Classic Victoria Sponge

It’s back to basics with this bake. Classic Victoria sponge cake, so simple but so delicious!

There are so many variations of a classic Victoria sponge. Buttercream or fresh cream? Raspberry or strawberry jam? Decorate or leave plain?

I started going down a rabbit hole when researching this one, only to realise that there isn’t really a “right” way and that, to be honest, it doesn’t really matter! It’s one of those cakes that I think you can decide what your classic take on Victoria sponge will be, and let’s face it, it’s always going to taste amazing.

So here’s my take on it. Beautifully baked vanilla sponge cakes sandwiched together with strawberry jam and fresh whipped cream flavoured with vanilla essence. For the decoration, I chose a simple dusting of icing sugar. As you know I’m all about simplicity!

Ingredients (makes a two-layer 8inch Victoria sponge cake)

For the cake:
250g Stork tub
250g white or golden caster sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
250g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk

For the filling:
3-4 tablespoons strawberry jam
150ml double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
4-5 fresh strawberries (optional)

For the decoration:
Icing sugar for dusting

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line the base of two 8inch/20cm round baking tins with greaseproof paper and lightly grease the sides with a little butter.

Start by making the cake. In a large bowl beat together the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract until light and creamy.

Mix in the eggs one at a time, adding a tablespoon of the 250g flour with each egg to stop the mixture from curdling.

Add the remaining flour and baking powder, and fold the mixture together until smooth and combined. Be careful not to over-mix. The mixture should drop off the spoon but still hold its shape. If it’s too thick then add a tablespoon of milk and mix through.

Divide the mixture equally between the cake tins. Lightly tap the baking tins on the side to release any air bubbles. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cakes are golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove them from the oven and leave in the baking tins for 5 minutes to cool. Run a knife around the edge of the tins and carefully turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack.

Now make the filling. Whip the double cream and vanilla extract with a whisk or electric mixer until the cream starts to thicken, can hold its shape but is still soft. Be really careful not to over whip as this can make the cream hard and grainy. If you’re unsure, I found watching BBC’s video tutorial really helpful.

Time to decorate. Choose a cake layer for the base and place it on a pretty plate or cake stand. Spread the jam on top into an even layer. Make sure the jam doesn’t go right up to the edge of the cake, you’ll want to leave about a 1cm gap. Spoon the whipped cream on top and spread out into an even layer, again leaving space. Cut the strawberries lengthways and dot around the outer edge of the cake. Carefully place the other cake layer on top and lightly press down so that the jam and cream spread out to the edge underneath. Finish with a dusting of icing sugar.

Victoria Sponge Cupcakes

Victoria sponge is a baking classic, named after Queen Victoria and traditionally served with whipped cream and jam. As well as being an all time classic, it’s one of my all time favourites! I’ve decided to spruce this understated cake up a little and transform it into a delicious cupcake!

So I give you a traditional sponge base filled with strawberry jam, topped with a mound of fresh whipped cream and a sweet strawberry. Simple, summery and bloomin’ delightful.

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Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)

For the cupcakes:
150g self-raising flour
150g caster sugar
150g stork tub for baking
2 medium eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk

For the filling:
Strawberry jam

For the topping:
400ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp icing sugar
6 strawberries, cut into halves

 

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C and line a 12 hole cupcake tray with cases.

Start making the cupcakes, by first creaming together with a wooden spoon the stork and sugar until creamy. Then slowly mix in the beaten eggs along with a little flour to stop the mixture curdling. Once eggs are all added, add the vanilla extract and mix.

Finally, fold in the remaining flour and milk until mixture is combined, smooth and drops of the spoon easily. Bake in the oven for 18 mins until cakes are a light brown colour and a skewer in the centre of one comes out clean. Transfer cakes to a cooling rack and leave to completely cool.

Using a cupcake corer or a teaspoon take out centre of each of your cupcakes saving just the top of the cored cake. Fill each hole with strawberry jam and place the cores back into the cakes to cap them.

Now make your topping by whisking the double cream and vanilla extract with an electric mixer on a high speed. Whisk for approx. 4 minutes until it starts to thicken, now add the icing sugar and continue to whisk until stiff peaks have formed.

Spread the whipped cream over your cupcakes and top with a fresh strawberry. Keep in the fridge until your ready to serve them. These cupcakes will last for 2-3 days in a container in the fridge.

Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea

For my 21st birthday my lovely sister Alice, coincidentally, bought me a very special pressie… Afternoon tea eeeek! However this wasn’t just any ordinary afternoon tea, oh no it was SO much more than that!
Imagine a ridiculous amount of sweet and savoury naughties, an Alice in Wonderland theme, the London Sanderson hotel, a magical heated outdoor garden, hot apple pie tea, popping candy and a drink me potion. What are you thinking? Pretty awesome right!?
Everything about this experience was perfect so it would be insane not to share it with you, especially before Christmas as this would make a fabulous present for someone special (plus you get to go as well… bonus!).
So grab a cup of tea and prepare yourself to feel super duper hungry! If you wish to book your own Mad Hatters tea party then see the bottom of the post for further information.

Beautiful place settings

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Our menu was hidden inside a vintage Pride & Prejudice book

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What was to come…

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Interesting tea options

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My gorgeous sister looking very excited about her apple pie infused tea

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Pouring my mint choc-chip tea

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Our sugar cube music box

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And here is the star of the show

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Sweet and savoury scones

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Green tea & white chocolate mousse served in a chocolate tea-cup anyone?

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Never underestimate a quiche… delicious!

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Sandwich heaven

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‘Drink me’ 3 layer passion fruit potion

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Tick-tock Traditonal Victoria Sponge

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Cheesecake with a mango surprise center

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Drooooooooooooooool

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Carrot Meringue & Strawberries and cream marshmallow mushrooms

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And just when I thought I was going to explode, this little beauty came out.. would be rude not to really

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It truly was an unforgettable experience and I cannot recommend it enough, so thank you Alice for giving me such a gorgeous birthday gift.. and also for making me gain about 4 pounds, it was SO worth it!

If you are interested in booking an Afternoon Tea then click on the link below:
http://www.afternoontea.co.uk/uk/london/oxford-street/sanderson-hotel/