The Victoria Sandwich – A British Teatime Treat
The Victoria Sandwich is a cake made typically of two layers of sponge sandwiched together with raspberry jam and buttercream. It is considered a simple cake to make as it is made with equal parts eggs, flour, butter and sugar. Just weigh your eggs and then add equal amounts of butter, sugar and flour.
The cake dates to Victorian times. It is said that the sponge was created as an alternative to fruit and nut cakes as these were considered a choking hazard for young children. In 1843 Alfred Bird, a pharmacist, invented baking powder because his wife was allergic to yeast and eggs. Baking Powder was added to the cake to create a lighter, more delicious sponge.
Queen Victoria was well known for her love of cakes and her enjoyment of tea parties. The Victoria Sandwich was thought to be one of her favourite cakes and she regularly enjoyed it during Royal High Tea.
Today, there are many variations on the classic Victoria sponge cake. Sometimes it is filled and topped with fresh berries and cream. You can also fill the cake with any type of jam or even lemon curd. One thing you can be certain of is that it is delicious, so you should eat it whenever you get the opportunity!
Victoria Sponge Recipe
Here’s the recipe if you’d like to have a go at making your own Victoria Sponge
For the sponge cake
- 4 eggs.
- 225g butter
- 225 caster sugar
- 225 Self Raising Flour (this flour contains a raising agent)
For the filling
- 4-6 tablespoons of raspberry jam
- 140g/5oz butter, softened
- 280g/10oz icing sugar
- 1-2 tablespoon milk
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease and line two 20cm/8in sandwich tins with butter and baking parchment
- Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl, then add the sugar, flour, baking powder and butter. Mix together until well combined with an electric hand mixer, wooden spoon, or you can use a food processor
- Divide the mixture evenly between the tin. Use a spatula to remove all of the mixture from the bowl and gently smooth the surface of the cakes with a palette knife.
- Bake the cakes on the middle shelf of the oven for 25 minutes. Check them after 20 minutes. The cakes are done when they’re golden-brown and coming away from the edge of the tins. Set aside to cool in their tins for 5 minutes. Run a palette or rounded butter knife around the inside edge of the tins and carefully turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack.
- While the cakes are cooling you can make the buttercream. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl, add the butter, milk and vanilla extract and mix until smooth
- To assemble the cake, place one cake upside down onto a plate and spread it with all of the buttercream and plenty of jam. Top with the second cake, top-side up. Sieve over some icing sugar then eat!