A Delicious British Classic: Victoria Sandwich

The Victoria Sandwich is a British classic that I keep coming back to whenever I want to serve a light party cake that is guaranteed to be enjoyed by all.  The cake came into being in the mid-1800s and soon joined the afternoon tea ritual.  The cake is named after Queen Victoria who is known to have adored this cake.

The sponge cake is traditionally made from butter, sugar, eggs, and flour, each of equal weight.  The weight of each ingredient is based on the weight of 4 eggs.  Two cake layers are sandwiched in between a thick layer of jam or preserves.  Variations in the fillings have developed over time, such as layering whipped cream or buttercream frosting on top of the jam.

Following is a recipe for Victoria Sandwich with strawberry jam and whipped cream.  I used self-rising flour, which makes this easy cake even easier to make.   If you only have all-purpose flour,  you can make an acceptable equivalent by mixing 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt into each cup of flour.  For this recipe, I used 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour to make two 8-inch cakes, which translates to 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder and 3/4 teaspoon salt mixed into 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour.

After the recipe, I’ve posted photos and instructions for cake assembly.

Print Recipe
Victoria Sandwich with Whipped Cream
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword Cake
Servings
Ingredients
For the Cake
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (200g) [or 1 3/4 sticks butter]
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour (200g) [see Note below on using all-purpose flour instead]
  • 1 cup (scant) granulated sugar (200g)
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (e.g., canola, but not olive oil)
For the Filling
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup strawberry or raspberry jam, mixed with a spoon for a spreadable consistency
  • confectioner's sugar for dusting
  • strawberries or raspberries for decoration (optional)
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword Cake
Servings
Ingredients
For the Cake
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (200g) [or 1 3/4 sticks butter]
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour (200g) [see Note below on using all-purpose flour instead]
  • 1 cup (scant) granulated sugar (200g)
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (e.g., canola, but not olive oil)
For the Filling
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup strawberry or raspberry jam, mixed with a spoon for a spreadable consistency
  • confectioner's sugar for dusting
  • strawberries or raspberries for decoration (optional)
Instructions
Make the Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour two 8-inch (18 cm) round cake pans.
  2. Using a standing electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium-high speed for 20 seconds. Stop mixer and add all at once flour, sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Turn mixer on low and gradually increase speed to medium. Beat for about 30 seconds. Turn mixer off, scrape the sides of the bowl, and beat until just smooth (up to a minute).
  3. Transfer batter into prepared pans, smoothing tops with a small offset spatula. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. The cake will have shrunken from the sides when done. Place pans on wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and place right-side up on wire rack to cool completely.
Make the Filling and Assemble Cake
  1. Chill clean, whisk attachment (or beaters) and bowl from electric mixer in freezer for 30 minutes. before using to whip cream.
  2. Using a standing electric mixer with the chilled whisk attachment and bowl, beat heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add confectioners sugar and vanilla extract and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
  3. If the cake layers have domes, carefully slice the dome from each layer. Choose one cake layer to be the bottom layer. Spread jam evenly on the top of this cake layer. Spread whipped cream on top of the jam layer. Place second cake layer on top, bottom-side up. If desired, smooth sides with offset spatula. Generously dust top with confectioners sugar. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving. If desired for additional decoration, place one or more fresh strawberries or raspberries (as desired ) on the top of cake in the center just before serving.
Recipe Notes

* In place of self-rising flour, all-purpose flour may be used:  Mix 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder and 3/4 teaspoon salt into 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour.

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STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS FOR CAKE ASSEMBLY

The photos are of a cake I made last spring.  While I made it with jam and whipped cream, adding a layer of sliced strawberries to the filling when strawberries are in season ramps up the deliciousness of this cake!

Just a note about the sponge cakes:  They are made using the all-in-one-method.  This means that after beating the butter for a bit, you put in the rest of the ingredients and mix until the batter is smooth.  Very simple!

After you’ve baked the cakes and they are at room temperature or cooler (such as straight out of the refrigerator), it’s time to make whipped cream and assemble the cake.  Place the bowl and whip attachment of an electric mixer in the freezer for about a 1/2 hour.  Remove from freezer and pour 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream into the bowl.  Attach the wire whip to the electric mixer and whip the cream on medium speed, gradually increasing the speed to medium-high as the cream begins to thicken.   When soft peaks form, stop the mixer.

Add 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.  Whip until stiff peaks form.

Trim the dome (if any) off the cake layers.

Choose a cake layer to be the bottom layers.  Spread 1/2 cup strawberry or raspberry jam on top of this cake layer.  You may need to mix (with a spoon) the jam in a small bowl for a few seconds to loosen up the jam so that it is spreadable.

Spread whipped cream on top of the jam layer.

Place the second cake layer on top of the whipped cream, bottom side up.

Some whipped cream and jam may ooze out at this point.  You can leave it like that or smooth it with an offset spatula.

Heavily sprinkle the top with confectioners sugar to completely cover the top.

Refrigerate for at least a half an hour.  Just before serving, decorate with one or two fresh strawberries or a few raspberries if you like.  The type of berry should match the jam!

Slice and serve.

One of the simplest yet best party cakes around, especially when you are looking for something light tasting.

Yummy!

 

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