Blackcurrant and Mascarpone Victoria Sponge

victoria-spongeVictoria sponge – the quintessential English teatime treat – is, according to tradition, a basic sandwich cake filled with either strawberry or raspberry jam and dusted liberally with icing sugar (though a little whipped cream might make an appearance). Delightful as tradition is, there’s nothing wrong with zesting proceedings up a little – literally. The addition of orange and lemon zest is a great way of achieving a very special flavour, without doing away with the lightness of the perfect sponge cake.

Basic sponge is extraordinarily simple to produce, but there is one secret behind achieving the ideal crumb – weigh your eggs. Your cake batter should consist of equal parts egg, flour, sugar and butter (if you really haven’t the facility to weigh eggs, three medium eggs are around 190g). Follow this instruction and I can guarantee that, assuming no baking mishap occurs, every sense your body can spare is likely to pat you on the back and say “jolly well done, old thing”.

Blackcurrant and Mascarpone Victoria Sponge

When following this recipe stick to using blackcurrant or blueberry jam – they work the best with citrus flavours. Avoid getting too creative and adding lemon juice to your mascarpone as it’s likely to alter its texture somewhat and could overpower the rest of the cake in terms of flavour. As things stand, the tart berries and citrus zest harmonise rather well and the creamy mascarpone brings that little bit of luxury to the table that really helps this cake shine.

If you’re a little short on time and want to try something quicker and simpler, check out my recipe for Rhubarb and Ginger Jam Cake here…

Blackcurrant and Mascarpone Victoria Sandwich {recipe}

Makes 1 cake


• 3 eggs

• Butter, caster sugar and self-raising flour in equal measure – weigh the eggs in order to get exact amounts.

• 1 lemon, zest

• 1 orange, zest

• 2-3 tbsp blackcurrant jam

• 250g mascarpone

• 1 tbsp icing sugar


1. Grease and line two 18cm sandwich tins, heat oven to 180C. Cream together the sugar and the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one by one. Sieve in the flour and fold in gently along with the zest. Divide the mixture between the sandwich tins and bake for around 25 minutes, or until they make no sound when listened to.

2. Once baked leave for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Set aside to cool completely.

3. Place the mascarpone in a bowl and sieve in the icing sugar – beat thoroughly. Spread one sponge with the jam and place the other on top. Decorate with the mascarpone and enjoy! Store in the fridge in an air tight container.

Cost: Basic cakes never set one back too much – there’s a limit to the cost of eggs, butter, sugar and flour. Of course, mascarpone is a little pricey compared to icing sugar and even double cream, but it’s worth it. Still, at around £2.30 for the entire confection it’s difficult to stray far from frugality.

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110 comments on “Blackcurrant and Mascarpone Victoria Sponge

  1. lizintheshed
    February 19, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Sounds yummy and last week when I made a sponge my eldest wanted blackcurrant instread of raspberry, so maybe I will be a nice mummy and knock this up in a mo. I even have a tub of marscapone lurking in the fridge and it’s within date! Gosh, a miracle in itself.

  2. makingitwithdanielle
    February 19, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    This looks divine! Love black currant jam and I also love that you used mascarpone, I bet the tanginess matches well with the sweetness of the cake!

  3. ripe red berries
    February 19, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    OMG – this looks incredible!! A must try…

  4. lovinghomemade
    February 19, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    That looks and sounds delicious. I have some blackcurrant jam left over from the summer, some mascarpone in the fridge and love Victoria sponge anyway – will be making this version!

  5. Roberta Briffa
    February 19, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Looks lovely! I have to get some mascarpone to try this.

  6. baconbiscuit212
    February 19, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Beautiful looking cake, Nick! You do sponges so well!

  7. Fashionandbigcity
    February 19, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Only looking at this picture makes my day!

  8. narf77
    February 19, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    This was my mum’s “go-to” cake recipe. The test of a good cook (forget chef, “cook” is the epoch of the home bastions and of true soul food) is their ability to make a good Victoria Sponge. This came direct from my mothers mother who was a true Lancashire Lass and who was the source of the font of all knowledge. NO-ONE knew more about culinary practices than my grandmother. She was also the instigator of “don’t run around in bare feet you will get calves that no man will love” and “just put this book on your head and walk around for a day, you are slouching girl!” and “shoes on the table and you will NEVER be able (presumably to bear children but I had 3 😉 )”… she would sniff your Victoria sponge first. Not good enough that it looked amazing…the smell had to be right…then she would poke the crumb…apparently grandma had some sort of special touch that was able to appreciate the density of a crumb by the patternation of her fingerprints (magic woman…) and if everything was apparently up to her standards (which it rarely was) she would deign to humour you by taking a very small slice of your offering and eating it with a fork…”ladies eat with forks, spoons are for plebians!” (God help you if you picked it up with your fingers!!!)… your Victoria Sponge (after being duly sniffed and prodded of course…) would appear to have grandma’s seal of approval written all over it! BRAVO Mr. Frugal…you have indeed made it! 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza
      February 19, 2013 at 7:37 pm

      Your mother was a wise woman – love the tips about bare feet/calves! have to say. I’d enjoy my cake more eating with my fingers 😉

      • narf77
        February 19, 2013 at 7:51 pm

        Me too! And my fat calves didn’t stop 2 men from wanting to marry me (but not at the same time 😉 )

        • Chica Andaluza
          February 19, 2013 at 7:58 pm

          Brilliant 🙂 (Sorry to hijack your thread here Frugal!)

