What is the best Victoria Sponge recipe?

Victoria Sponge Cake is one of the first cakes most people make and it certainly was my first.  I have tried so many different variations to the recipe or method over the years and have made hundreds!  Below is my best Victoria Sponge recipe I now use consistently and am very pleased with the result each time – as are my family!  Note I do not put jam in my cakes as my husband can’t stand it (that’s his 30th birthday cake above, in case you were wondering!)  As he is sooo fussy, we’re a butter cream family all the way…

Ingredients for the best Victoria Sponge Cake recipe

170g self raising flour
170g golden caster sugar
170g salted butter
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp hot/boiling water

Butter icing
170g icing sugar
85g unsalted butter
1-3 tbsp milk – to preferred consistency
Caster sugar for sprinkling

Equipment used for the best Victoria Sponge recipe

Before you get started on the best Victoria Sponge recipe ever…make sure you have the right baking trays by reading our helpful guide.

Grease your sandwich tins and line the bases with greaseproof paper. I draw round the base of the tin – no need to worry about the sides.

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees celsius (years of testing has got me to this lower than standard temperature).

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Cream the butter and sugar together. You can either go ‘old skool’ with a wooden spoon or use an electric hand whisk. Be careful not to overdo it as it gets a funny look to it later if over whisked.  I tend to use the hand whisk at this stage and then switch to a bendy silicone spatula for the next stages.

Once the mixture is light and fluffy, add one of the beaten eggs, the vanilla extract and a tablespoon of already-sieved flour.  Beat together until a batter starts to form.

Repeat for the second egg and then tip in the last of the flour with the third egg.

At this point add the boiling water and then try to beat the mixture less but rather fold it in the bowl so as not to knock out too much air.  I tend to use a figure of eight motion if you can picture it?  Some recipes will suggest using a wooden spoon. Traditionally you are supposed to use a large metal spoon. Sometimes I do, if I have it to hand, but most often I use my favourite spatula.

Now divide the cake batter evenly between the two sandwich tins.  Hands up, I do actually weigh them to make sure they are the same 🙂 Gently level the mixture with a non-serrated knife and put on the middle shelf of your oven to bake for 25 minutes.

Do not, whatever you do, open the oven until the timer starts buzzing!

The cakes should rise beautifully, with a lovely rounded top.  I have never mastered the flat looking cakes that I see on television, rounded is the only way I know.  The slightly deeper sandwich tins I find enable the cakes to rise further before rounding at the top, which is ideal.  No more biscuit thickness cakes, hurray!

At 25 minutes the cakes should be golden brown and, importantly, coming away slightly from the sides.  Take them out and test with a cocktail stick – it should come out with no gooey mixture.

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Leave the cakes to sit for a couple of minutes in the tin and then carefully transfer to a wire rack, removing the greaseproof paper, and cover with a clean tea towel to ensure they stay soft and moist.

Once cooled, make the butter icing:

Using an electric hand whisk, cream together the butter and icing sugar.  1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and then small amounts of milk until you have a soft consistency but not so much milk that the icing is even slightly runny.  If this happens sift in more icing sugar – it’s not the end of the world having too much butter icing 🙂

I place the flat side down of one of the cakes and slather on loads of butter icing all the way to the edges.  Then layer up with the top cake, rounded side up and sprinkle it with caster sugar for a traditional look.  Sometimes I pipe extra icing onto the top in rosettes, sometimes I cover the entire cake with icing, it just depends on my mood.

However you decorate your cake, I am sure it will be delicious!

Used in this recipe:


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