A British classic!

Very simple to make – and the batter can be endlessly modified (and even used for cupcakes!)

Victoria Sponge

Ingredients:

  • 225g (8oz) butter (must be at room temperature)
  • 225g (8oz) sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • Optional: 1 tsp of vanilla essence, or 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 225g (8oz) self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder

To serve:

  • Jam, and/or fresh berries (e.g raspberries or strawberries)
  • ½ pint (250ml) of double Cream, whipped. Or butter cream:
    • 100g butter, softened
    • 200g icing sugar
    • 50ml double cream

Variations:

  1. For a coffee flavour, dilute a tablespoon of instant coffee with a dessertspoon of hot water.
  2. For a chocolate flavour, take out a level -tablespoon of flour and replace it with a level tablespoon of cocoa.
  3. The fillings can vary from just jam or a mixture of jam and whipped cream, to lemon curd or chocolate fudge icing. Also you can flavour the cake mixture with grated lemon or orange rind.

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.-
  2. Line 2 x 20 cm/8″ cake tins. (Or grease thoroughly, then dust the tins with flour to line them.)
  3. Simple method: place all the cake ingredients together in a mixer, then blitz until smooth. Continue to #7.
  4. Traditional method: in a mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together until you get a pale, fluffy mixture that drops off the spoon easily (an electric hand whisk speeds this up considerably).
  5. Next, in a separate bowl beat the eggs thoroughly together, then slowly add them a  very little at a time, beating well after each addition – as you go you can add a little more each time.
  6. When the eggs have been mixed in, add the vanilla or lemon and then fold in the flour. Sieve a quarter of the flour – fold in, then repeat until it’s completed added.
  7. Now you should have a mixture that will drop off the spoon easily when you tap it on the side of the bowl. If not, add 1-2 tsp. of milk.
  8. Divide the mixture equally between the prepared tims.
  9. Cook them on the centre shelf of the oven, for about 25-30 minutes to cook.
  10. DO NOT OPEN THE OVENS HALF WAY THROUGH: the sudden rush of cold air will cause the cakes to sink.
  11. When they are cooked, a knife or skewer stabbed into the centre should come back out clean when removed.
  12. When they are cooked, remove them from then oven, and let them rest for 1-2 minutes. Then turn them out on to a wire cooling tray (you might need to loosen the edges with a palette knife first).
  13. Then peel off the base papers and leave the cakes to cool before sandwiching them together with jam/fruit/cream/ or butter cream and sift a little icing sugar over the top.
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