Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Victoria Sandwich Cake


I always think of a Victoria sandwich cake as a summer cake. I associate it with strawberries, warm weather, cups of tea, eating in the garden, and when I saw the "Pick Your Own Strawberries" sign go up at our local PYO farm, I started thinking about jam and cake straightaway. Traditionally the two sponge layers are sandwiched together with jam, often with whipped cream as well, sometimes fresh fruit - soft berry fruits work best - but I had a jar of lemon curd in the fridge that needed eating up and discovered that this cake is excellent with a lemony, creamy centre.

Also, I tried a new way of making Victoria sponge at the weekend and it worked so well, seriously, the best sponge I've ever made, that I'm totally converted and will make it this way every time from now on. You weigh the eggs first, then use the equivalent weight of butter, sugar and flour in your mixture. I've seen this done a few times on cookery programmes and in a couple of recipe books but was quite happy with my tried and tested "6, 6, 6 & 3"* method. But no, this is better, for flavour and texture.

You need:
  • 3 eggs - at room temperature ideally.
  • Butter, softened.
  • Caster sugar.
  • Self raising flour, or plain flour with one teaspoon of baking powder.
  • Jam, a couple of large tablespoons.
  • About 150ml whipping cream.

The 3 eggs could weigh anywhere around 170 to 210 grams or 6 to 7½ ounces depending on the size of the eggs, just to give you a rough idea of the sort of amounts of butter, sugar and flour you'll need. 

To make:
  • Pre-heat your oven to 170°C or 340°F.
  • Grease and line two 18cm/7" round, loose-bottomed baking tins.
  • Weigh your eggs, still in their shells.
  • Weigh the equivalent amount of butter and sugar, and put these into your mixing bowl.
  • Weigh the self raising flour the same way and put to one side.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy - I use my mixer for this but you could use a hand mixer, or your own arms if you're muscular than me.
  • Crack the eggs in one at a time, adding a tablespoonful of flour between each egg.
  • Then add the rest of the flour and mix together until just combined. Don't over mix.

At this stage you could also add some vanilla extract, if you like, and a couple of tablespoons of milk just to give a runnier batter. I didn't use either - I quite liked the purist feel of only four ingredients. Also, for a lemon curd-filled cake, you could add some lemon zest to the mixture but again, I didn't. The contrast of the plain, buttery sponge and the tangy filling worked beautifully as it was.

  • Divide the mixture between your two tins, smoothing the top flat with the back of a spoon.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cake comes away from the sides of the tin slightly and a skewer comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool on a rack before assembling.


  • When it's quite cold, add the filling. Jam is the traditional choice. I like raspberry or strawberry. I don't usually buy such expensive jam as this but I think that when the cake filling is jam - and you've already gone to so much effort - then buy good jam. Or make your own!


  • Put your bottom layer of sponge on a cake stand or plate and spread with jam.
  • Softly whip some cream and spread that on top of the jam.
  • Carefully place the other piece of sponge on top and sprinkle with caster sugar.


  • Or swap the jam for lemon curd, it's up to you.


It is a cake best eaten freshly made, on the day it's baked ideally. The inclusion of fresh cream makes it quite a special occasion cake, not an every day tray bake that will keep in a tin for a week (not that any cake lasts for a week in this house), and it works nicely as a pudding. If you choose to add cream to the cake you'll need to eat it within two days and store it in the fridge, remembering to remove if from the fridge half an hour before eating so it can come up to room temperature. Fridge-cold cake doesn't taste half as nice.


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* Your standard sponge cake recipe: 6 oz butter, 6 oz sugar, 6 oz flour and 3 eggs. Or 4, 4, 4 and 2, or 8, 8, 8 and 4, depending on the size of cake you are making. It can, of course, be translated into metric but it's easier to remember in imperial. This is about the only time I think in imperial weights when cooking.

46 comments:

  1. I am now hankering after cake...!
    I've used both the methods you mentioned, and I have to agree the weighing of the eggs way I preferred too. Now do I head to the kitchen now or a bit later on hmmm.... :-)

    BH x

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  2. I've heard the weighing of the eggs method before but never used it. The cake looks delicious.

