“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.
Victoria Sponge Cake
- 4 large eggs — weigh the eggs in their shells and then use the same weight of the following:
- self-rising flour (approx. 10 oz)
- superfine sugar (approx. 10 oz)
- unsalted butter (approx. 10 oz)
- Good quality raspberry or strawberry jam
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line two 8-inch round cake pans.
- Using handheld or stand mixer, beat together sugar and butter until creamy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each egg is added, until batter is smooth and well mixed.
- Divide batter evenly between the two cake pans and bake for 20-30 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove cakes from oven and cool for 10 minutes before removing to wire rack.
- When cake halves have cooled to room temperature, spread jam on top of one layer and add second layer on top.
- Dust top of cake with a sprinkling of superfine sugar.