I don't have much to say about this cake other than doesn't it just have the prettiest name? I'm speaking totally objectively here - Victoria is THE best name in the world. Innit?
If I'm being honest, I never buy Victoria Sponge cakes or order them in coffee shops but every once in a while, I'll have a good one that reminds me why this is such a classic cake. The flavours are simple but when done well, are the perfect accompaniment to most hot drinks, perfect for tea time or y'know, breakfast.
And who better than Nigella Lawson to turn to for the best recipes? This is from her book "How to be a domestic goddess.
For the cake
225g unsalted butter, very soft
225g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
200g self-raising flour
25g cornflour (note you can use 225g self-raising flour instead - Nigella believes the addition of corn-flour makes for a "lighter, more tender sponge".
1 teaspoon baking powder (if using processor method)
3-4 tablespoons milk
For the filling
2-4 tablespoons raspberry or other jam, depending on the berries
1 punnet raspberries or berries of choice
125ml (or simply a 142ml tub) double cream
For the topping
1-2 tablespoons caster sugar (I prefer to use icing sugar)
2 x 21cm sandwich tins (about 5cm deep), buttered
- Preheat the oven to 180C / gas mark 4. If the tins are loose-bottomed, you don't need to line them, otherwise do.
- To make this basic sponge cake in the food processor: put all the ingredients except the milk in the food processor and process till you've got a smooth batter. Then pulse, pouring the milk gradually through the funnel till your cake mixture's a soft, drooping consistency.
- To make it the traditional way (which is what I did): Cream the butter and sugar, add the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, adding a spoonful of flour between each. Fold in the rest of the flour and the cornflour, adding no baking powder, and when all incorporated, add a little milk as you need.
- Pour and scrape the batter into the tins and bake for about 25 minutes, until the cakes are beginning to come away at the edges, are springy to the touch on top and a cake tester comes out clean. Leave the cakes in their tins on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning out and leaving to cool completely.
- When you're ready to eat the cake, put one layer on a plate, right-way up, spread with jam and scatter fruit on top. Whip the cream till it's thickened but still soft and spread over the jammy fruit. Sit the other cake on top, and sprinkle over a tablespoon or so of caster sugar. Or sieve over a tablespoon or so of icing sugar which is my personal preference.