Victoria Sponge

Victoria sponge, that classic afternoon tea cake, might not immediately seem the stuff of passion. It’s ever so slightly buttoned up, with an edge of primness and a whisper of stilted conversation. But look closer and you’ll soon see the possibilities of the smooth billowing cream, sweet glistening strawberries, pillowy soft sponge and plenty of finger-licking. You need to be buttoned up if you’re going to enjoy being un-buttoned, I suppose.

This recipe is adapted from one that my grandma collected from an old Good Housekeeping from the 1950s. It makes a skinnier cake than you might expect – I think ideas about portion size might have been smaller, so I tend to make a 6:6:6:3 version for 3 17cm cake tins and stack the cake higher, or 2 22cm tins.

Victoria Sponge Illustration4 oz butter (1 stick) – room temp
4 oz sugar (1/2 cup)
4 oz flour (1/2 cup)
2 eggs – room temp
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp milk (approx)
2 cups of strawberries (or 1 cup of strawberry jam)
¾ cup of cream

  • Pre-heat the oven to 375
  • Cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy (this is where a mixer or an electric whisk comes into its own)
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time
  • Add the sieved flour and baking powder a spoonful at a time until incorporated
  • Add the milk until the batter is a soft dropping consistency (you may need more milk – up to about 1tbsp)
  • Butter and flour 2 18cm cake tins (or use the fancy silicone ones – I got some for Christmas and have never looked back)
  • Scrape the mixture in
  • Bake for 25 – 30 mins until a skewer poked in the middle comes out clean
  • Cool on racks
  • Whip the cream and slice the strawberries. Spread on one of the cakes, sandwich the other on top. Decorate with more cream and strawberries if you like, or dust with a little confectioner’s sugar (icing sugar) or even regular sugar

This recipe first appeared with a story of love, lust, psychics and mermaids.

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