ordered comes in I’ll be making this.. although I don’t quite know what a “sandwich tin” is so I’ll have to do some work on that..

  4. Pingback: Blackcurrant and Mascarpone Victoria Sponge « FrugalFeeding

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