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the best victoria sponge cake recipe

the best victoria sponge cake recipe

the best victoria sponge cake recipe

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the best victoria sponge cake recipe

A Victoria sponge cake (or a “Vicky” sponge, as a beloved British friend calls it) is a traditional, everyday English treat, best served at teatime. It is so easy to make that, despite its two layers, Americans might even refer to it as a “snacking cake” and serve it whenever a cake craving hits, be it during the afternoon with a cup of tea, or not. I quite like it for casual celebrations or after an intimate dinner party; and yes, a slice is excellent for breakfast, as well.

The cake, often referred to as a “sandwich,” is named after Queen Victoria herself, who legend has it did indeed enjoy a slice every day at 4:00 p.m. Typically, raspberry jam and whipped “double cream,” the U.K.’s slightly thicker version of American heavy cream, are spread between its two layers. The cake is finished with nothing more than a generous dusting of confectioners’ sugar, just like so many of its simple snacking cake brethren.

the best victoria sponge cake recipe
the best victoria sponge cake recipe

A Victoria sponge cake

A proper Vicky sponge, not unlike an American pound cake, requires that its eggs (shells and all), butter, sugar, and flour all weigh about the same amount. Self-rising (or “raising” to the Brits) flour is called for, due to its ease of use; though Mary Berry uses a touch of baking powder as well, and I—of course—felt compelled to follow suit. That said, we did part ways when it came to flavoring the cake. I added a little vanilla to the batter, notwithstanding the fact that it is traditionally omitted, and I fear Ms. Berry would not approve.

This cake is named after Queen Victoria and goes by the names Victoria Sponge or a Victoria Sandwich Cake. They say Queen Victoria was very fond of serving this cake at Afternoon Tea. Almost every British baking book I looked through has a recipe for this cake. The word “Sandwich” in “Victoria Sandwich” is referring to ‘sandwiching’ the two layers of cake with jam and sometimes whipped cream. Traditionally you decorate the top of the cake with just a sprinkling of caster or powdered sugar.  

Although this cake is called a ‘sponge’ cake, it is more like a pound cake in taste and texture. The original instructions for making this cake were actually very easy to remember. It went like this: Weigh your eggs (in the shell). Whatever their weight, use an equal weight of butter, sugar, and self raising flour.  The recipe given here is pretty close to the original, although I slightly reduced the sugar. And to make things easier for those who use cup measurements, I have given both weight and cup measurements.

Traditionally this cake is filled with either raspberry or strawberry jam. You could use other flavors of jam or you could even fill the cake with lemon curd or even a chocolate hazelnut spread. Another idea during the Summer is to use fresh berries. Adding a layer of whipped cream is optional, although it is how I like it.

An English Tradition

A Victoria Sponge was the favorite sponge cake of Queen Victoria, and has since become a tried-and-true recipe for tea-time sponge cakes. Victoria Sponges are generally filled with jam, and are undecorated on the top, but you can serve each piece with a dollop of whipped cream, or shake some powdered sugar over the top if you’d like.

This simple cake is an English classic. You just need eggs, butter, flour, sugar and your favorite jam. The Victoria Sponge Cake was named after Queen Victoria. Around four o’clock the Queen would have tea with bread and butter since dinner was served later in the evening. She would invite friends over for the afternoon which became quite an event. The menus started to get more creative and this simple sweet sponge cake became her favorite.

A Traditional Victoria Sponge Cake consists of jam and double whipped cream sandwiched between two sponge cakes.  Typically the top of the cake is not iced or decorated but dusted with powdered sugar. If I am serving an afternoon tea I only dust it with powdered sugar.

the best victoria sponge cake recipe
the best victoria sponge cake recipe


  • 160g unsalted butter, softened
  • And, 160g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 160g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100ml double cream
  • 125g strawberry jam
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar, for dusting


Pre-heat the oven to gas 3, 170°C, fan 150°C. Grease and line 2 x 8 inch (20cm) springform cake tins with nonstick baking paper.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, vanilla extract and sugar using an electric hand held whisk until light and fluffy. Add the lightly beaten egg a tablespoon at a time, beating well between additions, until fully incorporated. Carefully fold the flour in using a large metal spoon and spoon the batter evenly into the two prepared cake tins.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until springy to the touch and a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cakes. Remove and allow the tins to cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before turning out and peeling away the nonstick baking paper.

Whip the cream to soft peaks as the cakes cool, then spread the bottom half of the cake with the cream in an even layer. Spread the strawberry jam evenly and carefully on top of the cream. Sandwich the cake with the other half of the cake and transfer it carefully to a serving plate. Dust with the icing sugar and serve.

 Why is a Victoria Sponge Cake called a Victoria Sponge Cake?

