With the Queen’s 90th birthday, St George’s Day and the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death all falling this week, we’ve got plenty to celebrate. And what better way to celebrate this most English of weeks than with that most English of cakes – a classic Victoria sponge.
Baker’s Shopping List
For the Sponge
225g unsalted butter
225g self-raising flour
225g caster sugar
4 large eggs
For the Filling
250g fresh strawberries
1 vanilla pod
150g strawberry jam
150ml double cream
1 tablespoon caster sugar
icing sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
2. Grease and line two 20cm sandwich tins.
3. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each.
4. Sift in the flour.
5. Grate in the zest of the lemon and fold into the mixture.
6. Divide the mixture between the two tins and spread out with a spatula. Bake for around 20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and springy to the touch. Stick a skewer into the sponge to check it’s ready – the skewer should come out clean.
7. Allow cakes to cool slightly in their tins before turning them out onto a wire rack.
8. To make your filling, firstly slice the strawberries. Score the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds.
9. Warm the jam in a pan on a low heat.
10. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in your strawberries.
11. Combine the cream, sugar and vanilla seeds in a bowl then squeeze in the juice from the lemon.
12. Whip together until the mixture has soft peaks.
13. Choose a sponge for the bottom of your cake, and spread in with jam and strawberries, followed by the cream.
14. Place the second sponge on top to make the sandwich, then dust with icing sugar. Decorate with any leftover strawberries for a picture perfect finish.
Serve your sponge up with a pot of tea and raise a toast to all things English 🙂