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Maggie Monday: Victoria Sponge Cake

Growing up, I always lived hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away from my grandparents. Every year, from the time I was 6 until 16, my brother and I would fly back to Ohio where both sets of grandparents lived and spend 1-2 weeks visiting. We visited late July in 1981 and while I do not remember much specific about that visit (they all run together in my memory), I do remember getting up with my grandmother to watch the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and Diana.  I was not a royal fan or particularly an Anglophile, and as a pre-teen boy, really not interested in weddings or love stories, but I had a sense of the importance of the occasion, and woke up early to watch it live. As it is Monday, it must be Maggie. She has her own Royal Wedding story to tell…

One year ago I was in London for a week. Work called me there, and it just happened to be the week of the Royal Wedding. I know. Lucky me. I got great pictures of the wedding procession, and I am sure William waved to me and me alone.

In my defense, my trip was scheduled BEFORE the Palace announced the date for the big day. I have traveled to London many times, and have a love for the city. I often wish I was British. I love so many things about the culture and the country. And yes, I do believe British food gets a bad rap. There are many wonderful dishes- (mostly desserts) that are crave-able.  My dear friend Charlotte introduced me to the classic Victoria Sponge. We had our own little wedding celebration with another friend. It seems that this is the British go-to celebration cake. It is so pretty and summery. When this cake is on the table, it quietly and simply states  “I don’t mean to crow, but look at me all proper and lovely for your Afternoon Tea!”

The cake itself is a bit dry (as sponge cakes tend to be) but the use of plenty of jam and whipped cream makes it a great combination. Splurge on really good jam, or use homemade jam if you have some. And take the time to whip your own cream. Don’t skimp here. This cake needs the richness of fresh whipped cream. It is easy an only takes a few minutes.

Happy 1st Anniversary William and Kate!

Victoria Sponge Cake

What you need:

Cake

½ cup butter, at room temperature

1cup sugar- (superfine or Castor is best, but can use granulated)

4 eggs

2 cups cake flour

2t baking powder

Pinch of salt

1t vanilla extract

4T milk

Berry and Whipped Cream Filling:

4T jam (I prefer seedless raspberry, but strawberry is traditional)

2 cups fresh berries- raspberries or sliced strawberries

1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream (if you can get your hands on double Devon cream use this instead. It is so much better, but hard to come by in the U.S. L)

2T superfine or Castor sugar (again, granulated will work, but I prefer superfine)

Garnish

Whipped cream, berries, powdered or granulated sugar

What you do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 2 round 8” cake pans. Line bottoms of pans with parchment, then butter the parchment.

In a bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt with a whisk.

In a larger bowl, or preferably in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the vanilla. Next add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each egg. Slowly begin adding the flour mixture, keeping the mixer on low until well blended. Now begin adding the milk about one tablespoon at a time, until it is completely mixed into the batter. You’ll need to be scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula often. The batter will be quite thick, almost like dough- this is not as thin as most cake batters. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans, spreading it with the spatula. Since the batter is thick, you’ll really need to do this carefully, and make sure you have it spread evenly in the pans or your cakes could be a bit wonky. Bake for about 20 minutes- until a pick comes out clean and the cakes just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. They will be golden brown. Place pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes or so. Then remove cakes from pans and place them, bottoms down, on the rack to cool completely.

Now start on the filling. Chill the mixing bowl in which you plan to whip the cream in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Whip the cream adding the sugar, until it forms nice, soft peaks.

Place one cake, top down, on your cake plate. Leaving about a one inch border, spread with 4 tablespoons of the jam, then place fresh berries (reserving a few for garnish and serving)over the jam.

Next spread about half of the whipped cream on top of the berries and jam.Place the second cake layer, right (rounded) side up on top of the whipped cream and berries. Press it gently just so the filling begins to reach the edge of the cake. Place a bit of jam and a few berries on top, and sprinkle with powdered or granulated sugar.

You can also “frost” it with the extra whipping cream if you think the whole cake will be consumed at first serving. If not, just use the sprinkled sugar garnish, and have the whipping cream and more jam on hand to garnish individual servings.

Refrigerate leftovers.

