A classic Victoria sponge cake

This classic Victoria sponge cake is something I bake all the time. I also use the recipe as a basis for all sorts of other cakes and bakes, altering the flavour and amount of ingredients as I need to. Traditionally, sponge recipes call for you to cream the butter and sugar together, then add the eggs before folding in the flour. However, I find it much easier to use the ‘all in one’ method where all the ingredients are mixed together at the same time.

Ingredients:

This recipe will make an 8 inch cake or approximately 24 cupcakes/buns.

  • 8oz soft butter or margarine
  • 8oz caster sugar
  • 8oz self raising flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I prefer to use this rather than essence)
Classic Victoria sponge cake ingredients.

Classic Victoria sponge cake ingredients.

Equipment:

  • 2 x 8 inch round cake tins greased and lined with greaseproof or parchment paper.
  • Mixing bowl.
  • Electric stand mixer or electric stand mixer. You can make this recipe by hand but it is hard work and will take you much longer!
  • Cooling rack.
Prepared tins

Prepared tins

Method:

1) Pre-heat your oven to 160 degrees centigrade.

2) Add all your ingredients to your mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer.

Ingredients ready for mixing.

Ingredients ready for mixing.

3) On slow speed, start to mix the ingredients together. Gradually increase the speed to medium and blend for 2-3 minutes until the batter is pale and all the ingredients are well mixed.

Victoria sponge mixture.

Victoria sponge mixture.

4) Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins. Then use the back of a spoon or a spatula to spread the mixture out so it is level.

Divide the mixture between the tins and level.

Divide the mixture between the tins and level.

5) Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until golden and starting to pull away from the sides of the tin. The sponge should spring back when gently pressed with your finger. If you want to double check, you can insert a cocktail stick or skewer into the cake – this will come out clean when the cake is ready. When baking your cakes, do not open the oven door until at least 20 minutes has passed or your cakes may sink in the middle.

6) Leave the cakes in the tin for 5-10 minutes. Then turn out onto a cooling rack and leave until completely cold. Your cakes are done!

Victoria sponge cakes.

Victoria sponge cakes.

You can use this recipe as a base for lots of different flavoured sponges. Here are some ideas…

  • Lemon – add the finely grated zest of 1 lemon.
  • Orange – add the finely grated zest of 1 small orange or half a large orange.
  • Chocolate – mix 2 tablespoons cocoa powder with 3 tablespoons boiling water until you have a smooth paste. Leave to cool a little before adding to the cake batter and mixing thoroughly.
  • Coffee – mix 2 teaspoons instant coffee with a little boiling water until you have a smooth paste. As with the chocolate, leave to cool a little then add to the cake batter.

 

Assembling the cake:

For a traditional Victoria sponge, you simply sandwich the two layers together with a generous amount of jam and dust the top with either caster sugar or icing sugar. Serve on a pretty cake stand or plate and this forms a wonderful centre piece for an afternoon tea.

To make this even more special, however, you can whip up some fluffy buttercream to sandwich the cakes together and decorate the top. See my basic buttercream recipe for guidance on how to make this. For an 8 inch cake, you will need about 5oz soft butter/margarine and 10oz icing sugar.

1) Place one of the cakes on a serving plate or cake stand. Spread some of the buttercream (approximately half) onto the sponge.

Spread half the buttercream onto the bottom layer of sponge.

Spread half the buttercream onto the bottom layer of sponge.

2) Turn the top layer of sponge over and spread a couple of spoonfuls of jam onto the cake. Then flip this back over and carefully place it onto the bottom layer of sponge.

Spread jam onto the sponge.

Spread jam onto the sponge.

Sandwich the two layers of sponge together.

Sandwich the two layers of sponge together.

3) Again, you could now just dust the top of the cake with sifted icing sugar but we’re going to go all out here! Spread a thin layer of buttercream over the top of the cake. It helps if you have a palette knife as it will give you a nice smooth surface but this isn’t essential and you can just use a normal table knife instead.

Spread a thin layer of buttercream on top of the cake.

Spread a thin layer of buttercream on top of the cake.

4) Next, choose which sprinkles you would like to use and scatter these in the centre of the buttercream you just spread on the cake. You don’t need to put the sprinkles right up to the edge of the cake as we are going to pipe some buttercream swirls.

Add your sprinkles of choice to the centre of the cake.

Add your sprinkles of choice to the centre of the cake.

5) Now we are going to add swirls of buttercream to finish off the cake. For this, you will need a piping bag (I tend to use disposable ones from Lakeland) and a large star piping nozzle. Snip a hole in the bottom of the piping bag and add the nozzle. Then fill the bag with the remaining buttercream. A tip for making this easier is to place your piping bag, with nozzle already inserted, into a tall glass. Push the top of the piping bag over the edge of the glass then fill with buttercream. Pipe swirls of buttercream around the edge of the cake and it is now complete!

Finished Victoria sponge cake.

Finished Victoria sponge cake.

6) Slice and enjoy!

Enjoy your delicious cake!

Enjoy your delicious cake!

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