Welcome to Jessie Bakes Classic Cakes Part 1
I’m so excited to launch my brand new recipe series: Jessie Bakes Classic Cakes!
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing simple, timeless, comforting cake recipes that ANYONE can easily make time and time again. Think coffee and walnut, lemon drizzle and black forest gateaux 😍 To kick-start the series, I had to go with a beautifully simple British favourite… Classic Victoria Sponge Cake.
Victoria Sponge Cake dates back to 1861 and was named after Queen Victoria, who supposedly enjoyed a slice with her afternoon tea (I’m totally with her on this 😉). Traditionally the sponge layers were sandwiched together with a thin layer of jam, however over the years the recipe has been tweaked and now it is most commonly filled with whipped cream or buttercream. Personally, I prefer my Victoria Sponge cake to be filled with whipped cream. It’s lighter, easier to make and uses less ingredients. After all, a Classic Victoria Sponge is all about simplicity!
This Classic Victoria Sponge Cake is:
- A British classic, known and loved by all
- Made using only 7 ingredients
- Quick and easy to make
- Filled with freshly whipped cream and jam
- Soft and fluffy in texture
- Light and delicate in flavour
Ingredients & alternatives
You will need 7 simple, everyday ingredients to make this Classic Victoria Sponge Cake:
- Margarine or butter – I prefer to use Stork Original margarine instead of butter. It makes the sponge light and fluffy, and helps the cake layers rise with a flat top.
- Sugar – you can use either white or golden caster sugar for this recipe.
- Self-raising flour – the raising agent in self-raising flour will help the cake layers rise. You can instead use 300g plain flour + 1.5 teaspoons baking powder.
- Eggs – you’ll need 3 large room temperature eggs for this cake, or you can use 4 medium eggs.
- Milk – you can use full-fat or semi-skimmed milk.
- Double cream – for the filling you’ll whip double cream to soft-peaks. Double cream can also be called whipping cream or heavy cream in the US. Do not buy single cream, it will not whip or thicken.
- Jam – Victoria sponge cake is traditionally made with strawberry jam, but you could also use raspberry jam or even lemon curd.
Wondering if you can use an alternative ingredient? Leave a comment at the bottom of this recipe, and I’ll reply to you ASAP!
Below I’ve answered the most common questions you might stumble across with this recipe.
Got a different question? Leave a comment at the bottom of this recipe, and I’ll reply to you ASAP!
What size cake tin should I use?
This recipe uses 2 x 20cm (8inch) round cake tins. Here is a link to the exact tins I used from Lakeland. Make sure your baking tins aren’t too shallow because the cakes will rise, the tins I used were 8cm in height.
Can I use a different sized baking tin?
Yes absolutely! Here’s how to adjust the baking time:
- 15cm (6inch) round tin = plus 5-10 minutes. Check on the cake after 5 minutes.
- 23cm (9inch) round tin = minus 5-10 minutes. Check on the cake after 5 minutes.
- 20x20cm square tin = minus 5-10 minutes. Check on the cake after 5 minutes.
- Cupcakes = the recipe will make roughly 18 cupcakes. Bake for 18-20 minutes at 180°C.
Can I use gluten-free flour?
Yes you can! Just sub the 300g self-raising flour for 300g gluten-free flour + 1.5 teaspoons of xanthan gum (this will improve the texture of the cake) + 1 teaspoon baking powder.
My cake sunk in the middle, what happened?
Urggh, this can be so annoying! There are two main reasons this could have happened:
- You opened the oven door too early and caused a sudden change in temperatue
- The cake wasn’t fully baked before it was taken out of the oven
But don’t worry, there is a way you can rescue your cake. Use a round cookie cutter to cut out of the middle of the cake layers. Sandwich them together with cream and jam, and then fill the middle with fresh berries. It’s basically a Victoria Sponge Bundt Cake 😅
My cream has curdled and split, what should I do?
This is likely due to over-whisking the cream, and trust me it’s SO easy to do! Don’t worry though, there is an easy way to fix it. Gradually mix in 1-2 tablespoons of cold double cream on a low speed until the whipped cream returns to a soft and smooth consistency.
Tips for whisking cream to soft-peaks
If you’re me, you’re probably thinking “what is soft-peaks!?” 😆 Don’t worry, I’ve got you!
Soft-peaks is when the cream has a soft, pillowy, cloud-like texture that can hold its shape. As a rough guide, if you’re using an electric whisk this should take roughly 5 minutes. If you’re whisking the cream by hand, expect this to take up to 10 minutes (and expect an achy arm 😅).
Whipped cream can turn from soft peaks to hard peaks in a hot minute, so watch it like a hawk! If in doubt, I always suggest stop-whisking, swap for a spoon and gently fold the cream until the consistency feels right.
Ways to upgrade this Classic Victoria Sponge Cake
This Victoria sponge cake is delicious as it is, but here are a few ways you could upgrade the recipe:
- Flavour the sponge with a teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Sandwich the cake together with vanilla buttercream instead of whipped cream
- Use lemon curd instead of jam
Equipment & ingredients used for this recipe
Classic Victoria Sponge Cake
- 300 g Margarine or unsalted butter If you're using Stork, use it cold straight from the fridge. If you're using butter, then make sure it's at room temperature.
- 300 g Caster sugar
- 300 g Self-raising flour
- 3 large Eggs at room temperature
- 4 tbsp Milk full-fat or semi-skimmed
- 200 ml Double cream use cold straight from the fridge
- 2-3 tbsp Strawberry Jam
- Icing sugar for dusting on top
Make the sponge layers
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Lightly grease two 8inch round cake tins with butter and line the base with greaseproof paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the margarine and caster sugar until creamy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each.
- Add the flour and milk and fold together until the cake mixture is smooth.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the cake tins and bake for 30-35 minutes until risen, golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Leave to cool for 15 minutes in the baking tin, before turning out onto a wire rack and cooling completely.
Make the filling
- Whip the cream until it thickens and reaches soft-peaks*. The texture should look like soft, pillowy clouds. See the notes in the text above for more help on this.
Assemble the cake
- Place one of the cake layers on a cake stand or plate. If the cake has domed on top, use a sharp knife to trim off the top and make the cake flat.
- Spread the jam on top. Don't take the jam right to the edge of the cake otherwise it will spill over when you add the cream and the second cake. You want to leave roughly 1inch around the edge.
- Spread the whipped cream on top. Again, leave roughly 1inch around the edge.
- Place the second cake on top and lightly press down to sandwich the layers together.
- Dust the top with icing sugar, slice and serve!
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