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Categories: Baking, Dessert, English, Fruit, kosher, Recipes, Vegetarian

Author:The Ranting Chef

Check out the best recipes at rantingchef.com

45 Comments on “Maggie Monday: Victoria Sponge Cake”

  1. April 30, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    This looks yummy I wish I could have some.

  2. April 30, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    Being British, I can whole-heartedly agree this is our ‘go-to’ cake of choice! It is the typical birthday cake that we decorate in different ways depending on the person. If people like chocolate, we simply exchange a bit of flour for cocoa powder. Although I must admit I’ve never had fresh fruit in one before – and only fresh cream inside on very rare occasions (usually butter icing/frosting) – but these sound like delicious additions! Have you ever heard of Mary Berry – she’s the Queen of British baking. Have a ‘google’ of her and you’ll find lots and lots of delicious cake recipes!! Hooray for the Royal Wedding – we got married last year too so I was very emotional watching their vows :)

  3. Me :)
    April 30, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    I like it with both buttecream and whipped cream, the fresh cream adds a little more luxury but the buttercream does keep a little better so is better for cake sales etc :)

  4. April 30, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    I L-O-V-E London, too and this cake looks perfect for Spring. Maybe Mom’s Day celebrations….thanks for sharing!

  5. April 30, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    Who doesn’t wish they were British?! :) This looks extremely delicious. I would quite like a slice for breakfast.

  6. April 30, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story. :)

  7. April 30, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    Simple and delicious. Brilliant darling…

  8. April 30, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    Thanks for posting! I am an Anglophile and proud of it. I’ve been celebrating their first anniversary all weekend. :-)

  9. CAFelegi
    April 30, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    This looks like it would also be delightful for a Mother’s Day cake :-) Thank you for the recipe!

  10. April 30, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    I agree..some British food is underrated :P There are some lovely British classics that can become phenomenal if you cook them right and sometimes even better if you dare to add your own twist!
    As a fan of Victoria Sponge..I am definitely going to try your recipe..can’t wait!

  11. April 30, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    Yummmmmmm…

  12. April 30, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    I’m pretty sure I saw a movie or an episode of something British that revolved around a person winning ribbons for her Victoria Sponge but she was actually buying out of town on the day of the competition. They take their Victoria Sponge cake very seriously.

    • May 1, 2012 at 6:32 am #

      You’re thinking of “Calender Girls” when Helen Mirren’s character goes to Marks and Spencer (another British institution) to get a cake for a competition and wins. She and her friends from the Women’s Institute later pose naked for a (very tasteful) calender to raise funds for a memorial for one of their husbands. It’s a true story too.

      • May 1, 2012 at 10:20 am #

        Ah yes, that was it. Good movie.

  13. April 30, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    That looks so delicious! Of course, they don’t usually contain whipped cream – but it works so well. Nice cake :D

  14. April 30, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    yum, yum, and double yum!

  15. Juliet
    April 30, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

    Beautiful cake! It looks delish! Thanks for sharing. :0)

  16. madamecroquette
    April 30, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    Looks awesome, I’m going to try this at madamecroquette.wordpress.com!

  17. WillowCottageGardeners
    April 30, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    I love a Victoria sponge. I make them often. I have even made one for the village summer fayre, where 30 identical sponges line up for judging (I am yet to win). Your sponge looks very tasty! I was taught that to make a Victoria sponge you always use equal amounts of egg, flour, sugar and butter. The best ones are really accurate and weigh the eggs and then match the other weights to this! I don’t do that…maybe that’s why I don’t win the baking compettion!

  18. April 30, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    That looks really yummy. That layer of whipped cream seems absolutely tempting. Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

  19. April 30, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

    This sponge looks great! Even for an American ;-) Victoria sponge is one of my favourite afternoon tea cakes, perfect with a cup of tea. Buttercream is used traditionally to fill it but I think cream works better sometimes. Love the addition of the raspberries too. Perfect. :-)

    Take a look at my blog, Tea and Cake: http://www.iloveteaandcake.com
    This is my royal wedding blog, which going by this post, you will enjoy: http://www.aroyalweddingblog.blogspot.com

  20. April 30, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    You never fail to impress. Sensational looking cake. Congrats!

  21. April 30, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

    Yum!

  22. April 30, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

    What a coincidence, I also made a victoria sponge today! Although mine was low fat and featured a secret ingredient (blog to follow soon!). Maggies looks utterly fab – yay for the sponge cake!

