Classic Victoria Sponge
The Platinum Jubilee inspired me to made a classic Victoria sponge. I think this is the first time I have ever made one which is surprising. I am not royalist and I truly believe we would be better off without them but I loved having the extra time off work and an excuse for more cake and tea in the day. So much cake and scones with jam and cream were consumed this weekend. We should have more 4 days weekends please!
Cakes are by far my favourite thing to bake. I love the science and the precision of it all. Sadly, since we moved home last year I have been a bit reluctant to bake any cakes as my oven is not the best, so it has mostly been cookies and small tarts. However, after a year I decided it was time to shake off the cake baking cobwebs and give it a go. Especially as I now have a better understanding of my oven and I have learnt that everything just takes longer than it should. A cake that should have taken me 20 mins to bake took 40 mins. Wow! I really did practice some patience. But honestly, this might be one of the lightest, fluffiest cake I have baked in a while and it had a flat top! I never achieved a flatter top so I am so pleased!
Like any cake recipe, there are a number of ways to ensure a light, fluffy cake:
Make sure all your ingredients for the cake butter are at room temperature.
Make sure all the flours and sugars are sifted to introduce as much air in as possible.
Incorporate the eggs in one at a time. I like to lightly beat them first before adding them to the batter.
Make sure the cake is completely cool before adding any filling
Although I am super pleased with this cake I learnt some new things today. After years of being lazy I finally bought myself a cooling rack. The lesson I learnt was to cool the cakes top side up to avoid getting wire rack marks on top. Lesson learnt for next time. Also, I want/need to get some sandwich tins with straighter sides so I get a perfect Victoria sponge. Nonetheless, I am super pleased by this recipe.
Classic Victoria Sponge
For the sponge
225 g Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
225 g Caster Sugar (sifted)
4 Eggs (room temperature)
225 g Self Raising Flour (sifted)
2 tsp Baking Powder (sifted)
For the filling
Good quality raspberry jam (I used Sainsbury's taste the difference)
100 g Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
200 g Icing sugar (sifted)
1-2 tbsp Semi skimmed milk (to loosen the buttercream, use what you need)
Preheat your oven to 180 C Oven/ 160 C Fan/Gas mark 4.
Cream together the butter and sifted sugar with a wooden spoon.
Add the eggs in one at a time. Lightly beat each egg first before adding to the batter. Ensure the egg is fully incorporated before adding the next egg.
Sift in the flour and baking powder, adding a little at a time, being careful to not overbeat the batter.
Divide the batter between two sandwich tins. I always weigh my batter but you should be able to eyeball it.
Bake for 20 mins or until the cake is golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.
Leave the cool completely before adding the filling.
Turn one cake upside down and spread raspberry jam liberally.
For the buttercream, cream together the butter and the sifted icing sugar until they are fully incorporated. I usually add the sugar in a little at a time. Use the milk to loosen it. Add to a piping bag with a large nozzle and layer on top of the jam. If you cannot pipe, just spread.
Place the other cake on top and sift over a little bit of icing sugar on top for decoration.