I love a classic Victoria sponge cake, also called a Victoria sandwich. It’s perfect for a British afternoon tea, or generally, just anytime you fancy a good slice of cake.
Light and fluffy vanilla sponge combined with silky vanilla buttercream and either strawberry or raspberry jam to give a beautiful taste of sweet mouth joy.
✏️ Making a tasty and easy recipe
This recipe is a classic. It's one of the staple desserts that has always been made in my family and it's one that I often made with my very British Grandma as a child.
It's such a basic cake, but it's a classic for a reason.
🥘 Ingredients notes
- With any cake, it’s important to ensure your ingredients are room temperature, particularly the eggs and butter, before you start. This will help them combine better and give your cake and buttercream a nicer texture.
- I prefer to use vanilla extract rather than vanilla essence, as it has a better stronger flavour. It’s a purer vanilla taste as it’s less processed than vanilla essence.
- Always sieve your flour, baking powder and icing sugar. I used to be a bit lazy and skip this part, but it really makes such a difference to get you a lump-free mixture.
- When measuring your ingredients, I always recommend using weights rather than cups for greater accuracy. This is especially important for the amount of flour.
🔪 Equipment notes
- I like to use digital scales for weighing my ingredients as it's easier and more accurate than other scales (or using no scales!). I'm a fan of these KitchenAid or Salter ones!
- Use measuring spoons for your tsp and tbsp amounts where possible. Make sure the scoops filled with your ingredients are levelled before adding them to your mix!
Store your Victoria sponge cake sealed in an airtight container at room temperature. It should keep fresh and moist for up to 3 days.
You can also freeze your cake! I like to slice my finished cake up and seal each piece in plastic wrap / cling film and a layer of foil then freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost and enjoy as normal!
💭 Top tips for success
For the perfect light and airy Victoria sponge cake, my top tips are to cream the butter and sugar together well to start.
It’s also key to fold the flour in gently, and ensure you don’t over-mix the cake batter.
If the texture of your mix is very dense and stodgy, try adding a few drops of milk. This will loosen the mixture and help to transform it into a smooth and creamy mix.
Another key factor when baking the perfect sponge is not to open the oven while it bakes! It can be tempting to check on your cake, but be patient and wait until the end of the time to take a look.
Opening the oven door lets out the hot air and causes the oven temperature to drop suddenly, which can cause your cake to sink in the middle if it’s not yet cooked.
If you’ve got any specific questions on making this classic Victoria sandwich cake, please feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll try my best to help out!
♻️ Alternatives and substitutions
I usually use strawberry or raspberry jam in this recipe, but you can experiment with some fun and fruity flavours, such as blueberry jam or gooseberry jam.
🧁 Other goodies
So, I definitely recommend that you whip up a classic Victoria sponge cake! But as an avid home baker, I’m sure you’re asking yourself “what next?”.
If you’re a fan of the classic bakes, why not check out my classic blueberry muffins? They make a great breakfast treat, or just any time you’re craving sweet mouth joy!
Or if you’d like to hear about our latest recipes, why not subscribe to our newsletter?
Victoria Sponge Cake
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- 170 g (¾ cups) unsalted butter
- 170 g (¾ cups) caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 170 g (1½ cups) plain flour (all-purpose, see notes for self-raising flour swap)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp milk (semi-skimmed or whole)
- ½ jar raspberry or strawberry jam (roughly 170g)
- 100 g (½ cups) unsalted butter (room temp.)
- 225 g (2 cups) icing sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp milk (semi-skimmed or whole)
- Pre-heat oven: 190°C / 170°C (fan) / Gas Mark 5 / 375°F
- Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth and fully combined, either using a spatula, electric hand mixer or stand mixer.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until light and fluffy.
- Slowly add the eggs to the creamed butter and sugar, and beat together.
- Stir in the vanilla extract and then sift in the flour, folding in gently.
- Add in the milk and mix until you have a smooth mixture.
- Divide the mix evenly between two lined cake tins (20cm / 8 inch round tins) and bake in the oven for 20mins or until lightly golden and skewer comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool on a wire rack.
- Beat the butter until smooth and creamy. This can be done either by hand, electric hand mixer or stand mixer.
- Add in the icing sugar slowly and the vanilla extract, followed by the milk.
- The buttercream should be thick, but fluffy and spreadable. If the buttercream is too thick, add a little more milk. If it’s too runny, add more icing sugar.
- Once the sponges have fully cooled, turn one sponge upside-down and spread the buttercream in a generous, thick layer on the flat bottom of the sponge.
- Top the buttercream with the jam, spreading gently until you get an even layer.
- Place the other sponge on top to sandwich the layers and dust the top lightly with icing sugar for the classic Victoria sponge cake look.
- You can swap the plain flour in this recipe for self-raising flour of the same amount and exclude the baking powder from the recipe.
* The nutrition information provided is an estimate based on an online nutritional calculator and actual values may vary.