Perfecting the Classics | Victoria Sponge Cake

Top Uk food and lifestyle blogs, Jaclyn Ruth

Top Uk food and lifestyle blogs, Jaclyn RuthAs most of you are probably aware, my Baking Club and passion project – The Flaky Bakers Club – started up again this October after a longer than planned break. I owe a big thank you to those who stuck around and to those who are new to the club too, and I’m excited to be back in the swing of monthly baking challenges again.

I’ve started dedicating any Sunday afternoons that we’re at home (and my Husband is obviously off work and available to keep Evie occupied) to baking, and not only does it feel great to be indulging a hobby again and doing something just for me, but it’s also pretty great having sweet treats to hand for the rest of the week too.

This month our theme was classics – a chance to perfect our skills should we be feeling rusty (I know I was) and get back into the kitchen with familar recipes. I don’t know about you though, but often I find I ‘try’ harder to get things ‘just right’ when I’m testing out a new recipe, and end up working a little more hap hazardly when I’m doing a fail safe bake I’ve made countless times before. So this month I wanted to bake something I knew off by heart, something I’d made many times before, but do so with a renewed gusto, concentration and that -try my hardest to get it right- attitude I’d employ should I be tackling something for the first time.

Top Uk food and lifestyle blogs, Jaclyn RuthTop Uk food and lifestyle blogs, Jaclyn RuthTop Uk food and lifestyle blogs, Jaclyn RuthI chose a Victoria Sponge cake, because although simple, and no doubt something all amateur bakers could do from memory, it’s one of those cakes I never get quite right. I know the measurements without having to consult any recipe, it takes minutes to throw together (especially in my new mixer which The Husband treated me to – it’s the Aldi one and I can vouch for the fact it’s just as great as any more expensive brand) and there’s not a whole lot of skill involved, but despite all that, it’s a cake that always seems to get benched in favour of something more stylish/challenging. As such when I do attempt it, I usually make a bit of a mess of it; sponges that don’t rise, icing that melts into the cake, jam that bleeds, one side bigger than the other, you get the idea.

This time I wanted to try and get it just right; have those sponges rise nice and high, attempt to get them flat and in proportion to each other, and fill it with just the right amount of jam and cream. So the humble Victoria Sponge got my full attention for the whole afternoon. I found myself doing a ‘Bake Off contestant’ and oven watching to make sure those sponges came out at just the right time. Instead of being impatient and piling the filling in straight away, I made myself a cup of tea and left them to cool long enough that the cream and jam didn’t melt or run together, and I even found myself slicing sections off the sponges to make them flat and sit together better. My filling got enhanced at the last minute when I decided to add some chopped strawberries (not the classic look, but aesthetically pleasing for the photos and I must admit, upped the tastiness too), and then all that was left to do was dust the top with icing sugar and garnish with one last strawberry.

Top Uk food and lifestyle blogs, Jaclyn RuthTop Uk food and lifestyle blogs, Jaclyn RuthTop Uk food and lifestyle blogs, Jaclyn RuthIt’s only a Victoria sponge and probably one the easiest cakes that can be made, but hey I found myself pretty proud of this one when it was all assembled. And it’s probably one of the only times my Victoria sponge efforts have turned out picture perfect.

As for the rest of the the baking club, we had everything from carrot cake, to loaf cakes, crumbles and favourite scone recipes, and I decided that, actually, the classics are all my favourites – I’d happily eat them all!

I’m sure you don’t need a Victoria sponge recipe, but the one I use every time is below, and if you’d like to find out more about the baking club or sign up then head to the baking club page! November’s newsletter will be hitting inboxes on the 1st along with the new theme and I’m looking forward to another month of baking fun!

Top Uk food and lifestyle blogs, Jaclyn Ruth

Victoria Sponge Cake with Jam, buttercream and fresh strawberries

What you’ll need

For the sponge (I did two lots of this for each layer but for a smaller cake you could just split this between two baking tins)

6oz or 170g of self raising flour

6oz or 170g caster sugar

6oz or 170g butter

3 eggs

1 tsp of baking powder

For the buttercream

4oz (110g) butter softened

5oz (140g) icing sugar

a drop of milk


Your choice of strawberry jam

chopped strawberries

icing sugar to dust

Top Uk food and lifestyle blogs, Jaclyn RuthTop Uk food and lifestyle blogs, Jaclyn RuthTop Uk food and lifestyle blogs, Jaclyn RuthHow it’s done

1. Preheat the oven to 200C

2. Place all of the sponge ingredients into a large mixing bowl (sieving the flour) and mix with an electric whisk or mixer

3. Grease two sandwich tins well with butter

4. Either repeat step 1 so you have enough for two layers or split the original mix between the two tins

5. Place the cakes in the oven and bake for around 25 mins (or until golden brown and a skewer placed in the middle of the sponge comes out clean)

6. Remove from the oven, turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and leave to cool (top tip – to avoid getting marks on the top side of your sponge from the wire rack, use a tea towel to turn the cakes out and then flip back over to cool the right way up.)

7. While the sponges cool, mix the softened butter with the icing sugar and add a dash of milk until it comes together to create a spreadable butter cream

8. Once cool, slice your sponge layers to ensure a flat surface on both for the filling. Spread one side with the buttercream (I chose to do cream on the bottom layer and added a layer of chopped strawberries, with jam on the top layer) and one side with strawberry jam and them sandwich together.

9. Dust with icing sugar and garnish with strawberries.

10. Boil the kettle, make a cuppa and tuck in to a large slice as reward for your hard work!

Top Uk food and lifestyle blogs, Jaclyn RuthTop Uk food and lifestyle blogs, Jaclyn RuthTop Uk food and lifestyle blogs, Jaclyn Ruth

So my top tips on how to master the perfect Victoria sponge cake?

– Use an electric mixer to avoid letting too much air into the mixture and your sponges falling flat

– Take time to grease your tins really well

  • – Watch that oven like a hawk
  • – LEAVE the sponges to cool FULLY before doing ANYTHING else

– Be brave enough to slice into the cake sponges to create even layers

Perfect Victoria sponge cake, Jaclyn Ruth

  • Are you a fan of a classic Victoria sponge cake or do you prefer to opt for something a bit different? Let me know what classic recipes are your go-to and if there’s one you’re keen to perfect?

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