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  3. Victoria Sponge is my favourite cake. I would never have thought of trying it with lemon curd. You cake looks as delicious as you said it tasted.
    June

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  4. Oh my this looks delicious!! The idea of lemon curd really appeals thanks for sharing xo

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  5. I want me some of that, or quite a lot of that. May just try out that method, too.Holly.x

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  6. Definitely a summer cake. I made one for George's birthday almost a year ago and filled it with homemade strawberry jam and clotted cream. Proper lovely it was.

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  7. The sponge with lemon curd in looks DELICIOUS!!!! One to try for me. I ALWAYS make my sponges by weighing the eggs first and then putting the same amount of flour, eggs and butter, works everytime. I was so fed up of making a sponge and it being so thin, but that never happens now. One to try is to make the bater mix, 3/4 fill a cupcake case with the batter, place a heaped teaspoon of lemon curd on top and then bake. The lemon curd sinks to the middle and you get a nice surprise when you eat them. I've named them Lemon Sunshine Surprises', as that's exactly what they taste like. Give it a go x

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  8. About 50 years ago - when I was very young our next door neighbour made the best ever cakes. She used this method on the old type of scales, she put the eggs on the weights side and weighed the rest of the ingredients to match onto the pan side. I've always used this method, it makes fab fairy/butterfly cakes as well.
    I've just finished the last bit of lemon drizzle cake so I think I'll make one of these for the cake tin!
    Thanks for the inspiration and for jogging a few happy memories.

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  9. Yes indeedy, very summery. I made one with homemade strawberry jam and cream (plus fresh strawberries and cream on top)on Sunday using a slightly different to normal method, too. According to Dan Leppard, adding some of the flour when creaming the butter and sugar is a very old technique which makes the texture slightly more moist as it helps the fat and sugar emulsify better before the eggs are added. No idea if it made any difference as the cake was whisked away by someone who needed to give it as a birthday cake.

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  10. Looks absolutely yummy in both versions! Wondering if I have time to make one for supper tonight! Probably not, sadly but may be tomorrow. Going to try your egg-weighing method when I do. E x

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  11. Oh yes! That lemon curd spilling out... I'll have an extra big slice please. Hazel x

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  12. Of course, I meant Dan Lepard with just one 'p'!

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  13. Delicious. I LOVE lemon curd, it's one of my absolute favourite things. In fact I've got two lemons in the fruit bowl and I've been debating whether I've got time to turn them into lemon curd before I go on holiday on Saturday. Your sponge looks wonderful. Just right for summer I think.

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  14. both cakes looks absolutley delicious!!!!!!
    thanks for the recipe!
    have a nice day,
    regina

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  15. It looks delicious. I've never tried baking a sponge but I enjoy eating that type of cake very much.

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  16. Hi, I'm new to your blog, and this post is lovely. I do enjoy a good victoria sponge but have never tried the ingredients measured this way before. And glad to see someone else uses whipped cream - I posted about it here and thought I was rebelling against a classic! Was wondering what to make for a family gathering this weekend and think you have just answered my question!
    http://sevenhundredwordblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/from-all-books-ive-read.html

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  17. This cake looks delicious and so light and fresh for summer! I absolutely love lemon curd!

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  18. There really is only a one word response to that - yummy! the lemon curd addition instead of jam a great summer variation - Helen

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  19. I've never tried the egg weighing method but must give it a go. I usually use the Nigella all-in-one version in How to Eat which never fails. Unlike the cheesecake brownies I made today from a Sainsburys recipe which have turned out on the too damp side. Thanks for reminding me I have some lemon curd in the fridge which needs using up too! x

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  20. Oh my goodness... I simply adore Victoria sponge, oh the cream at the sides, it looks gorgeous. I like the idea of trying lemon curd instead of jam. Thanks for sharing the recipes too :) xx

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  21. Oh yummy ... must give this method a go ... I don't think I've ever heard of it before ... but I do love lemon curd on a sponge cake ... my little boy loves lemon on anything.... Bee xx

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  22. Well there's something I'm going to have to try this weekend! I love baking, and I love trying new techniques. Plus, I have an unopened jar of lemon curd waiting for a purpose - thanks for sharing and explaining so well! Chrissie x

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  23. My very favourite cake, never tried it with lemon curd, though it sounds delicious!

