Baking British Cake Recipes Vegetarian

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.

110 replies on “Blackcurrant and Mascarpone Victoria Sponge”

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.

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! 🙂

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 😉

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.

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!

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 🙂

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!

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.

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…

Thanks for the reminder about the ratio for making the perfect sponge cake. I haven’t tried that method yet, but your Victoria Sponge is twisting my arm. 🙂

P.S. There’s a recipe for homemade mascarpone cheese on my blog (just type in “homemade mascarpone” in search) — then you can have your cake (& eat it, too!) anytime your frugal heart desires.

I’m going to be baking this delightful sponge tomorrow along with your ‘Chocolate Treacle Cake’ with my favorite cream-cheese icing, can’t wait to taste them!
Best make two of each & freeze one for later (with-out icing of course).
That’s my ‘Frugal Tip’, whilst the oven is on cook double the amount & freeze for later…
I also have brisket, so that can be bubbling away in the bottom of the oven while the cakes are cooking.
Oxtails which I really love, is in the slow-cooker it smells beautiful. The gorgeous, tasty, gravy it makes with dumplings dropped in tomorrow, it’ll be our evening meal complete.
Your pics are amazing, along with your cakes & posts, many thanks for sharing, looking forward to more recipes to try very soon.
Happy Thanksgiving to every-one, enjoy!

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