Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Victoria Sponge

A lovely, easy, basic recipe that's easy to play with to give you flavour variations.

Makes: 1 large cake or 4 dozen cupcakes
Takes: 10 minutes + baking time


8 oz caster sugar
8 oz butter or margarine
4 eggs
4 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla essence
8 oz self-raising flour

  1. Preheat the oven to 200oC/180oC fan and grease and line a large round cake tin.
  2. Cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy (I use a handheld electric whisk, but you could use a food processor or just beat by heand with a wooden spoon).
  3. Beat in the eggs, milk and vanilla then sift in the flour and mix well.
  4. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for about 45-50 minutes until well-risen, golden brown, and springy to the touch. Check by pushing a skewer into the centre - if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.
  5. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn onto a wire rack. When cold, cut in half horizontally, spread one half with jam and sandwich the pieces back together. Sprinkle sugar on the top just before serving.
Variations: You could add different essences instead of vanilla. For chocolate cake, instead of milk, add 4 heaped teaspoons cocoa powder mixed with 4 tablespoons boiling water. For fillings you can use lemon curd, chocolate spread, buttercream; or whipped fresh cream; for toppings, glace icing, melted chocolate, more buttercream or fresh cream... Use your imagination!

Alternative: You can use this same recipe to make cupcakes by spooning the mixture into paper cases in a cupcake tin. These will only need 15-20 minutes to cook.

Top tip: If you want a smooth flat surface for icing or chocolate, turn the cake upside down before decorating.