Fiona Cairns' Victoria sponge with summer berries recipe

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Cook along with Royal Baker Fiona Cairns as she shows us how to make this special Victoria sponge she's created for Marie Curie Cancer Care's Blooming Great Tea Party

Fiona Cairns’ Victoria sponge with summer berries
Serves16
SkillEasy
Preparation Time25 mins
Cooking Time35 mins
Total Time1 hours
Cost RangeMid

Cook along with Royal Baker Fiona Cairns as she shows us how to make this Victoria sponge with summer berries.

Fiona has packed this delicious sponge with three tiers of beautiful British summer fruits, separating fours layers of cake. It's a real showstopper, and feeds a good crowd of people. In fact, you can cut this cake into around 16-18 generous, tall pieces. Decorate it with ribbons, bunting, flags, flowers or extra fruit - whatever takes your fancy. In total, you only need around one hour to make it, plus cooling time. To make the four layers you will need to bake two 20cm sponges, which you slice in half to create four tiers.

Ingredients

For the sponge:

  • 350g unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing the tin
  • 350g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 350g golden caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling:

  • 600ml double cream
  • Icing sugar, to taste
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g strawberries
  • 300g raspberries
  • 300g blueberries

To decorate:

  • Little Union flags on cocktail sticks
  • 180cm 5mm-wide ribbon (or enough to wrap twice round your cake stand)
  • 1 roll double-sided sticky tape

WEIGHT CONVERTER

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Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4
  2. Take 2 x 20 cm sandwich tins. Butter the tins, and then line the bases with baking parchment. Line the sides with a 7cm high collar of baking parchment as well, to allow for the rise.
  3. For this sponge, I use an electric mixer and beater attachment, but use a food processor, or a bowl and an electric whisk, if you want.
  4. Sift the flour and the baking powder into the bowl, then add the butter (in knobs), the eggs, sugar and vanilla. Beat together until thoroughly blended, taking care not to over-mix, so you will have a light sponge. Scrape the batter into the tins and level the top.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cakes spring back to the touch or a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and leave for a couple of minutes, then run a knife around the rim to loosen the cake from the tin and turn out on to a wire rack. Peel off the paper and leave until completely cold.
  7. To make the filling, lightly whisk the double cream until just thickened and stir in the vanilla extract and icing sugar, if using. Make sure you save a few of each fruit to decorate the top of the cake. Take your Victoria sponges and split them horizontally. Spread the cream between each of the 4 layers (i.e. 3 layers of cream and the top). Next put your fruits on each layer, making sure that the fruits are visible towards the outer edges of each layer, so you can see the different colours.
  8. Place the cake on its stand. Arrange the remaining fruits on the top of the cake, and place the union jack flags over the top and attach the bunting around the cake stand with the sticky tape.

Top tip for making Fiona Cairns' Victoria sponge with summer berries

To make the your own bunting cut diamond shapes out of red, blue and white paper, then fold them in half over a piece of ribbon and glue the two sides together.

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