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Hi Bold Bakers!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE:My Classic Victoria Sponge Cake Recipe is a traditional take on the beloved British dessert, made with light and airy sponge cake and filled with soft whipped cream and sweet strawberry jam.
Simple and beautiful, there’s not much to improve in a Classic Victoria Sponge Cake recipe. If you’re looking for a classic, my Victoria Sponge recipe is the way to go.
This classic British dessert, also known as a Victoria Sandwich Cake, is composed of two lighter-than-air layers of sponge cake “sandwiched” together with lovely Irish cream and sweet strawberry jam and then dusted with powdered sugar. When made right and with high-quality ingredients, this humble cake is hard to beat.
A Classic Victoria Sponge Cake is perfect for a tea-time snack, and it makes for a festive cake for any celebration! I’m not one to pass it up for a sweet breakfast with a cup of coffee, either.
Table Of Contents
- What Is Victoria Sponge Cake?
- The History Of Victoria Sponge Cake
- Tools You Need
- How To Make Classic Victoria Sponge Cake
- Why Use Self-Rising Flour In Sponge Cake
- Can You Make Victoria Sponge Cake Ahead Of Time?
- Can You Freeze Victoria Sponge Cake?
- Storing Leftover Victoria Sponge Cake
- Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips
- More Delicious Cake Recipes
Victoria Sponge Cake, also known as a Victoria Sandwich Cake, is a popular British dessert made with two layers of sponge cake with jam and cream sandwiched in between.
As you could probably guess, given its name and being a British favorite, this cake was a favorite of Queen Victoria’s during tea time. Queen Victoria, to give you context, reigned from 1837-1901 and is King Charles’s great-great-great grandmother.
The cake, which was originally made with only eggs, saw a boom in popularity once baking powder was invented in 1843. Baking powder, which is a leavening agent made of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), an acid (like cream of tartar), and cornstarch, made making the perfect sponge cake even easier.
Because when baked, the baking powder releases carbon dioxide in the batter. When air is heated, the molecules start vibrating and get collided with each other creating more space. In this case, air expands to leaven baked goods, which creates the light, fluffy, and airy sponge cake structure.
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Two 8-inch (20cm) round cake pans
- Parchment paper
- Stand mixer with a paddle attachment and whisk attachment (or large mixing bowl with handheld electric mixer)
- Mixing bowls
- Wire rack
- Butter: Butter does not only lend fat but also adds flavor to the recipe. Make sure your butter is softened correctly: when you push the butter and it makes an indent, but your finger doesn’t easily squish right through.
- Granulated sugar: A bit of white sugar sweetens the sponge cake.
- Eggs: I use large eggs for all my recipes. Be sure they are at room temperature before using.
- Self-rising flour: Self-rising flour works much better than all-purpose flour for these sponge cakes. Don’t worry if you only have all-purpose flour! You can Make Self-Raising Flour at home; all you need is all-purpose flour and baking powder.
- Baking powder: Adding a touch of baking powder makes the sponge cake light and airy.
- Salt: Salt highlights all the delicious flavors of the cake.
- Whole milk: I use full-fat whole milk for all of my recipes.
- Heavy whipping cream:Heavy whipping cream is the higher-fat layer (with a fat content of 36%) skimmed from the top of milk before homogenization. It’s the key to easy yet delicious Homemade whipped cream.
- Strawberry jam: I like strawberry jam in this recipe, but see my Pro Chef Tips below for substitutions.
- Powdered sugar: Also known as confectioner’s sugar or icing sugar. You can make it at home and use it here for dusting.
- Using a stand mixer or a handheld electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Do this for at least 5 minutes, if not more, for best results.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Then, slowly add in the flour until just combined. Finally, stir in the milk.
- Divide the batter evenly between two cake tins that have been greased and lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for about 20 minutes in a preheated 350°F (180°C) oven until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to rest for 5 minutes in the pan, then invert them onto a wire rack to cool fully.
- Make the whipped cream by whipping the heavy whipping cream until medium peaks form, about 4 minutes. Medium peaks hold their shape pretty well except that the tip of the peak curls over on itself when the beaters are lifted.
- To assemble the cake, spread the strawberry jam on top of one of the cake layers. Then, spread whipped cream on top of the jam. Place the second layer on top.
- Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
Self-rising flour, alsoreferred to as self-raising flour, is a combination of all-purpose flour, baking powder, and sometimes salt. The reason why I use self-rising flour for sponge cake is that it guarantees there are enough rising agents in the cake batter to achieve that light, fluffy texture you want from a sponge cake.
All-purpose flour also has a bit more protein in it than self-rising flour, which means self-rising flour will yield a more tender cake than AP.
Cake Flour is not the same as all-purpose or self-rising flour. Cake flour does not contain baking powder. On top of that, it has a lower percentage of protein and gluten, which means it will give you a light product, but it will also have a tight crumb instead of the airy texture needed for the perfect sponge cake.
If you don’t have self-rising flour, learn How To Make Self-Rising Flour at home with my easy guide. You only need all-purpose flour and baking powder.
Since Victoria Sponge Cake has fresh whipped cream in the middle, it’s best to serve the cake the day it is made. However, you can make the cake up to 2 days in advance. Bake the cake off and then wrap it well with cling wrap and store it in the refrigerator. Remove the cake from the fridge and then assemble it with your fresh cream and jam. Allow it to come to room temperature before serving.
Victoria Sponge Cake, fully assembled with fresh whipped cream and jam, does not freeze well.
If you are looking to freeze this cake, I suggest only freezing the cake itself. Let the cake cool completely, and then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. It will keep frozen for up to 2 months. When you are ready to eat, allow the cake to thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, bring it to room temperature, assemble it, and serve.
While the cake is best eaten the day it is made, you can still store any leftover cake in an airtight container for 1 day in the refrigerator.
What do I do if I don’t have self-rising flour?
Making self-rising flour at home is as easy as combing all-purpose flour and baking powder! Learn how to make self-rising flour here.
Do you need a stand mixer or electric mixer for this recipe?
Even though a stand mixer or an electric mixer would make this recipe easier, it’s not impossible to make by just using good old-fashioned elbow grease. Keep in mind that the cake may not be as light if made by hand.
Can you make gluten-free Victoria Sponge Cake?
Yes! You can make this Classic Victoria Sponge Cake recipe gluten-free by replacing the self-rising flour with gluten-free self-rising flour.
Why did my sponge cake sink?
While tempting, it’s important not to open the oven door while the cake is baking.
The heat and steam escaping could cause the cake to sink. Your cake may also have sank because you overmixed the batter, underbaked the cake, or let the cake batter sit out for too long before baking.
- When making cake, always be sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature before mixing or baking unless otherwise stated. Ensuring they are all at room temperature will yield the best rise.
- Don’t skimp on time when it comes to creaming the butter! Be sure to cream the butter and sugar for at least the full five minutes until it is very light and fluffy. This step is to add air to the batter, helping obtain a fluffy, airy sponge cake.
- You can switch out the strawberry jam with any other flavor of jam that you prefer! Also, although it is not traditional, you can swap the jam for sliced fresh berries or fruit.
- For an unusual and delicious twist, make this with my Crème Fraiche Whipped Cream!
- If you want your cake to look a little fancier, place a doily on top of it and dust the powdered sugar over it. Once removed, the doily will leave a lovely design.
Classic Victoria Sponge Cake
- 1 cup (8 oz/225 g) butter, softened
- 1 cup (8 oz/225 g) granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 ⅔ cups (8 oz/225 g) self-rising flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- ¾ cup (6 fl oz/180 ml) heavy whipping cream
- ¾ cup (7 ½ oz/213 g) strawberry jam
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C), grease two 8-inch (20 cm) round cake pans, and line with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or with a large mixing bowl and a handheld electric mixer), cream the butter and sugar together on Medium/High speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice to ensure that it is all mixed.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then turn the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour until it is just smoothly combined. Finally, stir in the milk to get a “dropping consistency” which is a mousse-like mixture that slides reluctantly off a downward-pointing metal spoon.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let the cakes rest for 5 minutes in the pans, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- When assembling the cake, whip the cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or with a handheld electric mixer and medium bowl) on Medium speed until medium peaks form, about 4 minutes.
- Place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread with the strawberry jam.
- Spread the whipped cream on top of the jam and place the second layer of cake on top of the cream.
- Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to one day.