Bog-Standard Victoria Sponge – Recipe

I'm going away to Australia tomorrow. Things I have done today: bought gifts for my family on the other side of the world, hoovered, sorted out a last-minute panic concerning visas, baked a cake for my dad so he has something home-baked to eat whilst I'm away, and updated this blog with a recipe.

Things I haven't done: packed.

Here you go.

You'll also need a bit of milk- I forgot to include it in the 'ingredients photoshoot'!

Ingredients for Sponge:

- 6oz Salted butter, softened (you can use unsalted if you like, but I think the salt gives a better flavour)
- 6oz Caster sugar
- 6oz Self raising flour
- 3 Eggs
- 1tsp vanilla
- 3tbsp milk

Notice the eggs-to-sugar/butter/flour ratio? For this basic sponge recipe the general rule is for whatever number of ounces you have of sugar, butter and flour (which are always the same as each other), you need half the amount of eggs

Ingredients for Filling:

- 150ml Double cream, whipped up
- Jam of your choice (I used strawberry conserve)

Ingredients to Decorate (optional):

- 1tbsp Icing sugar

 Method:

1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line a couple of 8" sandwich cake pans with greaseproof paper, or grease and flour them so your cake won't stick
 
2) Cream together your softened butter and sugar until pale and very fluffy- this can take a few minutes











3) Thoroughly beat in the eggs one at a time (this avoids the mixture curdling)


4) Whisk in the flour- but don't beat as vigorously as when you were creaming the sugar and butter and then adding the eggs or you'll beat all the air out: you just want to whisk until it's combined

5) Divide evenly between the two pans and bake for about 25mins, or until a skewer comes out clean when you stab the cake with it, or the surface springs back if you poke it

6) Cool on a wire rack until totally cold (if you fill it when it's warm, your fillings will melt into goo)

 








7) Spread one half liberally with jam (don't forget to peel the baking parchment off!)











8) Spread liberally with cream (I was unnecessarily neat here)

 








9) Plop the other half on (and dust with icing sugar if you like)


And you have a Victoria sponge!
This is one of the few cakes I make that I don't worry about presentation too much- I think the home-baked VS should look a bit rough and ready. It looks more charming with the cream and jam oozing out of the sides of it, but since this cake needs to last my dad for a few days and I didn't want to give him extra work in terms of mess, I decided to keep it neat and keep the fillings contained.

I think everyone should know how to make a VS. Don't feel constrained by the old jam-and-cream approach, either: you can use buttercream frosting instead of fresh cream, nutella or chocolate spread, peanut butter, lemon curd... go nuts. Try it! You'll like it.

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