My Messy Take on a Victoria Sponge Cake

Victoria Sponge Cake is a classic! Popular as a traditional birthday cake or a special treat, Victoria Sponge hails back to Queen Victoria who is said to have had a particular soft spot for the cake. It is therefore no surprise that this tradition has continued through to this day, and Victoria Sponge cakes are available in classical tea houses up and down the country.

The recipe for Victoria Sponge Cake is a simple one, as the basis of the cake is a plain sponge sandwich. The sandwich filling however provides some scope for creativity. I have never heard of any two Victoria Sponge Cakes being the same. Some people believe you should fill the sandwich with raspberry jam, whilst others prefer strawberry. Some call for whipped cream, some call for a vanilla flavoured double cream. The actual content and design of a Victoria Sponge is a never-ending debate.

What I like best about this cake, is the simplicity of it. It is a blank canvas, ready for you to work your magic on. The sponge is light and soft, and works well accompanied by a lovely cup of tea or coffee. It seems that Queen Victoria may have known what she was talking about. This also works fairly well after a heavy meal, and depending on how you choose to decorate your little creation, has the potential to be quite refreshing.

I made this as a birthday cake which was served at the end of a big roast dinner with the family. The following recipe produces a very light and fluffy cake… perfect after a heavy meal.

Ingredients
*For the sandwiches
225g margarine
225g self-raising flour
225g caster sugar
4 medium eggs
Juice & zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or 1 vanilla pod)
Fresh strawberries (sliced)
Good quality strawberry jam (Bonne Maman)

*For the icing
Juice of 1/2 lemon
300g icing sugar
1 tbsp lavender seeds
15g margarine

Method
180C
– Cream the margarine and sugar.
– Add the eggs, 1 by 1.
– Sift the flour and fold into the mix.
– Add the lemon (juice & zest) and vanilla.
– Divide the mix into two greased sandwich tins.
– Bake until golden and baked through. This should take approx. 20 minutes.
– Once baked, remove from the oven and allow the sandwiches to cool in their tins.
– Prepare the icing by adding all the ingredients into a pan, and heat on a low heat until the icing has melted and blended smoothly together. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes until hardened slightly.
– Gently remove the sponge cakes from their tins, and prepare to put the cake together and decorate.

– Place one sandwich on a plate. Spread a thin layer of the lavender icing on the top.
– Add a layer of strawberry jam.
– Add a layer of fresh strawberries and drizzle with a little icing, to help gel the strawberries together.
– Add a layer of icing on the inner part of the upper sandwich, then carefully place the upper sandwich on the cake (icing facing downwards onto the strawberries), and spread a layer of icing sugar on the outer part of the top sandwich.
– Leave to set a little before serving.

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Enjoy your Victoria Sponge, and see you soon! 🙂

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