I have a friend who, upon spying a Victoria sponge in a cafe, will always ask if it’s been made with fresh cream. Unsurprisingly, the answer is usually "no" as fresh cream has a much shorter shelf life than butter cream.
But a Victoria sponge made with fresh cream is such a treat so I make this cake for birthdays, BBQs or any occasion where it isn’t likely to hang around for long. Somehow the fresh cream and strawberries make it look fancier than it really is and while I’m generally lazy about decorating cakes, this is pretty low effort, even for me.
I use a well reviewed BBC Good Food recipe which has plenty of useful feedback and tips and I’ve made this cake so many times that I’ve now added some of my own:
- The ingredient quantities provided will work but because eggs vary in size, it's better to start by weighing your eggs (shells removed), then adjust the weights of your butter, sugar and flour accordingly. The eggs I used for the cake in the picture totalled to 210g so I used 210g each of butter, sugar and flour.
- The all-in-one method from the original recipe produces a heavier sponge. Instead, consider creaming the butter and sugar together, then adding the beaten eggs, then the flour.
- I tend to make the cake the day before decorating it. If you want to decorate it on the same day then make sure the cake has completely cooled to stop the cream from melting.
- I once made two lots of sponge for two different birthdays and I compared the method of gently folding the flour into the batter with a metal spoon versus using an electric mixer. There was no difference so I now use my mixer.
- Use room temperature butter and eggs, and sift the flour.
- I use Stork with Butter because Mary Berry supposedly favours Stork and I adore butter so this seems like the best of both worlds. I also use extra fine sponge flour
but ordinary self-raising is fine. Update: I still think ordinary self-raising flour will work in this recipe and I've used it for my last few cakes but I have to say that I've been disappointed - the cakes don't rise as much so I've switched back to paying a bit more for fancy self-raising flour.
- I use two 20cm sandwich tins (not springform or loose bottomed) lined with greaseproof paper and the cakes always come out easily.
- I’ve forgotten to add the milk and it didn’t make much, if any, difference.
Sponge cake (see intro regarding quantities)
- 200g softened butter (plus extra for greasing. I use Stork with Butter)
- 200g caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs (beaten)
- 200g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp milk
- 200g strawberry jam
- 200ml double cream
- punnet of fresh strawberries
- 1 tbsp icing sugar (plus more for dusting)
You will need
- 2 x 20cm sandwich tins
- Preheat your oven to 190°C (170°C fan) and line the bottom of two 20cm sandwich tins with greaseproof paper. Generously butter the sides of the tins.
- Sponge cake: Add 200g of softened butter and 200g of caster sugar to a large mixing bowl. Cream together using a whisk or an electric mixer.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons of the beaten eggs (4 eggs in total) to the butter and sugar mixture and whisk. Repeat until all the egg has been used up. Don’t be alarmed if the mixture looks like it’s curdled.
- Combine 200g of self-raising flour and 1 teaspoon of baking powder then sift a few tablespoons into the egg mixture and whisk. Repeat until all the flour has been used up.
- Whisk in 2 tablespoons of milk then divide the batter between the buttered sandwich tins. Smooth the batter out using a spatula.
- Bake in the oven on the middle shelf for around 20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool in their tins for 5 minutes then remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To decorate: Halve each of the strawberries.
- Pour 200ml of double cream into a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of icing sugar. Whisk the cream and when it starts to stiffen, slow down. It’s done once it retains stiff peaks.
- Spread approximately 200g of strawberry jam evenly over one of the cakes. Spread the whisked cream over the jam (I sometimes pipe it on but this isn’t necessary).
- Place halved strawberries on top of the cream around the outside of the cake. You can cover all of the cream with strawberries but if you don’t have enough then just place a ring of strawberries around the edge.
- Place the second cake on top of the first and dust with icing sugar.
- Eat immediately and store any leftover cake in the fridge for up to 2 days.