It was named after Queen Victoria as she used to enjoy a slice with her afternoon tea. It is also known as a Victoria Sandwich Cake, and it is famous for being the cake to test your oven with. In the Great British Bake Off, a Victoria Sponge Cake is made in all of the ovens before the contestants start baking. This type of cake became popular when baking powder was invented, giving it a lovely rise and soft sponge like texture.

The creaming method or the all in one method?

If you’re not familiar with these terms, the creaming method refers to adding ingredients one at a time and mixing between additions. For example, making a sponge cake by first mixing the butter and sugar together, then adding eggs and mixing them in, then adding flour and mixing that in. The all in one method is adding all of the ingredients in the bowl together and only mixing them together once.

I personally recommend the creaming method as it gives you a chance at each stage to ensure everything is well mixed together, which in turn adds air and lightness to the batter. You can also be more vigorous with your mixing when adding the eggs to ensure they are well incorporated, but then more gentle when adding the flour so as not to knock any air out of the batter. This results in a beautifully well risen sponge.

the best victoria sponge cake recipe
the best victoria sponge cake recipe

Victoria Sponge Cake Recipe


  • 12 tablespoons/170 grams unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened, more for greasing pan
  • 1 ⅓ cups/166 grams all-purpose flour
  • 3 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons/175 grams granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • ½ cup/120 milliliters raspberry jam, more to taste
  • 1 cup/240 milliliters heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar, more for dusting
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and place a rack in the center.So, Grease and line the bottoms of two 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, then beat in milk, scraping down sides of the bowl as necessary. Mix in flour mixture until combined, then scrape into prepared cake pans, smoothing the top.
  4. Bake cakes until golden brown and springy, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, then unmold them onto a wire rack to cool completely, flat side down.
  5. Transfer one cake (the less attractive one) to a serving platter, and spread jam evenly on top. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla just until it holds stiff peaks. Dollop about half the cream on top of jam, then top with remaining cake. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately, with the extra whipped cream on the side.
the best victoria sponge cake recipe
the best victoria sponge cake recipe

Victoria Sandwich Cake with Buttercream

This Victoria Sandwich Cake with Buttercream takes the simple traditional jam filled sponge cake and adds just a little something extra.Moreover, Just as wonderful with a cup of tea or as a celebration centerpiece, you’ll come back to this classic recipe time and time again!


  • 280 g Margarine
  • 280 g Caster Sugar (Superfine Sugar)
  • 5 Egg
  • 4 tbsp Milk
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 280 g Self Raising Flour (Self-Rising)

Filling & Topping

  • 160 g Icing Sugar (Confectioner’s Sugar)
  • 80 g Salted Butter
  • 1 tbsp  Milk
  • 150 g Strawberry Jam
  • 1 tsp Icing Sugar (Confectioner’s Sugar)for dusting


Preheat the oven to 160c or the equivalent.
Line 2 cake tins with liners or butter and flour the tins.

Make the Sponge

  • Weigh 280g Margarine and 280g Caster Sugar into a large mixing bowl.  Beat together until light and creamy.
  • Add the first of 5 Eggs.
  • Give the batter a good whisk between each egg addition.
  • Add the next egg and repeat until all the eggs have been added. Don’t worry if it starts to split and look a bit ugly – just keep beating it!
  • Add 4 tbsp Milkand1 tbsp Baking Powder then whisk to combine.
  • Add 280g Self Raising Flour
  • Fold this into the batter by hand until just combined.
  • Split the mixture between the two tins and spread out to even layers.
  • Bake for 20 minutes then check if it is done by inserting a skewer into the centre. if it comes out clean, it is cooked. If needed, give the cakes another couple of minutes then check until it is done.
  • Leave the sponges to cool on a rack. Leave them in the tin at first unless you used liners in which case it should be easy to lift them out still in the paper and onto the rack.
  • Wait until the sponges are totally cold before filling and icing.

Make the Buttercream & Assemble

  • Make the buttercream by sieving 160g Icing Sugar into a large bowl and adding 80g Butterwith 1 tbsp Milk.
  • Whisk for 5 or so minutes until it is light and fluffy.
  • Lay the flattest of the two sponges onto your presentation plate. If you have a large dome, simply slice it off to to make a flat base.
  • Spread 150g Strawberry Jam over the sponge. Use a spatula to spread the jam – don’t go too close to the edges because gravity will do that work for you later.
  • Either use a piping bag or simply dollop the buttercream on top of the jam. Either way, I find that smaller dollops more evenly spread is the best option. Moreover, Again don’t go too close to the edge.
  • Put the second sponge on top. Be gentle! Use a small sieve to dust the top with 1 tsp Icing Sugar
  • Serve in great hunking slices with a cup of tea. In a cup and saucer obviously!


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