Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Classic Victoria Sponge

 

I love experimenting with baking; trying new, unusual flavours and twists on traditional recipes, but sometimes only a classic will do and nothing is more classic than a Victoria Sponge.

Sweet, juicy jam and creamy vanilla frosting sandwiched between two moist, crumbly sponges and finished with a delicate dusting of icing sugar…delicious! The great thing about this particular recipe is that it also makes a great base for a celebration cake. It’s my go-to recipe for Birthday cakes; just cover in icing and decorate however you like (see my “top tip” for more!). This is definitely one of those recipes you’ll want to keep safe and use time and time again…a classic.




Classic Victoria Sponge

Ingredients

175g unsalted butter, softened
175g golden caster sugar
1½ tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs 
175g self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder

Filling

100g butter, softened
140g icing sugar, sifted
½ tsp vanilla extract 
3 tbsp strawberry jam

Preheat the oven to 175C/gas 4 and line two sandwich tins with baking paper, grease lightly.

In a large bowl add the butter and sugar and beat together until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.

Sift over the flour, add the baking powder, and mix well with a wooden spoon. Pour the mixture into the prepared tins and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. When cold place in the fridge whilst making the filling to allow them to firm up.

Meanwhile beat together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl until thick and smooth. Remove the sponges from the fridge and on one sponge spread a thick layer of the jam on top. On the second sponge spread a generous layer of the buttercream.

Carefully lift the butter cream covered sponge upside down and sandwich on top of the jam covered sponge. The bottom of the buttercream sponge will now be the top of the Victoria Sponge and a smooth, even surface. Dust lightly with icing sugar and serve!

Belle’s Top Tip
To make the Victoria Sponge into a celebration cake; rather than thick layers of jam and butter cream use thin layers instead and don’t worry about dusting with icing sugar. Make another batch of butter cream and spread a thin layer all over the sponge, using it to fill in any gaps in the cake; place in the fridge for 30 minutes or longer if possible. Remove the cake from the fridge and roll out about 450g of royal icing in a circle to the thickness of a £1 coin and gently place it over the cake. Dust your hands with icing sugar and use to carefully smooth over the icing and there you have it, a blank canvas to decorate however you like!