Learn how to make a classic Victoria sponge, the perfect cake for family get-togethers, birthdays or a big cup of afternoon tea.
This quintessential English teatime treat consists of a light vanilla-infused sponge cake sandwiched together with a soft buttercream and jam filling and finished with a light dusting of icing sugar. Said to have been a favourite of Queen Victoria, this classic sponge remains the most popular cake sold in National Trust tea rooms. A Victoria sponge should be light and fluffy. The key to this is in the mixing. Don’t be heavy handed. Fold the flour in gently to trap in air. Another good tip is to have your ingredients at room temperature, especially the eggs, as this will help the yolks and whites combine more easily for an even bake.
- 3 medium eggs
- 175g (6oz) butter, softened
- 175g (6oz) caster sugar
- 175g (6oz) self-raising flour
- 142ml carton double cream
- 4-6 level tablespoons raspberry jam
- caster sugar, for dredging
- 2 x 18cm (7in) round sandwich tins, greased and base lined with baking parchment
Tip all the ingredients into a bowl and beat until smooth. Divide mixture between the sandwich tins and level the surfaces.
Bake the cakes in the centre of a preheated oven – 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 for 20-25 mins, or until the cakes have risen and are golden, and spring back when lightly pressed in the centre.
Remove the cakes from the oven and leave them to cool in the tins for 5-10 mins, then turn them out on to a wire rack and leave them to cool completely.
Spread the jam over the base of one of the cakes. Lightly whip the double cream and spread it over the base of the other cake. Sandwich the two cakes together. Dredge with caster sugar before serving.
The unfilled Victoria sponge cakes can be packed in freezer bags and frozen for up to 3 months. Allow to defrost before filling.
Top tips for making Victoria sponge
Making a perfect Victoria sponge cake is all about practising and sticking to the recipe. If you get all your ingredients out beforehand to measure and prep, this will make the mixing process so much easier and you can keep tabs on what’s going in too so you don’t miss any ingredients out.
It also gives your ingredients a chance to get to room temperature like your eggs and butter as these bake better when at the same temp.
To get perfect measurements, weigh the eggs, and then use the same weight for each of the caster sugar, butter and flour.
When it comes to mixing its all about taking your time and not overdoing it. Over mixing can make your mixture separate or create too many air pockets so you’ll have lots of holes in your sponge after baking.
Another trick is to make sure the baking tins are greased. Even if they are non-stick tins, we’d recommend giving them a light rub with butter or spray with oil. Take off any excess otherwise it’ll make the outside of your Victoria sponge burn. Greasing your tins properly will make sure the cake slides gently out of the tins. You might want to run a knife around the edge of the cake too when it comes out of the oven to loosen it.
Victoria sponge cakes are often light and fluffy. Creaming the butter and sugar together before folding the dry ingredients is the best way to achieve this, especially if you don’t have an electric whisk. Our recipe is all in one method which means all the ingredients are added to the bowl and mixed together with an electric whisk.
You can still achieve a fluffy sponge as you’re using an electric whisk which helps to add air to the mix. If you’re making your sponge with no electric mixture then opt for the creaming method instead.