One of my baking goals was to attempt the Victorian Sponge Cake. The name alone was intimidating and considering it was a technical challenge on the Great British Baking Show/Bake Off, I felt it was out of my element. But I found a recipe online that was fairly simple yet, a bit confusing.
Considering I’ve been doing 95 percent more baking than I ever have, there were a few moments I stopped to gaze at the recipe, wondering if I made a mistake when I copied it into my cooking notebook. But, no. To the novice baker, you might not notice anything odd about the recipe but for me, I had lowered my brow and wondered, “only 2 tablespoons of milk?” And, “is that the only liquid ingredient?”
But, I suppose that’s what makes it a Victorian Sponge Cake :)
Photo by Chantel Grayson
Oh, spoiler alert, by the end of this recipe, you will have made your own homemade buttercream! SOOOOOOO GOOD! CREAMY! SMOOTH! Sorry, here is the recipe:
Ingredients for Victorian Sponge Cake:
¾ Cup Sugar
¾ Cup Softened Butter (I placed butter sticks in microwave for about 30 seconds)
¾ Cup Flour
4 Beaten Eggs
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 tbsp Milk (I used Almond Milk)
*I also used a tbsp of vanilla extract but you don’t have to
Ingredients for Buttercream:
¼ Cup Softened Butter
⅓ Cup Powdered Sugar
Drop of Vanilla extract
Strawberry Jam (I used the smuckers I had in the fridge)
Fresh Strawberries quartered (cut in half, then cut in half again to make four small pieces lol)
Method for Victorian Sponge Cake:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Butter or oil two round baking tins and line with baking paper. (I recommend cutting the paper to fit the size of the tin, otherwise, you will wind up with a weird star pattern from the cake not spreading into an even circle. Like I did lol)
In a large bowl, beat sugar, softened butter, beaten eggs, flour, baking powder, milk and vanilla extract. Unlike most cake batter, the mixture should not be overly liquidy.
Divide mixture between the two tins. Carefully spread with a spatula or spoon.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the cake is golden brown. When pressed with your finger, the cake should spring back.
When finished, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. (You can do the TV trick and place them in the fridge if you need too)
Method for Buttercream:
While your cakes are cooling, beat butter until smooth and creamy. You won’t get creamy butter if you have overheated it, so make sure you don’t melt the butter completely if you put it in the microwave. Heat it just enough to make it soft and malleable.
Gradually beat in sifted powdered sugar. The sift is important as it rids the mixture of lumps.
Drop in vanilla extract. AND THAT’S IT!
I recommend tasting your buttercream as you add the powdered sugar to make sure it isn’t overly sweet for your tastes. I had to adjust this recipe for that purpose, especially considering I was going to be adding the jam later.
Method for Cake Building:
Place one cake on a cake plate or cake dish.
Spread buttercream evenly over the top.
Apply as much jam as you want. I didn’t use very much considering my buttercream was very sweet and I was using fresh strawberries.
Place strawberries evenly among the jam and buttercream.
Top with the second cake.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Congrats! You’ve just made a Victorian Sponge Cake!