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mary berry victoria sponge with buttercream
The Victoria sponge cake (a.k.a. Victoria sandwich) was popular with both adults and children during Victorian high tea. Made with equal parts eggs, flour, sugar, and fat, plus baking powder, the Victoria sponge is basically made the same way as pound cake. And while the original Victoria sponge, as Queen Victoria would have it, only consists of two cake layers with a strawberry or raspberry jam center, most modern recipe variations also add a spread of buttercream.
Also, other than a dusting of caster sugar, the cake has no other decorations or icings. However, the cake has spread worldwide, and over the years, variations have developed, mainly regarding the filling. Some of those variations call for such fillings as lemon curd, cream and strawberries, apricot jam, whipped cream, and other flavored creams. Additionally, lemon and orange zest and/or juice are used to flavor the sponge.
- 4 large eggs
- 225 g caster sugar plus extra for sprinkling
- 225 g self-raising flour
- 1 level tsp baking powder
- 225 g unsalted butter softened
- 4 tbsp jam strawberry or raspberry
For the buttercream
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan and grease and line two 20cm/8in cake tins
Mix all the cake ingredients together
- Measure the sugar, flour, baking powder and butter into a mixing bowl. Break the eggs into a small bowl, then add to your mixture.
- Use a stand mixer or hand mixer to combine everything together until it’s well mixed. Stop once everything has mixed in and there are no more lumps of butter, don’t over mix it.
Bake your cakes
- Divide the mixture between each tin. We only have one 20cm tin so I used scales to make sure I was putting half in, baked it, then made the other. If you have two tins, put a spoon into each in turn until it’s divided evenly.
- Use a spatula to gently smooth the surface of the cake.
- Bake each cake on the middle shelf of your oven for 20-25 minutes. They’re done when they are golden brown and the edges are coming away from the tins.
- Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes in the tin before taking the cakes out the tins to cool further on a wire rack.
Make the buttercream
- Measure the butter and put in a large bowl. If it’s not soft blast it in the microwave for a few seconds (not long enough to melt it).
- Weigh the icing sugar then add some to your butter and beat together. Add the rest along with a table spoon of milk. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag, fitted with a large plain nozzle.
Assemble the cake
- Put one cake onto a serving plate, spoon the jam on top and spread it out. Pipe the buttercream on top.
- Place the other sponge on top, and sprinkle with caster sugar to serve.
Ingredients for Victoria Sandwich Cake
Please do not be tempted to substitute the butter for margarine in the buttercream part of the recipe. The butter texture is essential to this bit but do make sure the butter is softened before starting the mixing. (There is a vegan option however which I talk about below).
I have swapped between using granulated (regular) and caster (superfine) sugar in this recipe my whole life. I do generally keep caster sugar for baking and granulated for in my tea but you can really use either/or.
Do use whatever jam you prefer. If that’s pumpkin & ginger jam, then go for it! Lemon curd also work brilliantly too. Obviously I highly recommend using my Homemade Strawberry Jam.
mary berry lemon victoria sponge with buttercream
Mary Berry’s Lemon Victoria Sandwich recipe was specially commissioned by the GDST for the 140th anniversary of the Girls’ Day School Trust and appeared in issue 12/13 of Verve Magazine (also available online here).And Mary Berry is a GDST alumna, and all girls were given a postcard with the recipe to celebrate the Bake Off event (the final of which was just by one of the hosts of The Great British Bake Off, Mel Giedroyc – another GDST alumna!). I used to teach music at Central Newcastle High School which makes me an ‘Old Girl’, and as I love baking I just had to try out this recipe. If you make your own lemon curd, it will taste even better! I also added buttercream, which is not in the original recipe.
- 225g butter, softened
- 225g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 225g self-raising flour
- 2 level teaspoons baking powder
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- For the filling
- About 4 tbsp lemon curd
- 250g icing sugar, sifted (plus extra for dusting)
- 80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 25ml semi skimmed milk
- Finely grated zest of half a lemon
1. Lightly grease two 20cm loose bottomed sandwich tins and line the bases with a circle of non-stick baking parchment. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160F/Gas 4.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl. Beat the eggs and add the grated lemon zest and mix well. Pour the mix in a little at a time and mix well. Sift in the flour and baking powder and combine together. (Mary’s original recipe suggests using an electric whisk – put all ingredients into a bowl and beat for a couple of minutes).
3. Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins and level with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until well-risen and golden.
4. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for a few moments then run a blunt knife around the edge of the tins to free the sides of the cakes. Turn the cakes out, peel off the paper and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
5. As the cakes cool, make the buttercream by creaming together the butter and icing sugar. Add the milk and lemon zest and beat until smooth.
