Poor Victoria sponge, generally always over looked for its more fancy friends, the chocolate, the carrot, the red velvet cake. Who wants a plain sponge?! BORING.That is probably because so few people have had a really good Victoria sponge. Often over baked, dry, flat, sandwiched together with a bit of cheap jam, no wonder old Vic always gets over looked. I have baked many a sponge cake in my baking career and have come to love a simple sponge. To create a great cake, it is actually not difficult as long as you use a few hints and tips I have provided here, have a little patience and give it a little lovin’. The skills used can be applied to most cakes once mastered and you should hopefully have towering, lush, moist cakes forever, hurrah!
Everyone needs a fool-proof basic Victoria sponge cake recipe in their repertoire. You can pimp up a plain sponge with chocolate chips, cherries, raspberries, jam, sprinkles, flavour extracts, nuts, blah blah blah you get the idea… There are a few tricks and tips that I have stolen from other bakers along the way and some that I have learnt through my own baking journey. In the method below I have taken you through each step including explanations as to why I have done certain things.
The recipe is the base for this gorgeous wedding cake! Long time friends of mine got hitched this weekend is a church in Much Wenlock (bloody beautiful) with a party after on the family farm. This cake had vanilla bean and home-made strawberry jam in the middle. The sponge was made using eggs from the farms own chickens! Decorated with vanilla butter cream and scattered with strawberries, blueberries and daisies, this cake suited the couple and their day perfectly (I’m also available to do any celebration cakes, please contact me through the site for prices and availability). It may be a Victoria sponge, but it definitely isn’t boring!
To make one 7 inch layer:
- 100g softened butter
- 100g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or good quality extract
- 100g self raising flour
- 2 tbsp whole or semi skimmed milk
To make one 10 inch layer:
- 200g softened butter
- 200g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or good quality extract
- 200g self raising flour
- 4 tbsp whole or semi skimmed milk
Note: Remove all chilled ingredients from the fridge 1 hour before starting
- Pre heat oven to 180 degrees.
- Line the base of your tine and grease the sides, lightly dust flour over the greased insides of the tin. Take a strip, about 3 inches wide of old towel and soak under the tap. Wring it dry and wrap around your tin and secure with a safety pin. The steam from the water will give you a flat and even rise.
- Beat your sugar and butter together until very pale and fluffy. Using an electric mixer, this will take about 4-5 minutes.
- Beat in the eggs one by one together with one teaspoon of your weighed flour per egg. This will help stabilize the mixture and prevent curdling which will result in a heavy sponge. With your final egg, add the vanilla.
- Add your flour and milk. Fold it in using a metal spoon until just incorporated. Do not mix any more or your flour will become stringy and spoil, creating a dry and heavy sponge. Pour into your tin and put into the oven on the middle shelf.
- After 10 minutes of being in the oven, carefully open the oven and turn your tin 180 degrees to ensure even baking. Bake for 18-20 minutes overall, the cake should be golden brown and a skewer should come out clean when inserted.
- Once baked, leave to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning out of the tin and cooling completely, leaving the baking parchment on until cool. This helps keep the moisture in.