Classic Victoria Sponge

Never mind the seasonally expanded waistline – flee the flock, forge a new path, forget the New Year diets – embrace life and tuck into a fabulous Classic Victoria Sponge cake with your afternoon tea today. We’ve a tested out a recipe, in one of our bespoke kitchens, to make any mouth water – simply delicious!
Classic Victoria sponge
For the cake
350g margarine (marg makes a lighter sponge than butter, but you can also use butter if you like)
350g caster sugar
6 x medium eggs
350g self-raising flour, sifted
a few drops vanilla essence
2 tbsp very hot water
For the filling
250g salted butter, at room temperature
350g icing sugar
a few drops vanilla essence
Good quality raspberry jam, about half a jar
Red fruit to decorate – we used strawberries, raspberries and redcurrants, dredged with icing sugar

  1. Begin by greasing and base-lining 2 x 23cm sandwich tins, and pre-heating the oven on Fan 160°C.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until very pale, light and creamy. If you have a stand mixer, now is the time to get it out and use the beater attachment, not the whisk…
  3. Gradually beat in the eggs one by one. If the mix seems to be curdling, you can add dessertspoons of the weighed out flour to bring the mix back together. Scrape the sides of the bowl down regularly with a spatula to make sure that all the mixture is being incorporated
  4. Once the eggs have been added, mix in the flour on a slow speed. Don’t overmix at this point, as you may beat out some of the air. Finally, mix through the vanilla and hot water until the cake batter reaches a dropping consistency – you may need spoonful more hot water to get it there.
  5. Transfer the cake mix to the cake tins and place in the oven on a baking sheet for about 35-45 minutes, testing with a skewer to see if the centre is cooked through.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly on a wire rack for 5 minutes before turning out to cool completely.
  7. For the buttercream filling, beat the butter and icing sugar together in an electric stand mixer until smooth, fluffy and fully incorporated. Finally mix in the vanilla.
  8. When the came has cooled, spread the buttercream over one of the cakes, reserving a little for the top of the cake to stick the fresh fruit to. Spoon the jam over this and place the other cake in top.
  9. To garnish, pile up the fresh fruit on top and dredge with icing sugar to serve.

Serves 8-12