  23. April 30, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    There’s nothing quite as good as a freshly made Victoria sponge. I’m not sure why you mentioned leftovers! :)

  24. April 30, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    This looks superb! Although a true Victoria Sponge is filled with only raspberry jam and dusted with icing sugar, this looks absolutely yummy, the combination of the whipped cream and jam, ummmmmmm I like it!! :D

  25. April 30, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    This sounds wonderful, especially since strawberries are my FAVORITE fruit. I need to make this for my British coworker!

  26. April 30, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    uhm…which means, of course, that I would be using strawberries instead of raspberries here…just thought I’d clarify that, since I forgot it in my comment. LOL

  27. April 30, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

    it looks so good! I’m kinda new to sponge-cake making, i think i will try to do that, thank you for your recipe!!

  28. April 30, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    Nice recipe with great instructions. Thank you!

  29. April 30, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

    Lovely cake. Who could resist whipped cream, jam and berries? Simple is sometimes the most impressive.

  30. April 30, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

    Growing up British , I must admit it is one of my favorites…and yes, British food does not get the credit it deserves.

  31. April 30, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

    This sounds fab. I love sponge cake!
    Another good use for sponge is trifle.YUM!!

  32. May 1, 2012 at 2:02 am #

    This looks delicious! It’s got everything needed to be 1st on my tasty treat list, Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  33. Frugal City Girl
    May 1, 2012 at 2:19 am #

    My favourite memory of the royal wedding is waking up at 8:30 on the first day of a four-day weekend, going to my local pub and being able to start drinking beer on tap at 9am. What a jolly day that was!

  34. May 1, 2012 at 4:02 am #

    Yummy It is… :)

  35. May 1, 2012 at 6:15 am #

    It’s always good to see an American appreciating British cuisine. You’re right, we do get a bad rap for it and we’re not all about chips and gravy. We do have some yummy foody traditions in this country, and it is well displayed in a good Victoria sponge. If you can, try and order Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain – it’s an amazing book celebrating our multicultural heritage and all of our great dishes that have been influenced by years of history, such as Indian influence (everyone loves a good picallily!) There’s a good mention of my favourite place, Leigh-on-Sea and our amazing seafood as well!

    Great blog, loving your work! Thanks for liking my post otherwise I might not have found it!

  36. May 1, 2012 at 6:40 am #

    Hi there, I make my sponges using the ‘all in one’ method. You use the same ingredients and quantities but just whisk it all at together once. Strangely I seem to get better results this way, though it’s certainly not the proper thing. My mother makes her cakes this way and they are always light and fluffy. She spent her career as a domestic science teacher in secondary schools so she’s made a few Victoria Sponges in her time. Every time we make one she harks back to an experiment they once did at school where they tested lots of different types of fat in sponge cakes i.e. butter versus soft margarine versus hard, block margarine. Trouble is, she can’t remember the outcome…. One day we’ll have to repeat it and commit the result to blog. Thanks for stopping by to see me. I enjoyed reading this entry about the Royal Wedding, it was a great day, even far away in the North East.

  37. May 1, 2012 at 7:52 am #

    I nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award :)

  38. May 1, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    Well I am a Brit. Not particularly good at baking, but love eating! This looks scrumptious (a very British word!)
    I invite you to check out our selection of Mother’s Day Gifts at http://www.pierotucci.com/accessories/gift_ideas/

  39. May 2, 2012 at 8:45 am #

    I love visiting London! And I must try this cake! Putting it on my list of things to bake this summer (as soon as the strawberries come in)! Thanks! — debbi

  40. May 3, 2012 at 5:46 am #

    The sponge cake looks scrumptious, but I’m still laughing at what the “pre-teen” boy was not interested in. :)

  41. May 3, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    A classic cake. Timeless, simple, delicious. Well done for mastering the art of the Victoria Sponge :)

  42. May 4, 2012 at 6:08 am #

    Very British :-) The recipe sounds really good and the cake looks delicious!
    I “unfortunately” love all sweets :-) – especially cakes! Thanks!

    Greetings from Germany,
    Sunelly Sims

  43. calmyourbeans
    May 4, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    Reblogged this on calmyourbeans.

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