          • narf77
            February 19, 2013 at 8:00 pm

            LOL! I don’t think Mr. Frugal minds do you sir? He is a most magnanimous host of all things foodie, frugal and convivial so wouldn’t mind 2 old dames having a bit of a natter about the old days 😉

          • Chica Andaluza
            February 19, 2013 at 8:05 pm

            He is a gentleman indeed!

          • narf77
            February 19, 2013 at 8:06 pm

            (Well we HOPE he is! 😉 )

          • frugalfeeding
            February 20, 2013 at 7:10 pm

            OH yes I’m generous and benevolent and all that! Carry on ladies!

          • frugalfeeding
            February 20, 2013 at 7:10 pm

            That’s quite all right, of course!

        • frugalfeeding
          February 20, 2013 at 7:10 pm

          I have fat calves…

          • narf77
            February 20, 2013 at 7:38 pm

            Did 2 men want to marry you as well? (You are starting to look more and more like “me old mucka” Nige every day Fruges! 😉 )

          • frugalfeeding
            February 20, 2013 at 10:14 pm

            Haha – they did not. Don’t say that!

    • frugalfeeding
      February 20, 2013 at 7:11 pm

      Same for my mother and grandmother! The best grandmothers are always like that – a 6th sense for cake…Thank you so much, Fran!

      • narf77
        February 20, 2013 at 7:39 pm

        Cake is to grandmothers as getting an A+ on your final exam is to a student…an absolute apex of achievement 🙂

  9. kieriniowa
    February 19, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Super delicious.

  10. Rhoda Kirwan
    February 19, 2013 at 7:31 pm


  11. stirandstitch
    February 19, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    oh, vic sponge makes me weak in the knees, and your variation sounds (and looks) beautiful!

  12. Chica Andaluza
    February 19, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    What a wonderful tip about the egss/weight thing. Makes it so much easier for me as it’s so logical! Beautiful filling and topping too.

  13. andreamynard
    February 19, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Looks wonderful – and I have a tub of mascarpone in the fridge, so very tempted to get baking soon.

  14. theglobalgarnishgeek
    February 19, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    My favorite English sweet. Yours looks beautiful with the marscapone….

  15. Maya Oryan
    February 19, 2013 at 8:46 pm


  16. musingmar
    February 19, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    I just love simple old-fashioned cakes like this. So many confections are over-the-top these days, but sometimes we just need to go back to the time when cakes weren’t towering art creations, but rather simple and lovely. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the simple spongecakes my mother used to make, adorned with buttercream frosting, and your cake, although different, reminds me of that. I think it’s time for a little nostalgia in the kitchen.

    • frugalfeeding
      February 20, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      I totally agree! I never make spectacles of my cae!

  17. Camilla
    February 19, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Ooh this cake looks utterly lush and with the mascarpone topping such a real treat, I also love the citrus and the blackcurrant fusion as I think these flavours marry off particularly well. Superb!

    • frugalfeeding
      February 23, 2013 at 6:26 pm

      Thanks – I love mascarpone icing and use it all the time 😀

  18. Pride in Photos Photography
    February 19, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    I am sitting here drinking a Chai tea and wishing SO bad I could have a piece of your cake right now♥

  19. onceuponarecipe
    February 19, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Oh, how I wish I could reach through my computer screen and steal a slice of this delightful cake! It looks lovely. And you’ve reminded me, I really must invest in a kitchen scale!

    • frugalfeeding
      February 20, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      Haha – at least you realise you can’t! Do, they’re essential!

  20. Conor Bofin
    February 19, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Lovely looking cake Nick. Round here, they always seem to come out like a spare car wheel. Not that I bake them myself…

    • frugalfeeding
      February 20, 2013 at 7:06 pm

      Thanks! I can’t tell if that’s a good or a bad thing!

  21. Food and Forage Hebrides
    February 19, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    I have a soft spot for the good old victoria sponge, I must admit. I tend to go for the jam/cream centre and icing sugar atop, but am encouraged to try the mascarpone – perfect counterbalance for a ristretto.

    • frugalfeeding
      February 20, 2013 at 7:06 pm

      Me too – it’s amazing! Give it a whirl!

