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.
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.