6. Choose the cake with the best top, then put the other cake top downwards on to a serving plate. Spread with the lemon curd and then the buttercream. Put the other cake on top and dust with icing sugar. Put the kettle on, cut a big slice and enjoy! If you’re not a fan of lemon, you could always try out my Classic Victoria Sponge. Either of these cakes are best enjoyed with a cuppa!
mary berry chocolate victoria sponge with buttercream
This easy-to-make and deliciously moist chocolate cake is our go-to recipe for any special occasion. The fluffy sponge is topped and sandwiched together with chocolate ganache, made with fresh double cream and melted chocolate. It also requires one extra special ingredient – apricot jam. This fruity spread is used to form a barrier between the cake and the icing, ensuring a smooth finish. Mary Berry told us: “When icing a cake with fondant, seal the top with apricot jam first to prevent crumb contamination.” This recipe will serve six people. It takes 50 minutes to prepare and bake.
- 3 large eggs
- 175g (6 oz) self-raising flour
- And, 175g (6 oz)caster sugar
- (6 oz) softened butter
- 1½ level tsp baking powder
- 40g (1½ oz) cocoa powder
- 4 tbsp boiling water
- 4 tbsp apricot jam
For the chocolate icing:
- 150ml (5fl oz) double cream
- 150g (5oz) plain chocolate, broken into pieces
- A little icing sugar, to serve
Special bakeware / equipment
- 2 x 17cm (7 in) deep sandwich tins, greased and lined with non-stick baking paper
- Electric whisk
Preheat the oven to 180C, gas 4. Beat together the eggs, flour, caster sugar, butter, and baking powder until smooth in a large mixing bowl.
Put the cocoa powder in a separate mixing bowl, and add the water a little at a time to make a stiff paste. Add to the cake mixture.
Turn into the prepared tins, level the top, and bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 mins, or until shrinking away from the sides of the tin and springy to the touch.
Leave to cool in the tin, then turn on to a wire rack to become completely cold before icing.
To make the icing: measure the cream and chocolate into a bowl and carefully melt over a pan of hot water over a low heat, or gently in the microwave for 1 min (600w microwave). Stir until melted, then set aside to cool a little and to thicken up.
To ice the cake: spread the apricot jam on the top of each cake. Spread half of the ganache icing on the top of the jam on one of the cakes, then lay the other cake on top, sandwiching them together.
Use the remaining ganache icing to ice the top of the cake in a swirl pattern. Dust with icing sugar to serve.
MARY’S VICTORIA SANDWICH WITH BUTTERCREAM RECIPE
For the final technical challenge Mary Berry asked the bakers to make this simple sponge with homemade jam and buttercream – without a recipe. We won’t be so unkind. Mary’s perfect Victoria sponge recipe with buttercream is yours. For this recipe you will need two 20cm/8in sandwich tins, an electric mixer and piping bag fitted with plain nozzle.
|4 large free-range eggs|
|225g/8oz caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling|
|225g/8oz self-raising flour|
|1 level tsp baking powder|
|225g/8oz unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing|
|250g/9oz jam sugar|
|100g/3½oz unsalted butter, softened|
|200g/7oz icing sugar, sifted|
|2 tbsp milk|
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease and line two 20cm/8in sandwich tins: use a piece of baking or silicone paper to rub a little baking spread or butter around the inside of the tins until the sides and base are lightly coated. Line the bottom of the tins with a circle of baking paper.
- Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl, add the sugar, flour, baking powder and soft butter. Mix everything together until well combined. Be careful not to over-mix – as soon as everything is blended you should stop. The finished mixture should be of a soft ‘dropping’ consistency.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the tins. Use a spatula to remove all of the mixture from the bowl and gently smooth the surface of the cakes.
- Place the tins on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Don’t be tempted to open the door while they’re cooking, but after 20 minutes do look through the door to check them.
- While the cakes are cooking, make the jam. Put the raspberries in a small deep-sided saucepan and crush them with a masher. Add the sugar and bring to the boil over a low heat until the sugar has melted. Increase the heat and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully pour into a shallow container. Leave to cool and set.
- The cakes are done when they’re golden-brown and coming away from the edge of the tins. Press them gently to check – they should be springy to the touch. Remove them from the oven and set aside to cool in the tins for 5 minutes. Then run a palette or rounded butter knife around the inside edge of the tin and carefully turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack.
- To take your cakes out of the tins without leaving a wire rack mark on the top, put the clean tea towel over the tin, put your hand onto the tea towel and turn the tin upside-down. The cake should come out onto your hand and the tea towel – then you can turn it from your hand onto the wire rack. Set aside to cool completely.
- For the buttercream, beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth. And, Add the remaining icing sugar and one tablespoon of the milk and beat the mixture until creamy and smooth. Add the remaining tablespoon of milk if the buttercream is too thick. Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle.
- To assemble, choose the sponge with the best top, then put the other cake top-down on to a serving plate. Spread with the jam then pipe the buttercream on top of the jam. Place the other sponge on top (top uppermost) and sprinkle with caster sugar to serve.