  22. The Vagabond Baker
    February 19, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    You just can’t beat a Victoria Sponge, this looks gorgeous. My mum always made sure there was one in the cupboard, made fresh from Delia’s recipe. We never had blueberry conserve though, usually raspberry jam, of the home made variety of course. And it was frugally finished with a dusting of icing sugar. Delicious though 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      February 20, 2013 at 7:06 pm

      I quite agree! My traditional Vicoria recipe does use raspberry jam.

  23. Lesley
    February 20, 2013 at 12:15 am

    Oh, this looks and sounds divine! Your desserts are always to die for.

  24. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    February 20, 2013 at 1:32 am

    She’s a beaut!

  25. Carolyn Chan
    February 20, 2013 at 2:48 am

    I’ll have a BIG slice of that cake with a nice cup of tea, thanks !! Looks delicious.

  26. luvnorcal
    February 20, 2013 at 3:12 am

    This looks really AWESOME and I want a slice right now!

  27. Somer
    February 20, 2013 at 6:25 am

    You’ve really got this down to a science! No wonder when I used to make sponge cakes I could never get it just right. I love the citrus and the tart berries! Great job Nick!

    • frugalfeeding
      February 20, 2013 at 7:04 pm

      Aww, thanks, Somer! The problem is that over there you don’t weigh anything!

      • Somer
        February 20, 2013 at 7:31 pm

        I know! I actually do have a kitchen scale, but I rarely use it. Mostly I use it for cold process soap where the measurements HAVE to be exact.

        • frugalfeeding
          February 20, 2013 at 7:31 pm

          ahha – I use it numerous times every day 😀

          • Somer
            February 20, 2013 at 7:35 pm

            I’m a lazy cook and don’t usually measure at all, I just kinda eyeball ingredients for size/weight. I only measure for reals when I’m doing recipes for the blog, It wouldn’t be very good of me to not be precise when posting.

  28. A. Jones
    February 20, 2013 at 7:33 am

    Reblogged this on Northern News.

  29. whilehewasout
    February 20, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Mmh berries, orange, mascarpone and sponge – wonderful!

  30. sakthi
    February 20, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Mmm, lovely! I’ve heard about weighing everything according to the eggs but never usually get round to it – thanks for the push! Really like the idea of lemon + orange zest, and the mascarpone as well! That’s this wekeend’s baking sorted. I am going to use this for cupcakes (easier to feed an office) so will probably have to be a little more watchful at the oven…

    • frugalfeeding
      February 23, 2013 at 6:26 pm

      You should – it works! That’s a great idea.

  31. ohlidia
    February 20, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    I love mascarpone in desserts! Actually, I love mascarpone with anything!

  32. NativeNM
    February 20, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Wow, can’t wait to try this! Yum!

  33. Michelle
    February 20, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    What a gorgeous cake.

  34. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen
    February 20, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    You know.. I just love photos of a gorgeous cake, sponge cake is one of my favorites:)

    • frugalfeeding
      February 20, 2013 at 7:03 pm

      Thought you might like it, Barb’ – glad you do!

  35. Korena in the Kitchen
    February 21, 2013 at 3:52 am

    A beautiful twist on tradition – sounds delicious Nick!

  36. laurasmess
    February 21, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    I am totally abandoning strawberry for blackcurrant. Wow, this looks like an incredible combination! The sponge looks perfect too… what’s your secret? Thanks for sharing!

  37. lambyknits01
    February 21, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Simple yet classy! I would try it with blueberry – thanks for that suggestion. I have never tried black currant anything…

  38. thelittleloaf
    February 21, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    This looks like a pretty much perfect Victoria sponge. Have you ever tried putting the blueberries in the batter?

    • frugalfeeding
      February 21, 2013 at 9:29 pm

      Thank you! Nope, that seems like a step over the line 😀

  39. alfievenner
    February 21, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Cricket tea wouldn’t be the same without this cake! Well played sir

  40. Our Growing Paynes
    February 21, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Oooh wonder if I have any black currants left in the freezer from our garden. This looks lovely.

  41. dailyfrosting
    February 22, 2013 at 3:36 am

    OMG. This looks amazing! Must try!!

  42. Sabeen
    February 23, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    bookmarked 🙂

  43. milkandbun
    February 24, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Wonderful combination! Blackcurrants and mascarpone = delicious cake! 🙂

  44. arynnei
    February 24, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    I wonder if it would work just as well with blackberry jam. I love me some blackberries.

  45. wishfulthinking
    February 24, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    Looks just like a Genoise! I make mine slathered with apricot buttercream. What could be better with a cup of tea!!!

  46. joeyhl
    February 25, 2013 at 5:39 am

    I wish I could bake. This looks amazing. 🙂 I don’t have a KitchenAid. Can I make this manually?

  47. lemoncake
    February 25, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Mmmmmmmmmmm! Amazing twist on a classic recipe. LOVE!

  48. denise and sandy
    February 28, 2013 at 1:06 am

    can’t wait to make this this weekend. we have a pantry full of jams from canning this summer so we’ll probably make it more than once.