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  24. ohhhhh my gooooodness...guess what's getting made tomorrow!

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  25. It's interesting thinking about cooking weights and measures. I've always used "2oz per egg" for my cakes. Generally I bake in imperial measurements, I always have done, with the exception of making pizza dough which uses 500g of flour and I know how much water & oil etc to add to that. I use a lot of Lucy (attic24)'s recipes now and they are always in metric. I find metric frustrating to use particularly when it calls for 5g or 50g as my scales measure in 20g increments. I prefer imperial really! xx

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  26. Yummy and thanks for the easy recipe.

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  27. This looks delicious, very summery and very yummy! I think i will have to make one at the weekend and may just try your egg weighing method! It's something I've heard of but never tried my self. Jill x

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  28. I make my Victoria sponges this way, but I don't think they ever look this good!

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  29. YUM! I love sponge cakes, this one looks delicious.

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  30. Both cakes look absolutely delicious! And such gorgeous photography...
    M c

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  31. Hi Gillian,Mmmmm!!!Looks so yummy!!!Anyway you want to put it together,it looks yummmmyyyy!!!
    Love
    AMarie

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  32. Lemon curd with marscapone rather than cream works a treat as well!

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  33. I have to admit I've never been a massive fan of traditional Victoria sponge - give me a lemon cake any day! With lemon curd it looks a better option though... Can I ask if there was a celebration, or was it just a two-cake weekend :)

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  34. I have to make a Vitoria Sponge for Mum to take back to Bristol today. I shall try this way as a change. I usually opt for Delia's all in one recipie, which always goes own well.

    You don't half take a good photo, lady!

    Leanne xx

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  35. That Victoria Sponge sounds wonderful, especially with the lemon curd filling! I love all that filling oozing out! finger-licking good!

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  36. Yeah I make my buns that way, the weight of one egg usually being around 70g for a small amount of bun mixture. I also add a splash of warm water from the kettle to my mixture (a tip from J's great Nana) and it really lightens the mixture and makes the sponge moist and fluffy.
    And.....I make butter cream icing to go in my V sponge, 50g butter creamed with 100g icing sugar, yumyum. You are making me want to stuff cake in my face now, naughty Gillian!!!xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  37. Ooh Y.U.M.M.Y - I could sooo go a piece of that right now!
    It looks truly scrumptious :-)
    xx

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  38. You just can't beat a little bit of Victoria Sponge- well maybe you can- A big bit of Victoria sponge! Jam and fresh cream, Jam and butter cream, lemon curd and any other variations are just so good. Thanks for sharing this recipe with weighing the eggs- must try it next time I make one:)

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  39. wow, lemon curd filling! I haven't had lemon curd for years! X

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  40. Yum Yum with jam, cream, lemon curd or a combination. Sounds great. Love the photos.

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  41. I've always failed with sponges - thanks for this, I'll give it a go! Looks sooooo delicious!!

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  42. I have also, (like pandchintz above) ALWAYS FAILED at sponges, but I'd love to master one, one day, so this recipe will definitely be getting a try.

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  43. I use this method too. The first time I did I was amazed at how well the cake came out. Now, with my own chooks, I find it even more useful as the lay such different sized eggs from really big!! to quite teeny (considering the size of Miss Speckledy, her eggs are weeny!)

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  44. Just wanted to say how much I'm enjoying your blog, thank you for sharing your life with us! Your cakes look gorgeous, our traditional family birthday cake always has cream, jam and strawberries in the middle and melted chocolate and smarties on top, yum! Completely agree with you that cream makes it seem more special some how.

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  45. that looks absolutely delicious!!!

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