Classic Victoria sponge cake - a tried and tested crowd pleaser and a perfect bake for any occasion. This traditional British bake consists of soft and light sponge, filled with whipped cream and a layer of raspberry jam and a generous dusting of an icing sugar on top.
Quick, easy and fool-proof recipe, ideal for experienced and novice bakers alike!
Whether you are joining the jubilee celebrations this year or not, this Victoria sponge cake recipe is an absolute must in any baker repertoire.
If you prefer a bake that is a little more fancy, make sure to check out my Fraisier Cake recipe. For the chocolate cake lovers, my One Bowl Chocolate Cake recipe could be a great alternative. Or check out my Cakes category, for even more delicious cake recipes!
Ingredients and substitutes
Victoria sponge cake requires only few, very basic kitchen cupboard essentials. Here's what you will need to make this victoria sandwich cake:
- Butter - Use softened, unsalted butter. As an alternative, you can also use margarine or a baking spread (like Stork, if you are in the UK). Whichever option you choose, make sure to bring it to room temperature first, it needs to be at soft and spreadable consistency.
- Sugar - There are two different types of sugar in this cake: white caster sugar and icing sugar. Caster sugar has superfine texture and is always my go-to in baking, but if it's not an option, use granulated sugar instead. Icing sugar (powdered sugar) is used at the very end to dust the cake off with.
- Eggs - Use large eggs. Make sure they are at room temperature.
- Vanilla - We are adding a dash of vanilla extract to enhance the sponge flavour. Be sure to use vanilla extract, and not the artificial essence.
- Flour - This recipe calls for the self-raising flour, which is very commonly used in baking across the UK. It has raising agents and salt already added to it. If there is no self-raising flour available, you can use plain/ all purpose flour, but you will have to add baking powder o it. Check the FAQ's and the recipe notes for the instructions how to make your own self-raising flour.
- Baking powder - Just a small amount is added with the dry ingredients, to give the sponge an extra lift. Make sure the baking powder you are using is in date.
- Milk - Tiny bit of milk to thin out the cake batter. Use whole milk if possible.
- Jam - Traditionally, Victoria sponge cake is made with raspberry jam filling, and it is my personal choice. Strawberry jam is another popular option. But you could use any flavour or type of your favourite jam here.
- Cream - You will need double cream / heavy cream for the filling. Whipping cream will also work.
Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the recipe card and full list of the ingredients.
Watch the video in the recipe card to see how I made this cake.
There are two different methods recommended for making this traditional sponge cake. One of them is the all-in-one method, which calls for simply mixing all of the ingredients together in one bowl.
Other method is the creaming method. Each ingredient is added separately, when using this method. You start with creaming the butter and sugar together, followed by adding eggs, then flour and lastly milk.
I always stick to the creaming method, because it gives me a chance to mix the ingredients well together at each stage.
Mix the butter and sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
Add the beaten eggs and vanilla, only a little at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Sift in the flour and a teaspoon baking powder into the batter.
Fold gently with spoon or spatula until you have smooth batter.
Transfer the batter into baking tins and smooth the top with spoon or spatula.
Bake until sponges are golden and springy to the touch.
Hint: Be gentle when folding the flour into the batter. Use the large spoon or spatula to do so, and be careful not to knock out too much air of the batter. This way the sponge will have a lovely, light and airy texture and won't be dense.
When sponges are ready, remove them from the oven and leave in the tins to cool for 10 minutes. Remove them from the tins and transfer into a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
When sponges have cooled down, it's time to assemble the cake. I normally trim and level the top from one of the sponges (if necessary), and use it for the bottom layer. Personally, I like the doomed top on my Victoria sponge, but you can level both sponges if you like.Place the bottom sponge on the plate or a cake stand.
Next, whip the cream to soft peaks, and spread it on top of the sponge. Add a layer of raspberry jam on top of the cream and gently spread it around. Top with the other sponge and dust generously with icing sugar.
Hint: The cream reaches the soft peaks when it's just beginning to hold it's shape (photo below). Use hand whisk to whip the cream with. Hand whipping allows you to better control the speed at which you whisk and to vary that speed as your cream gets closer to being done. This way the risk of over-beating the cream is much lower.
- Mini Victoria Sponge Cakes - You can easily turn this recipe into individual, mini Vicoria sponge cakes. Reduce the butter, sugar and flour quantity to 175g instead of 225 and use 3 large eggs. Divide the mixture between 12-cup muffin tin or 12-cup mini sandwich tin and bake them for 15 minutes at 160°C.
