I have an English classic for you today…Victoria sponge cake 🙂
Along with vanilla fairy cakes, this is one of the first recipes I ever made. I have my Granny, Mum and Mary Berry to thank for teaching me! This recipe is quite straightforward, however they are many ‘discussions’ as to the best way of making it! Today, I’m going to give you the recipe that I use, but also talk you through some of the tweaks you can make for your own recipe.
Traditionally, Victoria Sponge is made with raspberry jam, no buttercream and caster sugar sprinkled on top. However this cake is equally delicious with strawberry jam and buttercream filling. It’s also beautiful as a summer dessert with fresh strawberries. raspberries and lightly whipped cream in the middle. Take your pick! 🙂
My personal preference is for strawberry jam and caster sugar as the topping (I know, I know. I used icing sugar for my photos. It looks prettier :-)) A bit of a controversy with this cake is whether you use butter or margarine in the cake batter. I personally use margarine. Butter provides excellent flavour in certain recipes and for most baking I will use butter, however using margarine in this case means the ‘all-in-one’ method can be used. As margarine will not cause the eggs to curdle, all the ingredients can be quickly beaten together in one bowl. As soon as they are combined, stop mixing, as overworking the flour can cause a heavy cake. I’ve tasted the Victoria sponge using butter and then margarine and it really doesn’t affect the flavour. Try it and see!
Ensure that you bake both halves of the cake on the same oven shelf, as this should mean that they rise evenly. Don’t worry if one looks more perfect than the other, just pick this one to be the top 🙂
My recipe makes one 7 inch cake (2 layers), if you’s like an 8 inch cake, simply increase the 4 main ingredients to 225g and the baking powder to 2 teaspoons.
Ingredients (makes one 7 inch cake):
- 175g soft margarine (or butter)
- 175g self-raising flour (or all-purpose)
- 175g caster sugar (superfine sugar)
- 3 eggs (about 175g)
- 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder (if using all-purpose flour, increase the baking powder to 2 teaspoons)
- Preheat oven to Gas 4/180C. Baseline and grease two 7 inch sandwich tins.
- If using butter: Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy (about 3 minutes with a handmixer). Mix in the eggs one at a time, with a small amount of the flour (to prevent curdling). Fold in the flour and baking powder.
- If using margarine: Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix together (with a handmixer) until just combined.
- Divide the cake mix evenly between the two tins, smooth the top and bake for 20 minutes until well risen and golden. Do not be tempted to open the oven door whilst the cake is baking, as this could cause it to sink in the middle.
- Leave the cakes in the tin for 5 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
- When cool, sandwich together with plenty of jam (strawberry in this case) and sprinkle the top with icing sugar or caster sugar.
Do you ever use margarine rather than butter in baking?