Victoria Sponge Cake
So I was having a little break at work, just scrolling through Facebook on my iPad when I see that Thekitchn have posted a beautiful cake picture, describing the Victoria Sponge Cake as the cake this summer because it’s so light and fluffy. Then they linked to several sponge cakes and I was immediately struck by The Saveur recipe which is essentially the classic Victoria Sponge Cake. I have been wanting an excuse to combine smooth strawberry jam and Devon clotted cream since my scone-eating days at University in the UK, so this seemed to be the perfect opportunity.
Looking at the ingredients of the Victoria Sponge Cake, it is evident that this is quite a no-fuss cake. No crazy ingredients, but simple, specific ones. I don’t think this cake would taste the same without the Devon Clotted / double cream for instance, and without really good strawberry jam. On the other hand the recipe does require quite a lot of beating time, and I’ve only used half this time and still achieved great results. I have also used an electric mixer as suggested, and since the recipe asks for high speed beating, I don’t think manual beating will achieve the same texture.
Recipe: (source: http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Victoria-Sponge-Cake-)
MAKES ONE 8″ CAKE
“This delicious cake, popular at afternoon teas in England, was named in honor of Queen Victoria.”
This line just makes the cake even more special
- 3⁄4 lb. plus 1 tbsp. salted European-style high-fat butter,
softened (I actually used unsalted Irish butter and this worked out well)
3 cups plus 1 tbsp. self-rising cake flour
- 1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar (just normal sugar)
1 1⁄4 cups double Devon cream (I used Devon clotted cream)
3⁄4 cup high-quality strawberry jam
Confectioners’ sugar (just normal icing sugar for dusting)
1. Preheat oven to 360º (Gas Mark 4/5). Grease two 2″-deep 8″ round cake pans with 1/2 tbsp. butter each. Dust each with 1/2 tbsp. flour; set aside.
2. Beat remaining butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed for 5 minutes. Add granulated sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Combine eggs and 6 tbsp. water in another bowl. Add half the egg mixture and half the flour to butter–sugar mixture. Beat well for 1–2 minutes. Add remaining egg mixture and flour; beat batter for 5 minutes.
3. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean, 35–40 minutes. Invert cakes onto a rack, remove pans, and let cool completely.
4. Beat cream in a medium bowl until stiff. Put 1 cake layer on a cake plate, spread top with half the jam, then cover jam with the cream. Spread top of remaining cake layer with remaining jam and place it, jam side down, on top of cream. Dust cake with confectioners’ sugar.
This is the cake the next day, still awesome but the cream was much softer
The only problem I had with this cake is the crazy hot weather that we had the day I made it. This is a definitely a cake that you have to make and serve immediately especially if you live in a warm climate. Apparently refrigerating sponge cakes dries them up, but also leaving the cake out of the fridge melts (or softens) the cream, especially in summer. I finished my cake in the evening and had a slice the following day. I did not refrigerate it because it wasn’t as hot at night. In the morning it was still delicious, although the cream did soften a bit. During the day I still had to put the cake in the fridge because it was just so hot.
BUT the taste.. oh my god! The cake tasted fantastic. Honestly one of the best cakes I have ever made, and it’s crazy because it’s so simple! I took some of the cake to my parents and they couldn’t stop eating it, and trust me they are hard to please! The texture is fluffy and light, and the combination of the cake with the cream, strawberry and light sprinkle of icing sugar is to die for. I would recommend serving this with fresh strawberries and mint, and of course, a cup of tea