- Citrus Victoria Sponge - Why not add some lemon or orange zest to the cake batter for beautiful, citrus flavour and aroma. You could also replace the jam with lemon curd (use my Homemade Lemon Curd recipe) for even more citrus flavour.
- Gluten-free Victoria Sponge Cake - To turn this recipe into gluten free version, use gluten free self-raising flour, and ensure the baking powder is also gluten free.
- Vegan Victoria Sponge Cake - To make a vegan version of this sponge, check out this recipe for Vegan Victoria Sponge Cake from Cupful of Kale blog.
- Electric mixer - Although it is possible to make this sponge cake recipe by hand, using an electric mixer will give you much better and quicker results. You can use the hand-held mixer with traditional whisk attachment / beaters or freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment.
- Baking tins - I always use 2 round cake tins for this recipe, and they are 8" in size. You could also use 1 deep 8" cake tin, and slice it in half horizontally to make two sponges. Be sure to adjust the baking times for deeper tin.
- Baking paper - To line the bottom of the baking tins with.
- Mixing bowls.
- Kitchen sifter or sieve.
- Large serrated knife or cake levelling tool - Both are optional, and it's only if you decide to level / trim the top of one or both of the sponges with.
Storage and freezing
Store any leftovers of this cake in the airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Bring the cake to room temperature before serving.
Because the cake contains fresh cream, I do not recommend freezing the assembled cake. If you are not using whipped cream and have only jam filling, then you can freeze the cake.
You can also freeze the sponges for up to 3 months. To do so, allow the sponges to cool completely, then wrap them in a double layer of clingfilm and place in the freezer. Thaw at room temperature.
Can I make this cake ahead of time?
As this cake includes fresh cream in the filling, it is always best to make it on the day you want to serve it. You can bake the sponges a day or two ahead and store them in the fridge. Make sure to wrap them in clingfilm, so they will not dry out.
What if I don't have self-raising flour?
You can make your own self raising flour using plain flour. To do that, add two teaspoons of baking powder for every 200g of plain flour. Sift both together, to make sure they get combined really well. It's always best to make a bigger batch and store it until needed.
Why is my cake flat?
There could be few reasons. Firstly, make sure that your self raising flour and baking powder are still in date. The sponge could also come out flat if you didn't cream the butter and sugar together for long enough. Be sure to stick to the timings in the recipe card.
The tops of my sponges are domed, why is that?
This is mainly due to the oven temperature being too high. I recommend always using an oven thermometer (separate to the thermometer built into your oven). Also, make sure not to use too much baking powder or self-raising flour. Domed tops can always be trimmed and levelled, so don't worry too much about it.
Only whip the cream right before assembling the cake, and make sure to keep it in the fridge right up until you need it. If you use warm cream, there is a big chance it will get over-whipped and it will split and curdle.
If you want to make sure to divide the cake batter equally between the baking tins, you can weigh it using kitchen scales. You can also use an ice cream scoop or a cookie scoop to divide it.
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Victoria Sponge Cake
- hand-held electric mixer or freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment
- 2 8" round cake tins
- baking paper
- 2 mixing bowls
- spoon or spatula
- 225 g unsalted butter softened
- 225 g caster sugar or granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 225 g self-raising flour see notes for the alternative
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1-2 tablespoon milk
- 300 ml double cream chilled
- 150 g raspberry or strawberry jam
- icing sugar for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan). Grease and line the bottom of two 8" cake tins with baking paper and set aside.
- Using a hand-held electric mixer or a freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the softened butter and caster sugar, until pale and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Break the eggs into a small jug or cup, and beat them lightly using fork. Add the vanilla and whisk briefly. Add the egg mixture into the sugar and butter in 4 additions, whisking well after each addition.
- Sift the flour and the baking powder into the mixture, and use a large spoon or a spatula to gently fold it in by hand. Combine all the ingredients until you have smooth batter. Add 1-2 tablespoon of milk to thin out the batter and fold to combine.
- Divide the cake batter between both tins and smooth the top of each with the back of a spoon or a spatula. Place in the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and springy to touch, and skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove the sponges from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in tins. Remove from the tins and place into a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Whip the cream into soft peaks. Place one of the sponges onto a plate or a cake stand, and top with the whipped cream, spreading it into an even layer. Add the jam on top of the cream and gently spread it into an even layer. Top with the other sponge and dust generously with icing sugar. Enjoy!
Please note that all my recipes are developed and tested in metric grams. I recommend that you use digital scales for a more accurate results. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.