Victoria Sponge Sandwich!

I have spent a fair amount of time in England throughout my life. My Dad is a Wimbledon fanatic (we went yearly as children), my fiancée hails from Derbyshire, and I lived in London for about a year before Pete, my fiancée, and I moved back to North America. Though, I have many fond memories of sitting court side eating berries and cream, dating Pete, and living in England really expanded my limited knowledge of British food. In particular dessert. While I still haven't been convinced on all British desserts (like summer pudding and fruit cake) I am entirely in love with many, the front runner being Victoria Sponge.  Maybe it stems from my love of the Royal Family (the cake is named after Queen Victoria) or maybe it's the 6 sticks of butter required to make it, but I am head over heels for a good Victoria Sponge Cake. I made this cake to mimic Pete's very favorite, from The Farm Shop at Chatsworth House. It is layered the same way and his stamp of approval said it was perfection.

This cake isn't the fastest cake to make, it certainly isn't the prettiest, but trust me when I say this, it is one of the most delicious cakes around. It's fairly traditional in the summertime and works brilliantly with afternoon tea or as a dessert. I personally love mine with a hot cup of PG Tips tea with just a splash milk.

Here is my adapted version of Saveur's Victoria Sponge:

Victoria Sponge Sandwich--Makes one 8" sandwich cake

  • 3 sticks of butter, plus extra for greasing pans

  • 3 cups self rising cake flour, plus extra for dusting cake pans

  • 1 1/2 cup extra fine granulated sugar

  • 4 eggs

  • 6 tablespoons water

  • Powdered Sugar for dusting

  • Good Quality Jam for inside filling  (we used our own homemade strawberry jam)

  • Vanilla Buttercream (recipe follows)


Preheat oven to 360º. Grease your pans thoroughly with butter. Dust buttered pans with 1/2 tablespoon of flour each. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electronic mixer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes add granulated sugar and beat until light and fluffy. In another bowl, combine eggs and 6 tbsp water. Add half the egg mixture to the butter and sugar. Beat for 2 minutes. Add remaining half of the egg mixture to the butter and sugar, beat for 5 minutes.

Equally split the batter between two 8" cake pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on racks.

Once the cakes have cooled completely, one layer of cake on serving plate. Generously spread buttercream over the first layer, then spread a layer of jam. Place the top cake on top of the fillings, dust with powdered sugar. Eat and enjoy!

TIP: Don't have any self-raising flour? You can use these proportions and apply them to any recipe, simply use one cup flour, to one teaspoon baking powder. Sift together.

Remember when I said it was messy?? Yes, it is overfilled, that was intentional to make it more like Pete's favorite!

Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Buttercream

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 3 or 4 cups powdered sugar

  • 1/4 cup whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 2 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency.

TIP: Not a huge crowd for tea or dessert? Half the recipe. Make only one 8" cake and cut it in half. Right down the center. Part of the beauty of this recipe is the thick layers, so don't divide the layer. You want to literally cut it in two equal halves and stack the halves, resulting in a beautiful tall half cake! Slices will look identical and you won't be eating Victoria Sponge for weeks (though is that really a bad thing?).

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