It’s the most versatile cake going. I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like a Victoria sponge. This recipe is so easy that once you’ve read it once you will never need to read the recipe again..
For the sponge
- eggs, free range and organic
- self-raising flour
- salted butter, British and soft
- caster sugar
- vanilla extract (optional: I don’t think it’s needed if you’ve got quality eggs & butter)
- weighing scales
- electric whisk, or hand whisk
- wooden spoon
- mixing bowl
- two cake tins, greased if non-stick or lined with baking parchment
This recipe has ONE VERY SIMPLE RULE:
Use 1 part eggs/ 1 part sugar/ 1 part butter/ 1 part SR flour
So to start heat your oven to between 180°c and 200°c, depending how hot your oven is (ours is like a furnace).
You need to weigh the eggs in their shells (I would recommend 3 eggs for two small tins.) 1 medium egg is usually around 60g.
Add to a mixing bowl the equivalent ‘egg’ weight in butter and in sugar and whip up until really light and fluffy (without an electric whisk you’ll need to really put some oomph into it!)
Then sieve in the self-raising flour, give the mixture a quick mix with a wooden spoon to combine and then pour equal quantities into your tins, making sure they are nice and even on top.
Give each a quick tap on the work surface for luck and cook in the oven for around 20 mins (DON’T BE CHEEKY AND OPEN IN THE FIRST 15 MINUTES). They are cooked when pale on top and a cocktail stick comes out clean when stuck into the deepest part of the cake.
Once cooked, give the cakes another quick tap on the surface for luck (I read once that it stops them sinking but no idea why. I always do just in case). Keep in trays until completely cool then remove.
Yoghurt frosting: As an alternative to a traditional buttercream, I have made a yoghurt based frosting to sandwich my sponge. The reason being with such a rich sponge and sweet jam, I like a little sourness, just like you find on top of a rich red velvet cupcake or a strawberry cheesecake. Trust me!
Frosting and jamming:
- Jam, strawberry, or raspberry
- 300g icing sugar
- 100g soft butter
- 40g plain yoghurt, Greek works really well too
Mix together the butter and yoghurt with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy. Gradually sieve in the icing sugar until everything is mixed up. Once your cakes are completely cool, layer up that sandwich.
Tip: A cheeky little dusting of icing sugar never goes unnoticed 😉
Rose Flower cupcakes
Using exactly the same sponge mixture, make these little cakes in whatever sized cupcake cases you have.
I would recommend weighing each case so you have around about the same amount of mixture in each (if you have the time/ patience). Cook in the oven for around 18 mins until lightly golden (use the old cocktail stick trick too!)
For the rose petal swirls:
- one quantity of yoghurt frosting
- piping bag
- hot pink liquid food colouring,
Firstly, turn the piping bag inside out so that you have the tip in your left hand like an icecream cone. Carefully dip a teaspoon into the food colouring and create strips on the inside of the piping bag. Now spoon the frosting into the piping bag, unravel the bag and snip the end off.
Roses take a bit of practice, so you might want to try a few on a plate. Start in the centre of the cake slowly swirl the frosting in a spiral until you reach the outer corner of the cake and quickly pull away. After a few goes you should have created a pretty stunning little rose cupcake. Tastes as good as it looks!
Salted Peanut Brittle & Chocolate Cupcakes
The salty crunchy peanut brittle works perfectly in this variation on the classic sponge recipe.
For the chocolate sponge:
- Make a classic Victoria sponge mixture, see above
- Add 15g of cocoa powder per egg you use
- Sieve the cocoa along with the self raising flour before mixing
For the peanut brittle:
- Roasted peanuts and caster sugar (the same quantity of each)
Line a baking tray with grease proof paper. Heat the caster sugar gently in a non-stick saucepan until all is melted. Once the sugar starts to go light brown and has a rich caramel consistency, pour in the peanuts, give a quick mix and spread onto the baking tray into a thin sheet, around 1/2 cm thick.
Leave somewhere out of reach so you aren’t tempted to touch it for a while (this will be hella hot!) Once completely cool, bash with your fist into shards, as small as you like, and sprinkle on top of your iced cupcakes. OR OR OR mix some smaller, dustier shards into the buttercream before you ice the cakes ! :O