“Queen Victoria, who presumably visited nobody, preferred bone marrow on toast, and is unlikely to have ever tasted the sponge cake sandwiched with jam that was named after her—a nursery luxury.”
Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain through its Cooking
Traditional British desserts, like we British people, tend to be understated. It is perhaps fitting, then, that the grande dame of British desserts, the Victoria sponge, is very much in the mold of the woman it honors: simple in appearance, but in every other way substantial.
A good Victoria sponge is made from a handful of staples already in your pantry. It pairs well with the ubiquitous cuppa and is appropriate for all occasions, from a child’s party to a ladies’ luncheon, to a post-pub nosh. It travels well and lends itself to large portions. The classic Victoria consists of a sponge cake sandwich with raspberry jam filling. By all means, feel free to substitute strawberry jam and add some whipped cream.