I fell in love with Victoria sponge cake on a trip to Dublin. The cake itself was so deliciously light but I had a difficult time replicating its texture when I got home. Once I employed “self-raising” flour, a common ingredient in the UK, which contains baking powder and salt in the mix, I had a total victory! The traditional filling is whipped cream and jam with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar. I added some strawberries for flavor, texture, and decoration along with some edible flowers.
Heidi’s floral jam inspired me to make this classic Victoria Sponge Cake with layers of her jam, Chantilly Cream (sweetened whipped cream) and perfectly fresh strawberries. Along the way I end up making homemade butter (not planned!) and throw a little backyard gathering for some neighbors.
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Victoria Sponge Cake Ingredients
Before we dive in to the recipe, a quick note on a few of the ingredients.
Butter, Softened: Your butter needs to be at room temperature. If you’ve forgotten to soften it before you make the recipe, I have a YouTube video that details 5 ways to soften butter quickly! You’re welcome.
Superfine sugar: Superfine sugar is granulated sugar that is processed to be finer crystals. In Europe, it is known as caster sugar; and in the United States, it is often labeled as baker’s sugar. I call for it in recipes when the sugar needs to dissolve quickly into the solution of the cake batter. If you can’t find it in a store, you can easily make your own. And I have a YouTube video to show you how to do it.
- 1 cup (220g) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp (220g) superfine sugar make your own
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 1 3/4 cups (220g) self-raising flour
- 12 oz (340 grams) strawberries, thinly sliced plus whole strawberries with stems left on for decorating
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp lime zest
- 1 pinch ground pink peppercorns optional
- 1/2 cup (65 grams) store-bought jam
- confectioners' sugar for dusting
- edible flowers for decorating optional
- whole pink peppercorns for decorating optional
- 2 cups (480 milliliters) heavy whipping cream
- 1 tbsp confectioners' sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (65 grams) store-bought jam
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Generously grease two 8 x 3-inch (20 x 8-centimeter) round cake pans, then line them with greased parchment paper.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on high speed until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute.
- Turn the mixer speed to medium-low, add the superfine sugar and vanilla to the butter, and mix until incorporated. Then turn the speed to medium-high and beat until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Turn the speed to low and add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined. Add one-third of the flour to the butter mixture and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Repeat with another one-third flour until just incorporated. Add the final one-third of the flour.
- Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Gently tap the pans on the counter several times to release excess air bubbles.
- Bake until the cakes are golden and a tester comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pans completely on a wire rack.
- In a medium bowl, toss together the thinly sliced strawberries, granulated sugar, lime zest, and pink peppercorns (if using). Allow to macerate until the sugar dissolves, about 15 minutes.
- Remove one cooled cake layer from its pan and place it on a serving plate.
- Spread the jam over the top of the cake, then cover the jam with a 1-inch (2.5-centimeter) layer of the chantilly cream. Distribute half the macerated strawberries over the chantilly cream.
- Place the second cake on the chantilly cream, then run a spatula along the side of the cake to ensure the filling stays within the cake layers.
- Dust the top generously with confectioners' sugar and decorate with strawberries, edible flowers (optional), and pink peppercorns (optional).
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla and beat on medium speed until just thick—it will start to leave marks from the whisk in the cream.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using the whisk attachment, continue whipping by hand for several seconds until the cream holds medium-stiff peaks. Fold in the jam. Doing so should thicken up the cream to stiff peaks. It should be fluffy, but stiff enough to hold the weight of the cake.
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