How to make a Victoria sponge

Video guide to making a classic Victoria sponge cake

Hello, I'm Ravinder and I'm going to show you how to make a classic Victoria sponge.

Basic recipe for a classic Victoria sponge

So, first things first, I'm going to whack up the oven to 180 degrees, or gas mark four, leave that preheating. And I've got two 18cm tins here, which have been lined with baking parchment. It's a recipe of two, two, two and four. That means 200g of caster sugar, 200g of flour and 200g of butter and, finally, four eggs.

Beat together the butter and sugar

So I've got my caster sugar in there, I'm going to add my softened butter to the caster sugar and I'm just going to mix. You just mix until the mixture goes a lighter colour and it feels light and fluffy.

Add eggs and whisk

So it's gone light and fluffy now and to that, I'm going to add my eggs. Now a good tip when you're adding eggs is rather than cracking them on the edge of the bowl, crack them on the work surface. That way, you're avoiding getting any broken shell into your cake mixture.

And before I whisk again, I'm just going to put in an optional extra, which is vanilla extract. It just gives your cake a really beautiful flavour. And I'm going to whisk again.

If you're worried that your mixture's looking a bit curdled at this stage, you don't need to be concerned because it's not going to do any harm to the cake. But you can add a tablespoon flour and it'll just help the mixture look a bit smoother.

Tap to sieve the flour

And that's perfect, that's looking more and more like a cake batter now. And then onto the flour and I've got a teaspoon of baking powder here, which I'm going to add to my self raising flour. And then I'm just going to sieve it in. Just tap that in. It really is worth sieving your flour here because it'll give your cake a lovely light texture.

Fold the flour into the mix

So that's done and now on to folding the flour in. You don't want to overwork the mixture here, because then your cake becomes quite tough. And you want to do this quite fast because you've got your baking powder in there, which is an active ingredient so you don't want to hang around, you want to get it into the oven as quickly as possible. So just cutting through and making sure that the flour is well incorporated into the batter.

Spoon the mix into cake tins

A good way of making sure that you get even amounts into each of the tins is to do one spoon at a time in each tin. There you go. Simple. Already has a really lovely light texture. You just tap the cake tins onto the surface, making sure that it's evenly spread out, give it a little shake. These are ready to go into the oven now for about 15 to 20 minutes at 180 degrees, or until they're springy to the touch or if you put a skewer in and it comes out clean, then you know they're ready.

I can't wait. I'll come back to those later.

Fill with jam and cream

OK, so here are my perfect discs of sponge, which have been cooling for about half an hour, so they're perfectly cool to touch. I've got this lovely cake tray here and I'm just going to use a fish slice. The cake's still delicate, you don't want to risk breaking it, and I'm going to put the first half on the slice. And then some lovely sticky homemade strawberry jam. You can be quite generous here, into the middle, use it all. And I'm just going to smooth it over the cake.

And to that, I'm just going to layer on some thickly whipped cream, I'm just going to use my spatula here. There should be no half measures with cream with a Victoria sponge, so plenty of cream, just pile it on. And this will help give it height too. You don't have to spread it out too much because the weight of the top half of the cake will just naturally spread it out anyway, but be generous.

And then I'm just going to place the top half and crown my cake with it. When you put it down, just let it relax down, don't push it down because the cream and jam will just ooze out. And as a final flourish, a little sprinkle of icing sugar snow.

So you could continue to be really decorative with this cake and decorate it with fresh strawberries or any fruit you like but I'm going to keep it classic and simple.

And there it is, that's how you make the perfect Victoria sponge.

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